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Mediaeval Music by Robert Charles Hope

Mediaeval Music


THE Romans had no musical system of their
own ; they adopted that of Greece, but so
misapplied the Greek terms, that to-day they are
one of the chief causes of the difficulty in the way
of a right understanding and appreciation of the
Greek system. Greek music, therefore, cannot be
effectually learnt from Roman writers.’ One who,
perhaps more than any other, has made ‘con
fusion worse confounded,’ is Boethius, born in
Rome 470, died 526 A.D. His tract on music con
tains nothing but matters of mere speculation and
theory, translated, often erroneously, or at best
not fully, from Greek writers of high antiquity;
his account of the musical systems of Greece is
mere chaos, and, to use the words of the late Sir F.


Mediaeval Music

A. Gore Ouseley, Bart., Mus. Doc., Professor of
Music in the University of Oxford, is ‘ no more
useful to a modern musician than Newton’s
” Principia” to a dancer.’ Rockstro, in his * History
of Music ‘ says of Boethius’ treatise : ‘ Unfortun
ately, this work, though once regarded as an
indispensable text-book, is too abstruse and un
practical to render any real assistance to the
modern student ‘ (p. 13). He is now fortunately
, accounted as one whose writings are not to be
relied on, and yet, until within a few years ago,
his tract of mis-readings on music was a text
book at our Universities for obtaining musical

Of the musical histories of Sir John Hawkins
and Dr. Burney, from which the padding of so
many similar works has been drawn, the late
W. Chappell remarked, alluding especially to
their accounts o Greek music : ‘ Sir John had
found that he could not understand Greek music ;
and my impression is, that he had not learnt the
Greek language, which would sufficiently account
for it. He therefore contented himself with
giving ‘ an impartial state of the several opinions,
that at different times have prevailed among the
moderns* He wrote quite unintelligibly for
general readers.’ Of Burney he said : * Dr
Burney’s system of writing upon ancient Greek
music was identical with that of Sir John


Hawkins, so far as reliance upon the moderns to
“have done all that was possible towards under
standing it/

Of Boethius he said : ‘ The treatise on music
by Boethius, upon which Dr. Burney relied, has
proved a most unfortunate inheritance for modern
Europe. . . . No one scholar ever did, or could,
learn anything from it; he was unable to teach
that which he did not himself understand ; he
took up music simply as a branch of arithmetic.
He had no practical knowledge of music ; he could
not even tell whether a Greek scale began at the
top or the bottom ! the words nete and hypate
” lowest ” and ” highest ” bewildered him/ which
was * inexcusable because he quotes from the
treatise on music by Nicomachus, who fully
explains these two words/ Having dispensed
with the only sound grammars of Greek music,
by rejecting the Greek treatises, Burney’s diffi
culties soon began. At p. 17 of his first volume
he says : ‘ The perplexity concerning the scale, is
a subject that required more time and meditation
than I was able to bestow upon it 5 (!). ‘ He had
proved in his first volume that old English print
ing was too much for him to decipher, and what
could he do among manuscripts ? The reader
who desires to know more of the deficiencies of
these, until quite recently considered the two
standard historians, should consult the introduc-

Mediaeval Music

tion to the very able and exhaustive ‘ History of
Music/ by the late William Chappell, F.S.A., only
one volume of which he was spared to complete,
and from which the above is quoted.

A writer in the Sacristy (vol. L, p. 129) states
that ‘ Greek music is an almost insoluble prob
lem. It was complicated to a degree/ He
does not, however, make any attempt to solve
the problem, maybe for similar reasons to Dr.

So much darkness instead of light having been
poured on the subject of Greek music, there is
little wonder it should not be understood. With
regard to the so-called ‘ Gregorian J music the
greatest ignorance prevails. Histories after
histories of music merely retail to us, without
any original research, the old tale of St. Ambrose
and St. Gregory’s wonderful improvements in the
music of the Church. This seems to be the
common starting-point of most modern historians,
of nearly all newspaper articles, pamphlets, lec
tures, etc., authorities for such statements never
being given.

It would seem a waste of time to attempt any
argument with that section of the Modern High
Church School who can see nothing c correct’
unless it is a copy of the Italian Church, whether
in music or ritual.

The English Church of which we have every


reason to be proud has as fine a music and a more
suitable ritual than any the Italian Church can
produce. Why, then, should Englishmen be asked
to discard that which is national for an importa
tion of a foreign mission ?

By no possible reasoning can the crude, rude
music adopted at a period when in a state of
apparent chaos, from causes explained within
these covers be shown to be the sacred property
of the Church. Is it claimed that the state of
any art, be it music, painting, sculpture or
architecture at any particular period, because
made use of by the Church at such time, is the
sacred and peculiar property of the Church ?
This would infer that any advance which might
afterwards be made in one or all of these arts
was not so. It would thus divide the arts, not
only into two kinds, but into two periods, sacred
and secular, ancient and modern, and to make
use of one the sacred property of the Church
for secular purposes, would at least be an act
of irreverence, while, on the other hand, to in
troduce into the Church the profane would be
desecration !

The Church, as is well known, has done more
than any power to foster the arts ; she has in
corporated into her buildings and services the
most advanced and perfected of everything
that the arts can produce. With music -every

Mediaeval Music

advance towards the perfection attained at the
present day has been furthered by her ; each new
discovery was immediately adopted by her with
greediness. The organ was at a very early period
introduced into the Church, and mighty efforts
were made, often by her own saints, to bring the
instrument to perfection, to enable the vocal
music of the Church to be accompanied by it.
We find the early organ-builders endeavouring to
keep pace with the gradual advances made and
incorporated into the services of the Church
from the tenth century, when the first ‘ accidental,’
B flat, was added.

The attempt to reintroduce the crude chants
of the Middle Ages is felt to be unsatisfactory by
the very persons ignorant of their history who
would urge their universal adoption to the exclu
sion of what we may be justly proud of, our
National Chant, known as the Anglican Chant; for
we find not only are they compelled to call in the
aid of a nineteenth century florid accompaniment,
but a host of French and other light ‘endings/ and
what Sir John Stainer calls * foliations.’ To the
Continent recourse is had for the many clever
adulterations of ‘ plainsong/ for which the French
and Belgians are justly renowned.

Antiphons not now being used in the services of
the Church of England, these so-called Gregorian
chants rarely ever end on their final, and are


therefore incomplete. To hear Psalm Ixxviii.
with its seventy-three verses, excluding the Gloria,
sung in octaves to a chant comprised of four
notes, or Psalm cvi. with forty-three verses, to
a chant of three notes only, will, it is believed, strike
most people as apt to become a trifle monotonous
and wearisome.

Then, again, the inconsistency of the advocates
of this music on the grounds of its antiquity, is
beyond question by the adoption and use of the free
modern accompaniment, an anachronism and a
gross incongruity. The late Dr. Dykes said that
* ancient melodies decked out in the license of
modern harmonies are revolting/ and so they are.
It is the fanciful and erroneous idea as to the
origin and use of the miscalled Gregorian music,
only, that has secured for the chants a place in
the service of the Church of England by a very
limited section of the sentimental clergy, who
imagine, prejudiced with the aforesaid opinion,
that there is some peculiar solemnity attaching to
them. That this feeling of solemnity is not
general, may be gathered from the expressions
regarding them held by men whose opinions
are, it will be admitted on all hands, entitled to

There should be no antagonism between those
who favour the Italian and those who favour the
Anglican music, each being quite distinct. Anglican

8 Mediaeval Music

music is music composed by Englishmen, especially
for Englishmen, for the services of the Church of
England, and has been the music adopted by the
Church of England only, of which there is proof
beyond a doubt; but as there are clergy in the
Church of England who prefer to adopt the ritual
and music of the Church of Italy, so are there those
whose national and patriotic instincts guide them
to adhere to the English ritual not Sarum and
English music.

Mendelssohn says : ‘ I can’t help it, but I own
it does irritate me to hear such holy and touching
words sung to such dull, drawling music. They
say it is canto fermo, Gregorian, etc. No matter.
If at that period there was neither the feeling, nor
the capability to write in a different style, at all
events we have now the power to do so, and
certainly this mechanical monotony is not to be
found in the Scriptural words ; they are all fruth
and freshness, and moreover expressed in the
most simple and natural manner. Why, then,
make them sound like a mere formula? and m
truth such singing as this is nothing more. Can
this be called sacred music? There is certainly
no false expression in it, because there is none of
any kind; but does not this very fact prove the
desecration of the words ?’ (In one of his letters
to Lady Wallace.)

The late Canon the Rev. Sir F. A. Gore Ouseley,


Bart., M.A., Mus. Doc., Professor of Music at the
University of Oxford, and Precentor of Hereford
Cathedral, denounced the Plainsong as ‘an
offence ‘ unto him.

The late Sir George Macfarren, M.A., Mus. Doc.,
Professor of Music at the University of Cam
bridge, and President of the Royal Academy of
Music, in his ‘ Lectures on Harmony/ 2nd edition,
p. 12 (Longmans), wrote: ‘Those well-meaning
men who would resuscitate the standard use
of so-called Gregorian music in the Church of
England evince mistaken zeal, and false anti-
quarianism, illogical deductiveness, artistic blind
ness and ecclesiastical error.’

The late Rev. Dr. Dykes, M.A., Mus. Doc.,
described them as having had their day.’

The late Dr. Samuel Sebastian Wesley depre
cated ‘the plainsong being intruded into our

The late Professor John Hullah spoke of it as
‘strange, dull, uncouth sort of stuff.’ : –

The following legend is gravely related by Da
Corte in his ‘Storia di Verona/ p. 107 of the
Venetian edition of 1744 : * Gregory the Great,
to stimulate his devotion, used to visit the graves
of the departed. Whilst so engaged, he once saw
one of the tombs uplifted, and the head of a long-
buried man appear, with his pale tongue thrust
out, as if in agony. The saint, nothing daunted,

io Mediaeval Music

accosted the spectre, and was informed that he
was the Emperor Trajan, condemned to suffer
forever for his idolatry. Pitying so illustrious
a sufferer, the saint resolved to importune the
Divine mercy for him, and succeeded so well that
the Almighty at length set the Emperor free and
admitted him into Paradise. But, as the course
of Divine justice had been interrupted, He resolved
to inflict some bodily suffering upon the saint, who
had been the means of its interruption, and accord
ingly ordained that Gregory should be afflicted
with pain in the abdomen dolorc intestinale
except at such times as he should be occupied in
saying Mass. Gregory then bethought himself of
some way of avoiding his malady by prolonging
the service of the Mass to the utmost extent, and
so he instituted the chant called after him
Gregorian, which was at first more prolix and
dreary than it has since become. Some thought
this rather hard of the saint, because this style
of the chant, though it would relieve him of
his pains, would be very apt to give others the
pain in the abdomen from its length and dreari

Another story of the Gregorian chant may
not inaptly follow this. A certain prelate having
attended service at an English church where this
music was in use, was asked afterwards by
the Vicar how he had liked the music. ‘ Oh, very

Introduction 1 1

well/ was the reply. * But/ said the Vicar, ‘ what
did you think of the Psalms ?’ * Oh, pretty well/
said the prelate. ‘ It is traditionally recorded/
said the Vicar, ‘ that the tones are the original
ones to which David composed the Psalms.’
‘Really/ replied the prelate, ‘you don’t say so!
Ah ! then I don’t wonder at Saul throwing his
javelin at him.’

Mr. Birbeck’s very sensible and pertinent
remarks, anent these chants and their place in
the Church of England, in the Newbery House
Magazine, vol. iii., 596, etc., should be noted.
* They are far from being devoid of interest, but
it is not on that account their use should be
urged to accomplish the speedy expulsion of
all Anglican chants from the services of the

The study of the music of the Middle Ages is
indispensable to the would-be educated musician ;
a just appreciation and true understanding of
modern music can only thereby be attained. On
the other hand, the systems of ancient music
cannot be mastered and understood without the
knowledge of the principles on which modern
music is grounded.

6 It is impossible clearly to understand what the
established forms of musical structure meant, un
less we knew how they had grown’ up : history
was as much a key to the true philosophy of

12 Mediaeval Music

music as acoustics, and that both ought to be
studied together, as such a mode of study
would assuredly clear away many of the fal
lacies by which musical theory was at present

Of the many valuable works on mediaeval music
now available to the musical and theological
student, the publications which include fac
similes of rare and ancient service books of the
Plain Song and Mediaeval Music Society cannot
be too highly recommended. The address of the
secretary is 14, Westbourne Terrace Road, W,,
from whom all information can be obtained.

The clergy, as a body, to whom the study and
knowledge of music, whether Gregorian so-called or
Anglican, is of such great importance, nay almost
an essential, considering how closely is music
interwoven with the services of the Church, rarely
ever trouble to learn anything respecting it, taking 1
for gospel any statement or assertion made by
members of their own profession, in pamphlets,
lectures, or letters in newspapers. Let them read,
mark, learn, and inwardly digest, the works of
trustworthy musical and liturgical writers, that
they may be enabled to see that their choirs are
taught to


* Dr. Pole, c Trans. Mus, Ass./ 1878-9, p. 97.

Introduction 1 3

It should not be forgotten that chants, hymns,
and services, can be, and are still, as of old, com
posed in these octave scales. It is a mistaken idea
that anything written on a stave of four lines in
square notes is an old ‘ Gregorian.’



MUSIC differs from her sisters of the fine
arts in that she is transient, and more
nearly connected with pure sensation. Helmholtz
observes : ‘The sensations of tone are the materials
of the art, and, so far as these sensations are
excited in music, we do not create out of them any
images of external objects or actions, nor, apart
from words, actions, or association of ideas can
emotions be conveyed by music.’

The art is purely conventional, and appeals to
the mind in a manner totally different from the
other arts. ‘Music is incomparably the most
original of arts ; it is the pure creation of human
intellect. Music is the perfection of an art, for it
has no evil tendency ; it also has a far greater and
more immediate influence upon the mind than any
other art/*

Music is based on a trinity-jsensation, rhythm,
melody which cannot be divided, else music, a$
an art, would cease to be.

* Chappell, ‘History of Music/ xlvi

Music of the Early Greeks 15

Music is either vocal or instrumental ; the former,
a gift inherent in man, is the most ancient, and is
more or less at the immediate command of all
mankind. Instrumental, on the contrary, is a
matter of cultivation, in which a certain amount
of technical labour is necessary to overcome
mechanical obstacles, before it can be made use
of. The three divisions of instruments are pulsa
tile, wind, strings, and the three appear to have
been adopted in this order. The wind, it is said,
has never been cultivated where the drum, in some
form, had not been in previous use, nor the strings
where the pipe had not first been adopted.

The earliest form of music was homophonic,
that is, one single part or melody. Helmholtz
informs us that this kind still obtains in China >
India, and among the Arabs, Turks, and the
modern Greeks, notwithstanding the greatly de
veloped systems of music possessed by some of
these people.

The Pentatonic or five-note scale is the most
ancient. It is found -not only among the Chinese,
but also the other branches of the Mongol race,
the Malays of Java and Sumatra, the inhabitants
of Hudson’s Bay, and of New Guinea, the Fullah
negroes, the inhabitants of North Africa and of
Abyssinia, the Fijians, Hindoos, Siamese, Afghans,
and in Asia generally, also in Mexico, Scotland,
and Ireland. It is also said to be the natural

1 6 Mediaeval Music

scale with very young children Olympus intro
duced the Asiatic flute with a scale of five notes
into Greece, where the scale was at one period m
use *

The national instrument of Greece was the lyre
or phormmx It had four strings of equal length,
but of varying thicknesses, in the absence of a
finger-board, the strings could produce, on being
plucked, the notes only to which they were tuned

Instrumental solo playing was of purely Asiatic
origin, and in this way only was the Greek lyre
used , it never accompanied the voice Before a
recitation, a few notes by way of a prelude or
introduction were twanged on it, possibly for the
double purpose of arresting the attention of the
auditory and of giving the pitch to the reciter

Thus was the lyre, and the method of using it,
to the time of Terpander, the ^Eolian, a native of
Lesbos, the then centre of Greek civilization and
refinement, who flourished c 780 700 B c

Terpander not only increased the number of
the notes of the scale, but also the number of the
strings on the lyre to correspond to them , he also
introduced great improvements in the manner of
using the instrument

A period of his life was spent in the service of
the priests at Delphi, whilst here he is credited
with having been the composer of hymns, called

* Engel, ‘ Music of the Most Ancient Nations,’ Chaptei IV

Music of the Early Greeks 17

nomes or laws, because the words were accom
panied with the lyre in a regular and systematic
order, a note for every syllable, for the first time.*
At another period he visited Sparta, the centre
of the Dorian civilization, by request, to reform
the music. The Dorian scale he found differed
from his own, the uiEolian; it comprised the
notes E F G A :

-<S> ”

whereas the Moli&n embraced the notes A B D E :

To these notes the strings of the respective lyres
were tuned.

It is not unlikely, therefore, that to him is the
credit due of joining the two scales at the common
note A ; the C in the ^Eolian portion of this octave
scale was omitted, being out of tune, owing to the
method in vogue of tuning the lyre, by which the
interval from A to C was greater than a major
third, whilst the interval from C to E was much
less than a minor third. This improved and
extended scale of seven notes Terpander applied
* Plutarch, c De Mus.,’ 28.


1 8 Medieval Music

to the lyre of the Greeks by the addition of three
strings corresponding to the three notes B D E :


To Sappho, the poetess (c. 610), of Mitylene in
the Island of Lesbos, has been ascribed the
introduction into Greece of the Babylonian scale

___, .., ? -“”71

formed of two tetrachords conjoined at E ; and also
the use of the plectrum.*

An effort was made to assimilate the symmetry
of this seven-note scale of Sappho’s. It was
accomplished, possibly by Terpancler, by lowering
B in the highest tetrachord of his seven-note scale a
semitone, filling up the gap between B and D, and
omitting the upper E :t
* Plutarch, ‘ De Mus.,’ 16; Rowbotham, ‘ H. of M,, 1 II 136,
Suidas, art. l Sappho.’
t Rowbotham, ii. 52,

Music of the Early Greeks 19

The scale remained in this form to the time of
Pythagoras. 1 *

The method of using the lyre was still further
improved by one Archilochus, o. 680 B.C., a poet
of Pares, the accredited inventor of the elegy and
classic Iambic, a contemporary of Terpander.
Part of his life was spent in the gold-fields of
Thasos, a small island in the ^Egean Sea. Whilst
here he was brought into contact with traders
from Tyre, in Phoenicia, from whom he obtained,
and learnt how to use, an lambuca, a triangular-
shaped instrument, very closely resembling the
Egyptian Sambuca, The method of using this
instrument differed considerably from the accepted
custom of the Greeks with their lyre. The
Greeks accompanied the songs note for note with
the voice, whereas the accompaniment on the
lambuca was absolutely free and independent of
the voice, and was played above it, the melody
being in the bass.f

A true tetrachord with the Greeks always began
with a semitone, and proceeded upwards in this
order : semitone tone tone.

* Rowbotham, ii, 139,

f Plutarch, ‘ De Mus,/ cap. 28.



THE ancient Egyptians, it is inferred from the
contemporary sculptures and representa
tions found in the tombs at Gizeh and elsewhere,
were conversant with the diatonic system, prob
ably as much so as we of the nineteenth century.
The tombs of the great Pyramid of the kings at
Gizeh are as early as the sixth year of Usertesen II,,
taking us back to a period nearly three thousand
years before Christ.

Actual instruments found also in the tombs, not
only support, but prove unquestionably and beyond
all doubt this fact * A pair of double flutes dis
covered in the tomb of the Lady Maket by Mr.
Flinders Petrie, F.S.A., whilst excavating in the
Fayoum, are fully and admirably described, with
illustrations, in the ‘ Proceedings of the Musical

* Musical Times, vol. xxxi.

The Music of the East 21

Association,’ 1890-1891, by Mr. T. L. Southgate,
who also played upon them at the Royal Academy
of Music, to an English audience, some 4,000 years
after they had been made.

Mr. Southgate* proved conclusively, from these
and other ancient Egyptian flutes, that the scale
of ancient Egypt was the same as our own ; and
that long before the Greeks had a scale at all, the
Egyptians were using every note which we employ
in our modern music. To this wonderful and
mysterious people we are indebted for our scale*
The Greek philosophers were merely the inter
mediaries in the descent of music, and were not
the inventors of the scale as has been commonly

Fragments of these may be seen in the Louvre,
the British, Paris, Florence and Leyden museums,
and illustrations of these instruments will be
found . in the three volumes on the * Manners
and Customs of Ancient Egypt,’ by the late
Gardner Wilkinson, and notably in Rosellini’s
splendid work.

Their scale is assumed to have been diatonic,
whilst for their instruments portions of the Chro
matic and Enharmonic scales were employed.
The latter scale comprised two quarter tones in
the place of each of the two semitones and a major

* t Proceedings of the Musical Association,’ 1890-1891.

22 Mediaeval Music

third in succession.* An account of the wonderful
flute found at Akhmin, giving these intervals, has
been described by Mr, T. L. Southgate.t

The musical systems of Babylon, Assyria,
Nineveh and Phoenicia, were probably very simi
lar, if they were not identical with that of the

From the diminutive size of the instruments of
the Assyrians, as depicted, it is a reasonable sup
position that they were partial to shrill, high-
sounding notes, while the Egyptians, on the other
hand, from the ponderous size of the majority of
the harps depicted in the tombs, would seerai to
have favoured deep low sounds.

The lute or guitar tribe of instruments of
Egypt, unlike those of early Greece, were
furnished with a finger-board, enabling the sound
ing of two or more notes at one and the same
time, as is done on the modern violin and instru
ments of that species in our own day.

Each separate body of vocal and instrumental
performers was, according to the wall pictures,
provided with one or more performers keeping
time by clapping their hands, a proof that their
music was rhythmical.

The orchestras show combinations of instru
ments of various shapes and sizes of wind and

* Engel’s ‘ Music of the Most Ancient Nations,’ 164,
t ‘Proceedings of the Musical Association/ 1890-1891,

The Music of the East 23

string being employed together This, with our
knowledge of their being able to produce different
notes simultaneously on their lyres, is fair pre
sumption that harmony was known to and prac
tised by them

The diatonic scale of Egypt has been proved,
from original instruments found in the tombs, to
have been the same as the Babylonian one said to
have been introduced into Greece by Sappho*
(c 610), and which was incorporated with that of

Egypt, until the reign of Psammetichus I , was
as impenetrable to the Greeks as the interior of
China is to Europeans at the present day

Psammetichus 1 , 666600 B c , threw Egypt
open to the Greeks, who were not slow to avail
themselves of the opportunity afforded them , and
from this period is to be traced the great advances
in all those arts and sciences in which afterwards
they so signally excelled

Can it for a moment be doubted but that the
Greeks, having borrowed both the lyre, the flute,
and the scale from Egypt, would hesitate to adopt
and incorporate into their musical system the
‘ harmony ‘ of that people also ? That they did
use harmony is certain, but of course it was not
so fully and completely developed as is our
modern system , with the finger-board added to
* Plutarch, 16

24 Mediaeval Music

their lyres they certainly possessed the means of
making or combining any notes.

The harps of Egypt, strange to say, are always
represented without a post to support the frame
bearing the great strain of the strings* so their
tone could only have been feeble.

The systems of notation adopted by the Egyp
tians, Assyrians, Hebrews, etc., are unknown.
With reference to that of Chaldsea, Sir Henry
Rawlinson en passant states in his account of
the clay tablets found at Nineveh, writing in
April, 1853 : ‘ On the clay tablets which we have
found at Nineveh, and which are now to be
counted by thousands, there are explanatory
treatises on almost every subject under the sun ;
the art of writing grammars and dictionaries,
notation, weights and measures, divisions of time,

The Chinese and Japanese use the same dia
tonic scale as we employ, but the music of the
Egyptians, Persians, and portions of Turkey in
Asia seems to be founded on the Arab scale, which
itself is probably derived from the more ancient
and complex system of the Hindoos, a system
which divides its octave into twenty-two notes.

* Chappell, ‘History of Music 7 ; Gardner Wilkinson’s
c Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, 1 corrected
by S. Birch, 3 vols., 1878.



PYTHAGORAS, the philosopher, born in
Samos B.C. 571, died 497, when about
twenty years of age went to Egypt and Chaldea,
where he spent some years investigating the sub
ject of the immortality of the soul, and other
matters. To him has been ascribed a further
extension of the Greek scale, and the increasing
of the number of strings on the lyre to fifteen.

The two systems which bear his name are
known as (i) the lesser or conjunct, and (2) the
greater or disjunct systems.

The lesser or conjunct system comprised the
scale of Sappho, the proslambanomenos or added
note below, with the upper tetrachord of Terpan-
der’s later and improved scale added or conjoined
above at ‘a/ the tetrachords of Sappho and Ter-
pander overlapping and being united or conjoined
at E and A : hence the term conjunct :
26 Mediaeval Music

The tetrachords are marked off for clearness.

The greater or disjunct system consisted of
Sappho’s scale with the proslambanomenos below,
and repeated at the distance of an octave above,
forming a complete scale of two octaves. The
second and third tetrachords are disjointed at ‘ a,’
hence the term ‘ disjunct system. 5
These scales were transposed to any pitch

The proslambanomenos, or added note, was a
note placed at the bottom of the scale, which
although used and counted from, was not reckoned
as part of the scale proper, because of the Greek
rule, which required that each tetrachord should
commence with a semitone.


Four kinds of modulation, mutation, or change
were admitted :*

I. Genus, i.e., from diatonic to chromatic or
enharmonic. From chromatic to diatonic or en
harmonic. From enharmonic to diatonic or

II. System, i.e., from the greater to the lesser or
lesser to the greater systems.

* Chappell, 103. Euclid, p. 20.

Pythagorean Systems 27

III. Pitch, i.e., usually from a closely allied ‘key’
by taking the fourth above or below for the new
mese or key-note, which necessitated the addition
of but one sharp or flat more or less than required
by the mode or key from which the transposition
was made, as from Dorian to Hypo-Dorian, or
Mixo-Lydian modes.

IV. Melopoeia, or change from gay to grave, and
so on.

The ‘ key-note ‘ was forbidden, under any
circumstances, to be approached by an interval

less than a tone.


,p, , Hyper- ) was used to express the f above
i ne term y interval of a fourth ^ below

Hyper-Dorian A = modern sub-

as Dorian E-

Hypo-Dorian B = modern domi

The names of the modes were afterwards changed
and were known as follows :
Mixo-Lydian =the key of G minor

Lydian = ,, F ,,

Phrygian = E

Dorian or Hypo-Mixo-Lydian= D ,,
Hypo-Lydian = C

Hypo-Phrygian == B

Hypo-Dorian = A ,,

When applied to the lyre, the Lydian and Hypo-

28 Mediaeval Music

Lydian modes were taken a semitone higher, Fff
and Cj minor being their equivalent modes, for
reasons explained on page 32.


The key-note of the Greek modes was called
the mese, because, instead of being the first note of
the mode or scale, as is customary with us, it was
the middle note of the octave, or rather of the scale
of seven notes ; the eighth was not counted,
being but a repetition of the first note at a higher
pitch. From the mese or middle note, the octave
was reckoned by counting four notes down, from,
and including it, to five notes upwards from it ; thus,
in the Dorian mode the mese was G, and the
fourth note below and the fifth above it = D, d,
and within the range D d the octave of the
Dorian mode lay.

The mese may be likened to the key-stone in
the arch, it holds and binds together the two
tetrachords forming the octave.

But when a scale of two octaves was employed,
the term mese, the middle note, was also applied
to the note at the junction of the two octaves.
Thus, in the Hypo-Dorian mode of two octaves,
the note c a’ in the middle of the two octaves extend
ing from A a a was called the mese. The mese,
therefore, had two meanings : in one case it
represented the key-note, i.e., the fourth note,

Pythagorean Systems 29

and in the other the eighth the fourth note, how
ever, was still the mese of each of the two octaves
It was, therefore, always the middle note of a scale
or mode, and of both single and double octaves

‘All the supposed inscrutability of the Greek
modes rests upon the misunderstanding of this
simple point the difference between a complete
Greek scale of two octaves and a single octave of
the same It is that difference only which made
them an msolvable riddle to Sir John Hawkins, as
well as to others both before and after his time ‘
* If the Greeks would but have changed the name
of their key note to one less misleading, when they
made their lyres of eight or ten strings, it can
hardly be supposed that their system could have
remained so long a mystery to the moderns, or
that the thorough identity of the Greek with our
old minor scale should not have been perceived ‘*

In either case the mese, in its original place the
fourth note can be found , in any mode or portion
of a mode or octave, it is that note, which, counting
from and including it, has the interval of a semi
tone between the second and third notes, both
above and below it The mese being found, the
mode of which it is the key note is always that
which lies within the intervals of a fourth below
and a fifth above it When the scale includes
two octaves, the second octave is but a repetition
of the lower one, at a higher or lower pitch
* Chappell’s <H of M ,’ pp 84 5


Mediaeval Music



Q w


^ 3| |

3 ” III
O fc W
” X-.S
o [i, iij


O fc W
^ i -o ja ro
1 3l f I

I – Illl

1 11

g, 83 P<

PsnJ rtfer^

e -s^

,g w a fl

fc W Q


Pythagorean Systems 31

The semitones, it will be observed in Diagram A,
occupy the first place, that is, they occur at the
beginning of each scale, and of all the above
tetrachords forming the scale, the proslambano
menos not being reckoned as a note of the scale,
though used The white keys of our organs,
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, form the intervals of the
ancient Egyptian and Greek diatonic scale

The diagrams of Alypius, of Claudius Ptolemy*
and others, down to that of Boethms, all alike
prove that one Greek scale differed from another
m nothing but pitch ‘ The tones/ says Bryenmus,
‘ differ from one another in no other respect than
m their positions as to acuteness and gravity, as
has already been shown ‘ Kal <yhp ovSez/i frepp ol
rovoi a\\7J\.o)v Sievrjvoxacrw, eu ^ r< re o^vrepq*
Kal /3apvT& roTTco 7^9 re 9c*>vr)$ teal rov opyavov a?
ev TOT? e^TTp’o? 6ev SeSeitcrat, f

When tuning the octave, or seven stringed lyre,
the Greeks had a rule that the first string should
no matter what the mode was be constant , it
never varied, somewhat after the custom we have
of tuning one of the strings of our violins and
other instruments of that class to A, from which
all the other strings are then regulated

* Harmonicorum Libn ties ex Codd MSS , ed J Wallis,
Oxonn, 1682, 4to
t Bryenmus, p 481, fol, Walhs’s ed , Chappell, i 115 116

32 Medieval Music

The first or lowest string of the lyre is usually
taken to have been A, and the other strings were
tuned from it To obviate the difficulty with the
Lydian and Hypo – Lydian modes which re
quired the A to be flat, these modes, as before
mentioned, were taken a semitone higher m Fjf
and C| minor respectively

Now, it is obvious that with the first string
always tuned to A, one only of the modes could
ever be applied to the lyre m its entirety What
was done, therefore, was this that portion of each
mode was taken, starting from A and proceeding
upwards, and applied to the lyre, 01 rather the
strings of the lyre were tuned to correspond with
the notes of the particular mode from this point
upwards the portions of each mode below A and
above g or a had of necessity to be omitted
The diagram B, p 34> explains this clearly
The only mode which could be applied in its
entirety was the Hypo Donan The vertical lines
contain the limited portion of each mode which it
was possible to transfer to the lyre

The semitones m the modes never vaned, they
always occurred between the first and second
intervals, excluding the proslambanomcnos, and
between the fourth and fifth

In the diagram, it will be seen that m those
portions of the modes between the vertical lines
to which the lyre was tuned, the semitones occur

Pythagorean Systems 33

in different places in each. Now, if these portions
are transposed to the key of A minor they appear
as in the diagram C. Compare these with the
mediaeval modes in Chapter VIIL, which have
not, however, the same names. The names to
the modes under (i) are the true Greek names,
those under (2) are the false Greek names given
to the Mediaeval modes by Glareanus, born 1488,
died 1563. It will be seen there is no affinity
between them, except with the Hypo-Dorian mode.

The Dorian mode always occupied the middle
of the system of modes. Each transposition,
which we term key, bore the name of some
Greek province.

If the method of tuning the lyre, as above de
scribed, is clearly understood, it will be obvious how
great would be the confusion caused by taking
the portions of the true scales on the lyre to be the
complete scales themselves. A careful study of
the diagrams B and C should render any such
course an impossibility. One continuous proof
runs throughout all ancient treatises on Greek
music, that every mode or scale was tuned in
precisely the same way, viz., always to its own
mese or keynote. For that reason alone it must
have been identical as to intervals, just as are
modern scales.*

Chappell, 115.


Medieval Music
Pythagorean Systems 35


The portions of each scale which could alone be pro
duced on the Lyre.

Portion on the Lyre.

The same transposed to
the key of A minor.

_^_Q MM J



**”” 1


7/4tf j//;a// lines under the notes mark the semitones*



THE greatest of all improvements was made in
the second century of the Christian era by
Claudius Ptolemy, an Egyptian mathematician,
born at Pelusium, who flourished 139 A.D. He in
sisted on a scale of not less than two octaves,*
and rejected, therefore, the lesser system of
Pythagoras,t and adopted the greater system; and
here was the great improvement, which has con
tinued to the present time- The tones in both
the octaves were all major, and consequently
sounded very harsh ; he therefore ruled that the
tones between the intervals of the fourth and fifth,
and between the seventh and eighth, including
the proslambanomenos, should be minor. This
order of major and minor tones produced an effect
exactly the same as our old or true minor mode
does when played in tune.

* Chappell, 93. t Ibid.) 92,

The Christian Era 37

A B = major tone, f
B C = semitone,
C D = major tone,
D- E = minor tone, ^
E F = semitone,
F G = major tone, f
G A = minor tone, -V 1

f3 major tones \ (The seven notes
– = -j 2 minor tones [ = j of the diatonic
12 semitones J I scale.

These eight modes of Ptolemy’s were formed
by a series of six perfect fourths, taken upwards,
or of perfect fifths downwards, starting from any
note of the diatonic scale, and arranged in alpha-
b etical order from the lowest note upwards, with
the proslambanomenos placed a whole tone be
fore this lowest note. Example : Let B equal
the note, then B to E, E to A, A to D, D to G,
G to C, C to F=B C D E F G A; place the
proslambanomenos a whole tone below B, and
the result is this scale, A B C D E F G A, or the
first octave of the Hypo-Dorian mode.

The diagram D, p. 39, founded upon one by
Zarlino, shows the perfected system of Ptolemy in
a clear manner.

The difference between a major tone and a
minor tone is f $. The upper note in a major
tone has nine vibrations to every eight of the lower
note, hence a major tone = I, while in a minor
tone the proportions are ^f- 9 and x &=.

The diminishing of the interval between the
seventh and eighth degrees of the octave, from a
major to a minor tone, was the first step towards

38 Mediaeval Music

the ultimate substitution of a semitone for a tone
between the interval of the seventh and eighth,
which modern music for some reason deems a
necessity (Chappell and others).

Lines and spaces, clefs and notes, as we under
stand the terms, were unknown prior to the
twelfth century.

The major scale does not appear to have been
generally adopted before the latter part of the
sixteenth century.

Ptolemy, to bring the octave of all the modes into
the middle of the voice, lowered or transposed
the seven scales the eighth being but a repetition
of the first at a higher pitch a fourth downwards.
The diagram E pp. 40-41 contains, side by side,
for clearness, the positions of the original and
transposed scales at the interval of a fourth.

This lowering of the strings necessitated the
use of either larger instruments or thicker strings.
The vertical lines mark off the portion of the
modes which could be accompanied on the lyre.

The proslambanomenos still appears as if it were
a part of the system, and consequently the semi
tone in each of the two tetrachords forming the
two octaves, seems to occur between the second and
third degrees of the .scale A B C D, D EF G.

The tendency to move the semitone upwards,
and the various attempts made to accomplish this,
form not one of the least interesting subjects for

The Christian Era


The Syntonus or Intense Diatonic.

r greater semitone in the ratio of f.

The diatonic tetrachord =J a major tone 5> .

la minor tone ,, ,, ^.

The diapason = an octave (dia, through ; p<tson> all), in the ratio

The diapente = a fifth (dia, through \ J>ente, five), in the ratio


The diatessaron = a fourth (dia, through ; tessaron, four), in the
ratio off.










Hie rule for finding the roese, and th||ey, is described in Chapter III, p, 28,




A NTIPHONAL singing was essentially anti-
1~\ Greek, introduced from Jewish and Syrian
customs ; witness the tradition which ascribes its
introduction to St. Ignatius of Antioch, who was
martyred about A.D. 107. It appears to have been
incorporated into the service of the Church so
early as no A.D. ; for Pliny the younger, who in the
second century had been appointed Pro-consul of
Bithynia, reporting to the Emperor Trajan con
cerning the Christians, declared that, having
examined many of them, he found the chief of their
faults or errors was that they were ‘ accustomed to
meet before daylight on a certain day and sing
among themselves alternately seem invicemz
hymn to Christ as God.’

St. Irenseus, a native of Asia Minor, and Bishop
of Lyons in Gaul 177, is said to have intro-

The Christian Era 43

duced into his diocese a Liturgy called by some
the Ephesine Liturgy, but which is better known
as the Old Gallican Liturgy, and there is some
evidence that this Old Gallican Liturgy was used
in the British Isles before and after the coming
of St. Augustine in 596 ; St. Ignatius is reputed
to have introduced antiphonal singing into the
musical services of the Gallican Church in the

Sylvester, Bishop of Rome 314-336, is supposed
to have been the first to found singing schools at
Rome, and in several towns where the Christian
religion had become implanted.

During the episcopacy of Leontius, the semi-
Arian, c. 350, who organized processions through
the city, crying out, * Where are they who assert
that the Son is as great as the Father?’ and
singing, ‘ Glory be to the Father, in the Son, and by
the Holy Ghost/ there were also in Antioch two
laymen, of great repute for the sanctity of their
lives, afterwards consecrated, the one Flavian,
Bishop of Antioch, and the other Diodorus,
Bishop of Tarsus. These holy men endeavoured
to counteract the heresy of Leontius and his
following, and, to further this end, organized
counter-processions, going about the city, after
the manner of the Arians, carrying lighted tapers
in their hands, walking in couples, and singing,
* Hawkins, i. 105.

44 Mediaeval Music

‘ Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to
the Holy Ghost/ thus giving, as the Church has
ever since, equal glory and praise to the three
Persons in the one blessed and ever undivided
Trinity. The method of singing was antiphonal,
the men singing one verse, the boys responding.
This antiphonal singing was exceedingly popular,
and became almost universal.* Its popularity is
said to have materially aided in drawing the people
from their attendance at the heretical services of
Leontius, the singing captivating the people.

St. Basil, Archbishop of Caesarea 371, d. 379,
was partly educated in Athens, where he became
acquainted with the antiphonal method of singing
known as the Alexandrian style, which was rather
speaking than singing, through the example of
St. Athanasius. He introduced the melodies of
the chanters of Antioch, and antiphonal singing
after the model of the singing in Egypt, Lydia,
Thebes, Palestine, and amongst the Arabians,
the Phoenicians, Syrians, and Mesopotamians,
into the 150 sees in his province on sandy Csesarea.
To this and other innovations some of his clergy
notably Sabellus and Marcellus in 363 ob
jected, and took ( occasion to incense the Church

* Full authorities on the point of antiphonary and anti-
phonal singing are given p. n, Chappell’s ‘ H. of M.’ Greek
antiphonal is our congregational singing ; where men sing,
naturally, the corresponding sounds an octave below women
and children.

The Christian Era 45

against him, as having been the author of new
devices in the service of God.’*

Damasus, Bishop of Rome 367-384, introduced
the custom of chanting, instead of reciting the
Psalms, into the Western Church and ordered
they should terminate with the Gloria Patri, etc.

St. Ambrose, once the governor of Liguria,
and who began life as a Roman magistrate,
became the eighth day after his baptism Bishop
of Milan, in the north of Italy, 374, being then
thirty-four years of age ; he died 398. He had a
great admiration for St. Basil, whose music and
antiphonal method of singing he introduced into

He is frequently quoted, without any authority
whatsoever, as having founded, or introduced, a
system of music peculiar in its use and adoption
by the Church, fancifully called Ambrosian music,
or the use of Milan.

St. Ambrose never claimed such honour ; on the
contrary, in a letter to his sister, St. Marcelona,
he wrote that he merely wished to take upon
himself the task of regulating the tonality, and the
mode of execution of the hymns, psalms, and
antiphons, that were sung in the church which he
had founded at Milan.

There is some probability that his task consisted

* Hawkins (Novello’s ed.), i. 106 ; ‘ Vales, in Socrat.,’
lib. iv., cap. xxvi.

46 Mediaeval Music

in the introduction of instrumental music as well
as antiphonal singing into his diocese, he also
ordained that the psalms and hymns should be
sung after the style of the oriental churches, as St
Basil had done

St John Chrysostom 380, died 407, was
ordained deacon by Meletms, and priest or pres
byter by Flavian, Bishop of Antioch He was
consecrated Archbishop of Constantinople 380,
in which place he introduced the antiphonal sing
ing and ceremonial gf Antioch

The ‘ Te Deum/ set to music, and known as the
Ambrosian * Te Deum/ was not the work of St
Ambrose + The hymn itself did not exist until
long after the deaths of St Ambrose and St

St Celestme, Bishop of Rome 422 432, is
said to have ordained that the psalms should
be chanted through at the beginning of, or rathei
before, Mass, in the course of the year, by taking
sometimes one and sometimes another , and they
were called the Introits, because sung whilst the
priest entered, after vesting., and were sung
antiphonally, one side of the choir responding to
the other

The early Christians, having adopted the anti
phonal method of singing in use in Antioch, and

* Hawkins’ * History of Music, 3 vol i , p 107, note a ,
Novello’s edition

The Christian Era 47

introduced it into the West, made use of also,
there can be little doubt, the musical system of
Greece as finally settled by Claudius Ptolemy.

The musical system, as arranged by Claudius
Ptolemy, was common to the Church, the theatre,
and to the laity generally, with such modifications
as we shall presently see.



TO St, Gregory L, the Great, Bishop of Rome
590-604, is ascribed by writer after writer,
musical historian after historian, none ever quoting
an authority in proof of their assertions or in sup
port of them :

(1) The compilation of an Antiphonary.

(2) The founding of a musical school in Rome.

(3) The invention, or arrangement or re
arrangement of a system of music peculiar to the

(4) The introduction of a system of notation by
means of Roman letters.

These fictions on examination vanish, like
smoke, into thin air.

(i) Did St. Gregory compile an Antiphonary ?

Platina, in his ‘ Lives of the Popes/ who en passant
does not mention or connect any Antiphonary with
St. Gregory the Great, informs us that Melchiades,
who was Bishop of Rome, 311-314, ordained, that
no Christian should keep a fast upon a Sunday or

St. Gregory the Great 49

a Thursday, because those days were so observed
and kept by the pagans.

In the year 589 the Council of Narbonne, by
Canon XV. solemnly condemned the observance
of Thursdays by the Churc^ in any way, because
that day was held sacred to Jupiter, and so kept
not only by the pagans, but by many of the
Christians also.

This prohibition remained in force until the
episcopacy of Gregory II., who occupied the See
of Rome, 716-731. This prelate enjoined the
celebration of the sacred rites on the Thursdays in
Lent only.

How remarkably this last detail is confirmed by
the Liturgical books, has been well pointed out
by Mons. Gevaert,* The Gelasian Sacramen-
tary, at the end of the seventh century, does not
provide a single Mass for any one of the Thursdays
in Lent, and yet in that ascribed to St. Gregory I.,
at a time, too, when the observance of these days
was solemnly forbidden, we find a Mass assigned
to each, and the music apportioned to them is not
new, but is borrowed from the Sundays after
Trinity, or as they are termed in the Roman
service books, e after Pentecost ;’ they had no place
in the Gelasian Sacramentary, being unknown
until the end of the seventh or beginning of the

*. *Les engines du Chant Liturgique de l^glise latine,’


50 Mediaeval Music

eighth century. Trinity Sunday was not invented
till the eleventh or twelfth centuries.

The fact that the music was borrowed from pre
existing offices for the Sundays after Pentecost,
and not new composed for these Thursday Masses,
is reasonable proof that few, if any, melodies were
composed under either Gregory II. or Gregory III.
The Masses from which those for the Thursdays
in Lent borrowed their music do not, as before
stated, appear in the Gelasian Sacramentary, and
therefore were not in existence before the close ot
the seventh century.

St. Gregory I. has left us, in addition to a large
number of theological tracts and homilies, a
voluminous correspondence, including no less
than 800 letters, covering the whole of the public
as well as private life during his thirteen years’
episcopacy. In these there is not a single line,
allusion, or hint of any kind respecting either tfye
chant of the Church or of an Antiphonary.

Of ancient writers, there is but one, and one
only, who attributes the compilation of an Anti
phonary to St. Gregory I. John the Deacon, who
flourished c. 880, that is, about 286 years after the
death of Gregory I., whose assertions have re
mained uncorroborated to this day.

There is not an allusion in either the epitaph of
Gregory, nor the description of the Liber Pon-
tificalis, nor in any biography or eulogium of him.

St Gregory the Great 51

Isidore of Seville, Bp. 601, d. 636, his contem
porary, the Venerable Bede d. 735 in the next
century, Paul Warnefried under the Emperor
Charles the Great do not make the remotest
mention of or allusion to it. With regard to
Isidore and Bede, who were so much interested
and concerned with the Liturgy, hoth of them
being &lsd musical writers, the silence is more
remarkaSTe and significant.

^The attribution of the Antiphonary to St.
Gregory I. rests Ttben on the sole and uncorro
borated statement of John the Deacon; save
this one, all are silent on the matter.

The first record we have of the existence of an
Antiphonary is that of Paul I., Bishop of Rome
757-767, who sent one to Pippin, father of Charles
the Great, in 760, in which the music for the great
festivals is of the same character as that for offices
only introduced in the time of Sergius I., Bishop of
Rome 687, d. 701, who was a native of Palermo, of
Syrian parentage, and became master of the Choir
School at Rome. It is to him that Mons.
Gevaert attributes the principal part in the com
posing of these melodies, which were afterwards
collected and edited, he believes, by Gregory III.,
Bishop of Rome 731-741.

The documents from which John the Deacon
bases his assertions do not in any particular agree
with the calendar of the time of Gregory I.,

52 Mediaeval Music

whereas they do with that of the Roman Liturgy
at the beginning of the period 750. In con
sequence, the compilation of the Roman Anti-
phonary is antedated more than a century, and
therefore, says Gevaert, ‘ if the epithet ” Gre
gorian ” has any real import, it implies that of
Gregory II., Bishop of Rome 715-731, or, with
more reason, to his successor, Gregory III., 731-

(2) The founding of a musical school in Rome
by St. Gregory I. may, in the absence of one
tittle of evidence other than that of the romancing
John the Deacon, be dismissed at once as a

(3) It seems hardly necessary to discuss
seriously the question of his having invented, im
proved, or arranged any system of music, peculiar
or otherwise to the services of the Church, after
what has been stated above ; suffice it to add that,
in support of any such theory, of proof there is
none of any kind. On the contrary, St. Gregory I.
appears to have been very indifferent to, and to
have taken the very slightest interest in, Church

In a synod of 595, he says : ‘ In this Holy Church
of Rome, which Providence has placed under my
direction, it has for a long time been a repre
hensible custom, and worthy of note, for the
sacred ministry of singers, before entering into

St. Gregory the Great 53

Deacon’s orders, to devote their whole time to the
cultivation of their voices, altogether neglecting
their office of preaching and of the distribution of
alms ; and the priests, each cultivating his organ
to attain an edifying voice, irritating God, while
they please the people with their accents,’ he
decrees ‘that the Deacons shall not sing at all,
except in the recitation of the Gospels in the
Masses. As for the chants of the Liturgy, they
shall be executed by the Sub-Deacons, or, if
necessary, by the clerks of inferior degree. 5 *

(4) The invention of any system of notation
cannot be attributed to St. Gregory I. Isidore,
his contemporary, distinctly declares that no means
of recording music existed in his day, and further
that, ‘ unless sounds are retained in the memory,
they perish, because they cannot be written.’t
Amalarius Fortunatus, a principal ecclesiastic in
the chapel of Lewis the Debonnaire, who was sent
by Lewis to request of Gregory IV. 3 Bishop of
Rome 827-844, a sufficient number of singers to
instruct the people, tells us that * neither were
there in Gaul or at Rome any books wherein it ‘
the chant ‘ had been written.’

It is certain, therefore, that the music known
under the erroneous terms f Church music/ or

* Gevaert.

f * Nisi enim ab homine memoria teneantur, soul pereunt,
quia scribi non possunL’ Bk. iiL, ”Origines] or ‘Etymologies.’

54 Mediaeval Music

‘ Gregorian,’ was the invention of neither St.
Gregory nor any other one man, but a recognised
system, of gradual growth and development, the
heritage of Church and lay folk alike.

It is quite a mistake to suppose that what is
called * Gregorian music ‘ is of the age of St.
Gregory. The word means nothing more than
the ‘ use of Rome.’ ‘ Nos Gregoriani et nos
Ambrosiani,’ * We who follow the use of Rome,
and we who follow the use of Milan.’* It is more
than probable, almost certain, that the system of
music to which St. Gregory’s name has, without
any reason, been assigned, came into existence
between the eighth and tenth centuries. It was
unknown in the days of Hucbald or of Notker,
the monk and abbot of St. Gall, in the tenth
century. Hucbald distinctly states that his tetra-
chords have the same succession of intervals,
whether taken up or down see Chapter IX.
Notker says, in his ‘ De Octo Tonis/ that every
chant of the first and second tones ends in B, of
the third and fourth in C, of the fifth and sixth in
D, and of the seventh and eighth in E, which
differs much from the law of later times. f

The modern ‘ Gregorian tones ‘ have been
changed by altering the positions of the semi-

* * Dictionary of Musical Terms,’ Stainer and Barrett,
1 Notation;
t Ibid.

St Gregory the Great 55

tones in the scales The first and second of later
dates end on D, the third and fourth on E, the
fifth and sixth on F, and the seventh and eighth
on G The music cannot be the same, because
the intervals follow in a different succession *

At the Synod of Cloveshoo, 747, while the
churches of the Anglo-Saxons are instructed to
regulate the liturgical chants, particularly those of
the Mass, on the official version sent from Rome,
no single allusion is made to, or the slightest hint
given of, a book of chants bearing the name of
St Gregory


Canon XIII

Among the Canons of Elfnc, A D 957, occurs
the following Now it concerns Mass-priests and
all God’s servants to keep their churches employed
with divine service Let them sing therein the
seven tide-songs that are appointed them, as the
synod earnestly requires, viz , the uht song, the
prime song, the undern song, the mid-day song
12 o’clock, the noon-song the hora nona, our
3 o’clock, the even-song, the seventh or night
song ‘ Canon XIX , and again * The Priest shall
have the furniture for his ghostly work before he
is ordained, that is, the holy books, the psalter

* * Dictionary of Musical Terms, 7 Stamer and Barrett,
* Notation.’

56 Mediaeval Music

and the pistol-book, gospel-book, mass-book, the
song-book, the hand-book, the kalendar, the
Pasconal, or Martyrology, the Penitential, the
lesson-book. It is necessary that the Mass-priest
have these books, as he cannot do without them,
if he will rightly exercise his function and duly
inform the people that belongeth to him.’ Canon
The Coucher

J Ur , were abolished 3 and 4 Ed-


Processionals .

Mass Books.

The Sacramentary was the priest’s book at the
altar ; it contained the collects, prefaces, and the
canon of the Mass.

The Antiphonary, gradual or graile, was the
choir-book of the Mass ; it contained the anthems
introits, graduals, alleluias, tracts, offertories,
communions, hymns, Sanctus, Creed, Kyrie,
Gloria in excelsis in fact, all the musical
portions of the Mass. That erroneously attri
buted to St. Gregory, of which there is an
imaginary transcript of the tenth century in the
monastery at St. Gall, contains only the following
portions of the service : 96 anthems, 150 introits,

St. Gregory the Great 57

in graduate, 99 alleluias, 23 tracts, 102 offer
tories, 147 communions, 15 responds, and 4
hymns. From internal evidence, other than
what has been pointed out by Mons. Gevaert,
it is quite clear the original cannot possibly be of
earlier date than the latter part of the eighth
century. The probability is that it is not a
transcript of so early a one, but is an original
compilation of the tenth century.

The Epistolarium, or Pistol-book, contained the
epistles, and the Evangeliarium, or Gospel-book,
the gospels.

The Troper, or Sequentiary, the short verses or
tropes after the epistle, together with tags to the
introits, kyries, Gloria in excelsis, Creed, Sanctus,
and other musical portions of the service.

About the eleventh century these are supposed
all to have been merged into the Missal, or Book
of the Mass.

The Ordinal was a directory of divine service,
containing the rubrics, and is by some supposed
to have been the same as the Pye.

The Manual, or Office-book, was the ritual book,
and contained the order for baptism and other
sacraments, blessing of holy water, order of pro
cessions, etc.

Hour Services-

The Breviary, Portiforium, or Portuary, was the
Book of the Seven Hours.

5 8 Mediaeval Music

The Psalter contained the psalms arranged for
the different Hours, and the litany as used on

The Hymnarium, the hymns used at the Hours.

The Collectarium, the collects, orations, capi-
tula, or short lessons used at all the Hour
services except Mattins.

The Legenda, or Lectionary, the long lessons,
from whatever source taken, and read at Mattins,
the Nocturns on Sundays and certain other days.

The Prymer, or Primer, contained the little office
of our Lady, the vigils of the dead and other

The Abbd Duchesne, the latest and best
authority on liturgical matters, assigns the date
of the Gregorian Sacramentary to the eighth
century, and attributes it to be the work, not of
St. Gregory, but of Adrian I., Bishop of Rome

As St. Gregory died in 604, the Sacramentary
and Antiphonary which bear his name are at
least a century and a half later than his time.

The earliest mention of an Antiphonary was
during the episcopate of Paul I. of Rome, 757-


MEDUBVAL MUSIC. A.D. 150-1350,

HPHE Greeks and Romans derived their organs

J[ from ancient Egypt*

Thejeal home of organ-building in Europe was
Constantinople. The primitive organsjrore fur
nished with four, sixoreik^)^ About the

end of the second century the number of pipes
had increased to fifteen, as shown, not only by
engravings on coins, but from the express testimony
of a writer to that effect

By the time of Constantine the Great, at the
beginning of the fourth century, the number of
pipes had been increased to twenty-six. Optation,
c. 324, a court poet of the time, and a master of con
ceits, wrote a poem on an organ, and so arranged
his verse that it exactly represented the appearance
of the instrument itself; that is, the first verse is
of so many letters, the second of one letter more
* Chappdl, i*, xvi.

60 Mediaeval Music

than the first, the third one more than the second,
and so on. The appearance of th verses exactly
imitates the gradual rise of the front pipes of an
organ, pipe after pipe. To these are appended
shorter verses, all of the same length, which stand
for keys, and one is at the bottom of each pipe.
There are twenty-six verses in all, and twenty-six
keys to match. This shows the way organs were
made at this period.

The Emperor Julian, called the Apostate, who
died 363, is the reputed author of a Greek enig
matical epigram, the solution of which is evidently
the pneumatic-organ. It has been literally translated
by the late Dr. Rimbault as follows : ‘ I see a
species of reeds : surely from another and a brazen
soil have they quickly sprung rude. Nor are
they agitated by our winds, but a blast rushing
forth from a cavern of bull’s hide, makes its way
from below the root of reeds with many openings,
and a highly-gifted man, with nimble fingers,
handles the yielding rods of the pipes, while they,
softly bounding, press out a sound.’ The rods
were flat rules of wood. These rules were soon
afterwards, and continued for upwards of five
hundred years, to be called ‘ tongues/ doubtless
from the protruding ends which stood out in front.

There is a curious representation of an organ
depicted among the sculpture on an obelisk at
Constantinople, erected by Theodosius, who died

Introduction of the Organ 61

A – D – 393- An illustration is given in Grove’s
‘ Dictionary of Music and Musicians/ ii., p. 576.

The water-organ, which was a novelty in the
reign of Nero, who died 68, had become so common
and so popular by the time of Honorius, 625-638,
that a nobleman’s house was considered incomplete
without one. Bailable organs which could be
carried by slaves from house to house ^where
concerts or musical gatherings were attended by
their masters, were also made in great numbers.

St. Jerome, who flourished at the end of the
fourth and the beginning of the fifth century,
– 374j died A.D. 420, describes the organ of his
day as being composed of fifteen pipes ; of two
bellows; and of two elephants’ skins united to
serve as a wind-bag.

Cassiodorus, Consul of Rome, in the early part
of the sixth century, who died A.D. 560, aged about
ninety, at his monastery of Viviers, says : e The
organ is like a tower, made of different pipes,
which, by the blowing of bellows, a most copious
sound is secured ; and in order that a suitable
modulation may regulate the sounds, it is con
structed with certain tongues of wood from the
interior, which the fingers of the master, duly
pressing, elicit a full-sounding and most sweet

One is mentioned as existing in the most
ancient city of Grado, in Italy, in a church of the

6 2 Mediaeval Music

nuns anterior to A.D. 580. It is described as being
about two feet long and six inches broad, furnished
with fifteen playing slides and thirty pipes two
to each slide probably either in unison or at the
distance of an octave apart.

The organ was early used in the public service
of the Church. Platina, in his * Lives of the Popes/
says it was first employed for religious worship by
Vitalian I., Bishop of Rome 657-672, but, ac
cording to Julianus, a Spanish bishop, who
flourished A.D. 450, it was in common use in the
churches of Spain at least two hundred years
before Vitalian’s time.

St. Aldhelm or Ealdhelm, 668, died 709, Abbot
of Malmesbury, and afterwards Bishop of Shir-
burn, fully describes the organ in his Laus
Virginitate. This was most likely the English
instrument. At the beginning of the eighth
century, he says : ‘As he listens to mighty
organs, each with its thousand blasts, the ear is
soothed by the sound heard from the wind-giving
bellows, while the rest shines in gilt cases.’ He
also tells us it was the custom of the Anglo-
Saxons to ornament the pipes of their organs by
gilding them.

The Venerable Bede, c. 673, a contemporary of
St. Aldhelm, and who survived him twenty-six years,
died 735, speaks with much minuteness of the
appearance, method of playing, and the musical

Introduction of the Organ 63

effect of the organ of his day ‘ An organum is
a kind of tower made with various pipes, from
which, by the blowing of bellows, a most copious
sound is issued, and that a becoming modulation
may accompany this, it is furnished with certain
wooden tongues from the interior part, which the
master’s fingers skilfully repressing, produce a
grand and most sweet melody’ The organ
appears to have been unknown in Gaul and
Germany at the time of Pippin, father of Charles
the Great, who is credited with having introduced
the singing and ceremonies of the Roman branch
of the Catholic Church into Gaul Being
urgently in need of an organ, both as an aid
to devotion and as a proper accompaniment and
support to the choir, he applied to the Byzantine
Emperor, Constantme, surnamed Copronymus,
soliciting him to forward one to Gaul The
Emperor complied with the request, and in the
year 757 or thereabouts, sent him as a present, in
charge of a special embassy, headed by Stephanus,
a Roman bishop 752-757, a great organ with
leaden pipes, which was placed in the Church of
St Corneille, at Compiegne * An organ, made
by an Arabian named Giafar, c 822-826, was also
sent to Charles the Great, in all probability the
one described by Walafhd Strabo, c 842, as ex
isting in a church at Aachen The following

* Grove’s ‘Dictionary of Music and Musicians/ Art ‘ Organ *

64 Mediaeval Music

account of this latter organ is m the mam from
Rowbotham’s ‘History of Music/ in 259, 260
It was when the Greek ambassadors came to
Aachen on a mission from another Constantme
to Charles the Great, that stones began to spread
about the Court of the wonderful instruments they
had brought with them, and among others of a
complicated instrument made of brazen cylinders,
and bulls’-hide bellows, and pipes, which could
roar as loud as thunder, and yet could be reduced
to the softness of a lyre or tinkling bell To gam
the knowledge of its construction, Charles the Great
sent artizans into the ambassadors’ apartments,
bidding them pretend to employ themselves on
some other labour, but really to examine the
structure of the organ, so that they might make
another like it The organ thus made stood in
the Cathedral of Aachen

A new era in organ-building would seem to
have been inaugurated in the time of Lewis I , the
Pious, who died 840, by the arrival of one George,
a Venetian, a learned priest, at the court of that
monarch His organs were all water organs,
and were not provided with bellows, a retro
gression in the art of organ-building Most of the
instruments spread throughout Gaul and Ger
many at this date were built, if not under his
direct superintendence, on his pattern Withm a
century after George’s time, we know not where-

Introduction of the Organ 65

fore, the home of organ-building had passed from
Italy and Gaul to Germany.

John VIII., Bishop of Rome 872, died 882,
writing from Rome to Bishop Anno in Germany,
said, ‘ Send me the best organ you can procure,
and along with it a tutor, for we have none here.’
England and Germany at this time appear as
centres of organ-buil3ing,71wfience the largest
organs ‘aJe^’said to have come. The bellows,
many of which were used to keep a steady flow
and pressure of wind for as one or more were
filling, the others were exhausting now began to
be provided with feeders, instead of the old
hydraulic arrangement.

The great and spacious monastic and cathedral
churches of the Romanesque period, with their lofty
roofs, were now beginning to cover the land. Im
mense organs, too, came in vogue, suitable to the
large buildings which were to hold them ; the small
organs were totally inadequate, and would have
appeared ridiculous, as well as almost useless, in
such vast buildings. But, although the number
of the pipes, and of the bellows to blow them,
were greatly augmented, we do not find as yet any
addition to the plain diatonic scale, representing
the white keys of our present instruments. The
levers, or ‘keys,’ were.. so- broad, that- it required
the use of the. fists of the player or players to
strike them, hence the term organ-beater.


66 Mediaeval Music

St. Dunstan 924, died 988, was a maker of organs,
and is reputed to have supplied many great
churches with them, including the Abbeys of
Abingdon and Glastonbury. One, which he gave
to the Abbey of Malmesbury, continued in good
playing condition after a lapse of 130 years.

In the same century Count Elwin presented an
organ to the Convent of Ramsey, c. 980-990, with
copper pipes.*

St. Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester 963-984,
made organs with his own hands.t

Mr. Wackerbath,! gives a translation from an
account in Latin by a monk of the name of
Wulstan, who died in 963, of a remarkable tenth-
century organ, erected in Winchester Cathedral
by Bishop Elphege, who died 951 : ‘Such organs
as you have built are seen nowhere, fabricated on
a double ground. Twice six bellows above are
ranged in a row, and fourteen lie below. These,
by alternate blasts, supply an immense quantity of
wind, and are worked by seventy strong men,
labouring with their arms, covered with perspira
tion, each inciting his companions to drive the
wind up with all his strength, that the full-
bosomed box may speak with its four hundred
pipes which the hand of the organist governs.

* Mon. Chron., R.S., 86.

f f Chron. Mon. de Abyngdon/ Rolls S., ii.

J * Music and the Anglo-Saxons, 3 pp. 12-15.

Introduction of the Organ 67

Some when closed he opens, others when open he
closes, as the individual nature of the varied sound
requires. Two brethren religious of concordant
spirit sit at the instrument, and each manages his
own alphabet. There are, moreover, hidden holes
in the forty tongues, and each has ten pipes in
their due order. Some are conducted hither,
others thither, each preserving the proper point
(or situation) for its own note. They strike the
seven differences of joyous sounds, adding the
music of the lyric semitone. Like thunder the
iron tones batter the ear, so that it may receive
no sound but that alone. To such an amount
does it reverberate, echoing in every direction
that everyone stops with his hand his gaping
ears ; being in nowise able to draw near and hear
the sound, which so many combinations produce.
The music is heard throughout the town, and the
flying fame thereof is gone out over the whole
country/ Dr. E. J. Hopkins, in his admirable
account of the ‘ English Mediaeval Church Organ/
pp. 17 and 18, gives an explanation and solution
of this enigma, which he was the first to unravel,
this result having also been published, with an illus
tration of the instrument, a few years ago in the
article on the organ in Grove’s Dictionary. ‘ The
musical scale,’ he says, * simply consisted of the
seven diatonic sounds, corresponding with the
sounds of the white keys of a modern pianoforte,

68 Mediaeval Music

with ” the music of the lyric semitone/’ or B flat,
added. No indication whatever can be traced as
to the ranges of the three sets of playing-slides of
this Winchester organ. I ventured, in the above
article, on the suggestion that the lower row of
tongues, which “the organist” governed, might
have consisted of a set exactly corresponding with
the two-octave range of Gregory’s (sic) gamut of
sixteen notes, as follows :


while the two remaining alphabets entrusted to
the two religious brethren possibly consisted each
of a set of notes corresponding with those of the
Gregorian (sic) chants twelve making up the
exact number of forty tongues in all :

<CD EFGab t| cdef
CD EFGabt] cdef

a conjecture the late Sir George Macfarren, in his
* Musical History/ p. 124, accounts ‘most ingenious/
adding that it ‘ seems fully worthy of adoption.’
Dr. Hopkins, in the same work, in quoting from
an eleventh-century treatise, part of a larger work
on ‘ Divers Arts,’ written by a monk and priest of
the name of Theophilus, states, inter alia, ‘ the
number of notes was seven or eight, and they had
one, two, or more pipes each. The handles of the
slides were still called ” tongues/’ and each was

Introduction of the Organ 69

marked with a letter, according to the rise and
fall of the sound, so that it could be known to
which tone it belonged. The lettering was an in
teresting feature, as showing the means taken to
secure an agreement between the organ-sounds
and the music of the plain chant that was indi
cated in the* same manner.’

At the close .of the^ tenth centiii^^m^yjorgans
were in existence in the churches of Gerioaay.

^pju^^ inherited

duringjthe eleventh century.

By the twelfth century the use of organs in our
English monastic and cathedral churches had be
come quite common. .ZBlred, Abbot of Rievaulx, in
Yorkshire, 1147 1167, though not condemning
the use of the organ, awarded it but scant praise,
as he also did singing. Baldric, who was living
at the same period, defended it after a fashion ; he
says : * We permit the use of the organ but do
not count it a crime if certain churches are
without one. ? * Gervase, the Monk of Canterbury,
describing the burning of the great church in
1174, mentions the destruction of the organ, but
does not refer to it as if it were an unusual thing
ift. a church. York Minster had its organ in 1190.

There seems to be little doubt but that the
sharps and flats, in addition to the already exist
ing B flat, the lyric semitone as represented by
* Hopkins, ‘Med. Church Organ/ p. 23.’

7 Mediaeval Music

the black notes on the modern organ, were intro
duced in the middle of the fourteenth century.
The earliest authentic account in support of this
assertion is given on the authority of Praetorius.

Long before the close of the fourteenth century
we find our great churches and abbeys not
only plentifully supplied, but in many, as at
Croyland, St. Albans, Fountains, etc., two organs
were provided, one being usually placed on the
rood-loft, or at the west end. An organ was
placed at the west end in a- loft or gallery
at Meaux, Fountains, Buildwas. My brother,
W. H. St. John Hope, suggests that the western
organs may have been for the choir of the conversi,
or lay brethren, who occupied the nave. The
cathedral of Worcester possessed three organs,
the cathedral of Durham five. Great organs are
mentioned at Ripon in 1408.

The following is a short list of early English

John Gyse : freeman of the city of York, 1431.
William Fyvell or Nyvell :* freeman of the city of

York, 1446-1453.
John Asshwell : freeman of the city of Norwich,

Arnalt Maynhamher : freeman of the city of Norwich,


* (?) William, organ-maker of Ripon organ, 1453. John
Couper of York was paid I2d. for mending the bellows of the
Ripon organ, 1399 and 1419.

Introduction of the Organ 71

John Roose or Ross : freeman of the city of York,

George Gaunt : freeman of the city of York, 1470.

John Lawless : of Kilkenny, 1476.

Edward Boyce : freeman of the city of York, 1478.

William Hall : freeman of the city of York, 1478.

Robert Borton : of Stowmarket, 1482.

Maurice Biront : freeman of the city of York, 1485,
d. 1510.

William Wotton : 1486,

1485. John Hewe, or Hugh : freeman of the city of York,

John Chamberlyn : 1509-1514.

William Lewes : 1514.

Thomas Smith: 1514.

Sir William Argall : 1517.

Anthony Duddington: 1519.

James Demps or Dempsey : freeman of the city of
York, 1526-1531.

John de John : 1526.

John Howe : of the city of London, 1530.

William White : 1531.

John Vaulks : 1533.

William Beton: 1537-1544.
J 537- William Treasurer: freeman of the city of York, 1540.

John Heweson : freeman of the city of York, 1545.

Robert of : of Crewkern, 1551.

John Chappington : of the city of London, 1596-1597.
The date before a name is that in which the maker has
been found, prior to his admission as a freeman.

Organ building flourished to a great extent in
Kilkenny, Ireland, in the fifteenth century.

For much new and valuable information respect
ing the early organ see * The Mediaeval Church
Organ/ by Dr. E. J. Hopkins, in the Archaeological

J2 Mediaeval Music

Journal, XLV. ; ‘ The Organ, its History and Con
struction/ by Drs. E, J. Hopkins and E. F. Rim-
bault, London, R. Cocks and Co., third edition.

In the celebrated triptych by Van Eyck, 1426,
‘ The Adoration of the Lamb/ at Ghent, St. Cecilia
is represented with a positive organ, with the
chromatic division of the finger-board.

If the mediaeval system of music was not the
direct outcome of the necessarily restricted com
pass of the primitive organ, we must fall back
on the only other feasible theory, viz., that the
portions of the Greek modes applied to the
octave lyres were adopted with their semitones
occurring in different positions in each series of

Don Nicola Vicentino, a Roman musician, who
flourished about the year 1492 and in 1555,
published at Rome, in folio, a work entitled,
6 L’Antica Musica Ridotta alia moderna Prattica,
con la Dichiaratione, et con la loro spetie.” In it
he says, after speaking of various musical inven
tions, * And so from time to time one added one
thing, and another another, as happened a little
while ago, when in the organ to the third a la mi
ve above g sol re ut, a fifth was formed in e la mi
with a round b, or as you may call it e la mi flat’*
Sir John Hawkins, i. 219, from whence the above
is taken, remarks : ‘ This is a very curious anec-
* That is El;.

Introduction of the Organ 73

dote, for it goes near to ascertain the time when
many of the transposed keys could not have
existed. The author is however mistaken in
making e la mi b the fifth to a la mi re, for it is
an interval consisting of but three tones. He
had better have called it the fourth to b fa, which
it truly is.* See Diagram H, p. 106.



FOR any Christian of the times of St.
Ambrose and St. Gregory to have had the
leisure, even if he had the ability, to construct a
new musical system, was well-nigh, if not quite,
an impossibility. The very empire of mighty
Rome was shaken to her foundations by the
successive inroads and attacks of the Huns,
Lombards and Avars ; to add to these perils, she
was herself inwardly disunited, and, as was shortly
after proved, ‘the house divided against itself
could not stand/

The Church also was disturbed within by
heresies. Every citizen, whether Christian or
pagan, was deeply and vitally interested in the one
common object of saving and defending the empire
from the hordes that were almost continually pour
ing in upon her. Under such circumstances, and
in the absence of any corroborative authority,

Mediaeval System of Music 75

it is incredible to believe that St. Ambrose, St.
Gregory, or any one man, could have accom
plished the task of doing, more especially in such
a period, that which must have been the gradual
outgrowth of many centuries,

The mere suggestion that either St. Ambrose or
St. Gregory did so infers either that there was
no system, or that something was wrong with the
existing one, for, if otherwise, why construct a
new, and in the latter case a questionably better,
one ? Would it not have been both easier and
wiser to have made some attempt to improve,
were it possible to have done so, the system in
common use at the time, i.e., the later Greek
system, as perfected by Claudius Ptolemy in the
second century, and which is identical in all
respects with our true or old minor mode, when
played in tune ?

There is not a shred or shadow of evidence, or
even the vaguest hint given, that such an attempt
to improve or alter this system was ever made, if
we except the hexachordal one, which was never
generally adopted, and soon disappeared, or that
any new system was invented or discovered.

The introduction of the organ into the West in
the seventh century, or earlier, with its limitation
of notes, caused some modifications more apparent
than real. A part only of a mode could be accom
panied or played upon it, and this part, or octave

76 Medieval Music

scale, gradually came to be looked upon as a com
plete mode, instead of being but a portion of one ;
and the chants written in these octave scales
with their restricted compass, and the positions of
their semitones varying in each, in course of time,
were known as the ‘plain-song’ chants of the
Church, and eventually were thought to possess
some sacred import, which arose, not from any
canonical order, but from the exigence of the
organ, introduced as an accompaniment to the
musical portions of the service of the Church in
its early and primitive form.

If they St. Ambrose and St. Gregory, and the
early Christians in general did not adopt the
musical system of their country, the one in
common use, from whence did they obtain one,
and what was it ? Hullah, speaking of the hypo
thesis that the music of the primitive Church ma}’
have been an altogether original creation, itself
the result of a new faith, says it may be dismissed
as inconsistent with all experience.*

We are, therefore, forced to the conclusion that
the system of music which obtained in the West
in the days of St. Ambrose and St. Gregory, as of
their predecessors, was also the musical system of
the Church. What this system was it has been
attempted to explain within the covers of this
volume. Such a view in no way detracts from
* ‘ Modern Music,’ pp. 10, u.

Mediaeval System of Music 77

the sanctity of the musical services of the Chris
tian Church, whose almost invariable custom it
was, not to destroy everything pagan, but, on the
contrary, to re-dedicate it to the service of
Almighty God. If this was done with the
temples, why should it not have been done with
the music ?

That the early Christians did not destroy or set
aside everything that had been used in connection
with pagan worship we know full well ; on the
contrary, the heathen temples were frequently re-
dedicated in honour of Christian saints and
martyrs, thus gradually transforming or fusing
the old into the new witness the Pantheon at
Rome, re-dedicated by the Church in honour of
the holy martyrs and of the mother of God, in
place of its former dedication in honour of the
great mother of the gods, Cybele ; at Constanti
nople St. Sophia replaced Minerva. Lucius
(c. 156 A.D.) is by tradition said to have con
verted heathen temples into Christian churches.

Hullah says : ‘ The Christians early participated
in many indifferent heathen customs. They
adopted the ram-bearing Hermes as the Good
Shepherd, and used Orpheus as a symbol, if not
a representation, of our Lord. They made sarco
phagi of pagan forms, and adopted the basilica,
essentially a secular structure, as their first church.
Prudentius wrote in the language and metre of

78 Mediaeval Music

Virgil. To be “poor in spirit,” in the scriptural
sense, is not surely of necessity to be poor in
intelligence, or even in circumstances. Persons
of high rank and culture were among them, to
whom Greek music must have been as familiar as
any other art. Why should they have forgotten
or refused to use heathen melody only, availing
themselves as they did of heathen architecture,
sculpture and painting, and conforming to heathen
customs involving no matters of principle ?’*

The very same without a doubt was the case
with the music of the temples, and many a
melody which resounded in honour of Apollo or
Jupiter was at a later period requisitioned to extol
the praises of the one true God.

The earliest organs could not have provided for
a large number of notes. Some writers inform us
that the levers, which succeeded the slides, varied
from three to four and a half inches in width ; an
octave therefore would, with levers of the former
width, require a space of at least twenty-four
inches, and if of the latter thirty-six inches. So
cumbersome and unwieldy were they, that they
were brought into play by a blow of the fist ; the
organist was in consequence known as the organ-

With instruments such as these, it would have
been impossible to have done more than accom-
* ‘ Modern Music/ pp. 10, n.

Mediaeval System of Music 79

pany the chants in unison. The decreasing of the
width of these levers allowed the extension of the
scale to fifteen notes, or two octaves.

Until the tenth century, the organs did not
provide for more than two octaves, that is fifteen
notes. These corresponded with the white keys
only of our present organs and pianofortes, repre
senting the diatonic notes of the scale of A minor.

Transposition from key to key, as in Ptolemy’s
time, and until the organ came into common use,
with provision for the sharps and flats, was of
course an impossibility. Hymns and chants were
of necessity composed in this restricted scale and

Flaccus Albinus-Alcuin was born in York, lived
o. 750, died 804. He received his education there
under Archbishop Egbert. Accepting an invita
tion from the Emperor Charles the Great, he took
up his abode in Gaul as director of the educational
enterprises of that monarch ; it is stated* that it
was at his instance the University of Paris was
founded in 790 by Charles the Great. He is the
first of whom we have any record, who is credited
with having arranged and cast into form the
octave scales, which were formed upon each of
the notes of the diatonic normal scale of A
minor, and in which all music during the above
period presumably was written, and also with
* Hawkins, H. of M., L, 140.

80 Mediaeval Music

having divided them into Authentic, derived from
au#ez>TA:o9=auctor et magister the master tone,
and Plagal, from 7r\ayt,o$, obliquus seu lateralis
subordinate or inferior.

The eight octave scales were placed in the
following order :

ist Tone…
2nd …
3rd …

4 th …
5th …
6th …
7th …
8th …

The odd numbers were called the Authentics,
and the even the Plagals.

If he did not arrange the scales as above, he
is the first to mention them.*. ‘He speaks
of there being four Authentic and four Plagal
modes, and of their ordination by authority,
that of Adrian, Bishop of Rome, contemporary
with Charles the Great. A ” Musical Catechism ”
by Alcuin is now in the Library at Munich.’f

The key to the two diagrams F and G, which
illustrate the same thing, is as follows :

The first column contains the mediaeval true

* Sir G. M. Macfarren, ‘ Six Lectures on Harmony,’
pp. 10, ii. Dr. Riemann’s Catechism of Music/ 89.
f Private letter from Mr, Rowbotham to the writer.

Medieval System of Music




c ^

.S d

o m
?MIxo Lvdl

b b
pa y


Dorianand Hypo-Mixo-Lydian

b b

e b



J u
Hypo-Dorian –





e b
Phrygian –
b b



Dorian and Hypo- \
Mixo-Lydian /

,IJypo-Lydian –
E b
a b
b b
Hypo-Phrygian –
Hypo-Dorian –
s. 3-
5- 6.
7. 8.
B -i

c .2
o o
>i i Q

*1 i



True Greek and real Mediaval Modes. –
This diagram is given in duplicate-see diagram G-showing the notes
j>ositions on the lines and in the spaces to make the subject perfectly clear.
* See p. 32.


in their


Mediaeval Music.


Hypo-Dorian. Semitone,




VII. Mixo-Lydian.

9- ;

V. Lydian.


III. Phrygian.

I. Dorian. VIII. Hypo-Mixo-Lydian*

VI. Hypo-Lydian.

. & IZ2_

IV. Hy$o-Phrygian.

II. Hypo-Dorian.


[This page should be read as if placed immediately over the following

The true Greek and real Mediaeval modes read left to right.

Mediaeval System of Music. 83

Semitone. Semitone.

VII. Mixo-Lydian.

A -2T

V. Lydian.

III. Phrygian-

\ o


I. Dorian. VIII. Hypo-Mixo-Lydian.

VI. Hypo-Lydian,
IV. Hypo-Phrygian.

II. Hypo-Dorian.

The true Greek and real Mediseval modes read left to right.


84 Mediaeval Music

Hypo-Dorian mode in its normal position. Each
of the octave scales or miscalled Gregorian modes
starts from the note on the line immediately
opposite to its name or number in the first
column, and on reading upwards from this to its
octave contains the scale in order of tones and
semitones ; the latter differ in each one.

Transposition is effected by taking any note to
the right on the same line in which the name or
number of the octave scale occurs, and reading up
that column to the octave as before.

The key to which any octave scale strictly
belongs whether transposed or not will be found
to be (i) that of the note at either extreme end of
the column, in diagram F, containing the note from
which the original or transposition starts, and (2)
in the bottom stave, p. 83, of the diagram G*

Supposing it is required to transpose the seventh
or Mixo-Lydian mode a fourth higher, that is from
G to C, on examining either diagram, and reading
upwards from C, it will be seen to require B flat,
to keep the semitones in their proper positions,
and the extreme ends of the fourth column,
diagram E, or the fourth note to the right on the
lowest stave (p. 83), show that by this transposi
tion the mode has been moved from the key of
A minor into that of D minor, that is, from the
true Hypo-Dorian into the true Dorian mode.

The true or real scales, out of which the mis-

Mediaeval System of Music 85

called modes or octave scales are formed, that is the
scale of A minor transposed into keys or different
pitches, with the proper number of sharps and
flats required, will be found on taking the note
opposite the names of the modes as above, and
reading across from left to right, or from the same
note in the bottom line, and reading upwards; in
either case, the key-note will appear at each end of
the line or column, according to which way It is
read in diagrams F and G.

The positions of the semitones are marked by
brackets; those placed on the right of the
diagrams denote where they fall when reading
upwards, those at the top or bottom, when reading
across from left to right.

The rule given on page 28 for finding the mese,
or middle note of any true scale, and thence the key,
applies with equal force to the mediaeval modes ;
and it will be found that the note which has a
semitone between the second and third intervals
on both sides of it is the mese, and the true
mode or key to which the portion of the mode
really belongs that is, from which it is formed
is the fourth note below such note.

The Greek names applied to the false or mediaeval
modes are very misleading, they were only intro
duced by Glareanus in the sixteenth century (com
pare i and 2, p. 35) ; in the true Greek modes they
were used to represent the different pitches or

86 Mediaev^f Music

( ,-* ______

transpositions of the Hypo-Dorian mode, -or key
of A as we now call it. Instead of saying key of D
or E and so on, the Greeks said Dorian and
Phrygian mode, etc.

The ‘Plainsong’ chants to which the psalms
are occasionally sung are frequently irregular, not
ending as required on the final. The reason of
this is that the antiphon, which followed as a sort
of continuation, and always ended on the final,
has been almost entirely suppressed.

In the modern grammars of Plainsong a melody
is fancifully termed (i) perfect ; (2) imperfect ; (3)
superfluous ; or (4) mixed.

(1) When the melody includes the full octave of
a mode, it is said to be perfect.

(2) When the melody does not range the full
octave, imperfect.

(3) When the melody exceeds the octave,

(4) When the melody includes or overlaps both
the authentic and the plagal, it is known as mixed.

Should the melody include the tonic of the
plagal as well as the authentic ; or

Should the melody embrace a plagal with its
octave above its final, it was known as communis

It has been said that the authentics progress
smoothly by intervals, whilst the plagals move by

TO’* V;
I ‘ ‘VS ^
I iwwfl



IPS 1 ‘9_
I flwnjB^’S

1 u i o ^

–Tj-e^ji-^ p j
, t )H s s

1 ! i < 5 6 J ^ S ~< < s S 5

5 j 8 S ‘ 5 S < j 2 S < fc < s 2 5
j – a e
() < b
M s i J s

O 13 o A d to
< 8 S i S f

8 JD BJ bj (M

< 8 < < t.

H S j 2 S

d to IN o 13 o

< C < 5 . H
J b Z K S

D -0 y n) bo
28 S j S S

ay A ri ho fc
5 S i i

u bo h H Q


: s s s

u n < u

& *

MediasvalNSyst^m of Music 87

i\ \

Before the eleventh cerrfury It is certain the
number of modes was limited to eight. Glareanus,
1488-1563, in his Dodecachordon, treats of twelve.

The plagals, in a manner, corresponded to our
so-called relative minor keys; they commenced
a fourth below and ended on the tonic of the
authentic mode. In the East the plagals are
counted a fifth below their authentics.

The division into the so-called authentics and
plagals was made by taking those four modes
supposed to comprise a perfect fifth and a
perfect fourth, these were called the authentics ;
those four which were composed of a perfect
fourth and a perfect fifth, the plagals. The
former were also known as the Harmonic division,
and the latter as the Arithmetical. This
division, as will be seen, is a purely fanciful
one, for any one of the plagal modes, excepting
the fourth, Hypo-Phrygian has a perfect fifth
in each mode followed by a perfect fourth; and
the same with the authentics, with the exception
of the fifth the Lydian mode, all have a perfect
fourth followed by a perfect fifth. The division,
therefore, it is clear, is imaginary only.

In the Hypo-Phrygian mode only in mediaeval
music is the final approached by the interval of a
semitone, and that always by descent and never
by ascent.

The term dominant, in Mediaeval music, was

Mediaeval Music

used merely to describe the note which in the
chants and hymns predominated, and had no
other significance. In the so-called authentic
modes, it was always the fifth note unless that
note was B, when the sixth, C, was taken ; in the
plagal modes, it was always the third note below
that of the corresponding authentic.

The supposed differences between the authentics
and plagals were :


Formation of the octave by

Final always the last note.


Formation of the octave by

Final always the fourth note.

The first note of each octave of the authentics
was the final of the plagals as well as of the
authentics, but the last note also was the final in
the authentics only.

An Irregular or Confinal mode was one that
did not end on its final.

During the eighth and ninth centuries all
intellectual development appears to Kave”~~fceeiT
stagnant ; with the exception of a few rules on
descant, in the works of Aurelianus and a few
other writers at the end of the ninth century, little
progress, if any, in the art of music was made,
none is recorded. Early in the “tenth century
learning began to flourish all over Europe, espe
cially in the arts and sciences ; the study and con
sequent improvements made in music were soon

Mediaeval System of Music 89

Although secular as well as sacred melodies
were alike written in these octave scales or modes,
it is not asserted that all secular music was re
stricted entirely to the limited compass and order
of these modes.

The interval of the tritone, that is of the three
whole tones in succession, which in the scale or
mode of A minor occurs between the second and
the sixth, that is F and B, was forbidden to be
used, being too harsh for the ears of our fore
fathers ; to obviate its occurrence, one of the
extreme Intervals forming the tritone was required
to be raised or lowered a semitone, either by
raising the F to F sharp, or by depressing B a
semitone to B flat.! IChis want does not appear
to have been supplied until the tenth century,
when, for the first time, the ( lyric semitone ‘ B flat
occurs, as has been previously noted In the account
of the organ at Winchester, and no doubt was
to be found on others of this and following

Hucbald, in the tenth century, in his system of
tetrachords, which may or may not have been
generally adopted in the tenth and eleventh
centuries, has both the B flat and F sharp, but
the writer is not aware of any composition of this
period in which the latter was made use of.

Guido Aretino, in the eleventh century, intro
duces B flat in the third and sixth hexachords of

po Mediaeval Music

the system used by him. The systems of both
Hucbald and Guido will be found explained in
Chapter X.

The class of music which is now known as
‘ Plainsong,’ can scarcely be of earlier date than
the latter end of the eighth century, assuming in
the absence of any other theory that it came into
existence with the introduction of the organ, the
common and general use of which may be taken
to date from this early period, although used here
and there, in isolated instances, some centuries
before. The earliest compilation of * Plainsong *
of which there is any record is of the latter half of
the eighth century, and to this period also is
assigned the first mention of the scales in the
form in which the * Plainsong’ is written; and
further, that it was at this time the modes were
cast into that form in which we know them.

There is not a tittle of evidence, nor a shred
of information of any kind which even suggests^
that any alteration was intentionally made in the
form or arrangement of the scale as finally settled
by Ptolemy in the second century. The use oi
the organ as an accompaniment to the singing
in its primitive form must have compelled the
arranging of the vocal music in such a manner
that it should conform to’ the exigences of the
instrument, and we find that at the time the sharps
and flats were added to the organ, then do

Mediaeval System of Music 91

also appear in the chants and hymn-tunes, or vice
versa, for the first time, which affords very strong
corroborative evidence of the influence of the
organ on the form and use of the mediaeval octave

It is also a significant fact, worthy of note in
support of the above, that the Mediaeval Regals
or Portatives,”* so called on account of the ease
with which they could be carried about, were
furnished with six, seven, or eight notes only, and
it will be found on examination that within the
compass of these limited diatonic scales nearly all,
if not the whole of, the early chants and hymn-
tunes were written.

The Positive was a small stationary organ.

* A Regal had reed pipes, a Portative had flue pipes.



r I ^HE use of Milan, there can be little doubt,
J[ differed somewhat from the use of Rome,
not in the musical system there being but one
but in the method or style of singing. The
difference at the present day is striking, At
Milan the ancient Greek rule of a note to a
syllable appears to have been the custom, whilst
at Rome, on the contrary, a string of notes was
sung to a syllable, toying with it as long as the
unfortunate singer’s breath would hold out.

The adherents of the Roman use, if the writers
quoted are to be believed, entertained the bitterest
ill-feeling and rancorous animosity against those
who upheld the use of Milan.

From the life of St. Eugenius, c. 775, we read*
that till his time the use of Milan was more used
by the Church than the use of Rome. Adrian I.,
Bishop of Rome, summoned a council for the
* Durandus, ‘ Rationale Divinorum Officiorum, 5 Lugd., 1574,
lib. IL, cap. ii., numb. 5, ‘ Div, Pin. Hist. Eccles.,’ iii. 6.

Uses of Rome and Milan 93

purpose of decreeing the universal observance
of the use of Rome. Eugenius arrived three
days after the dissolution of the council; he,
however, persuaded the bishop to recall the other
prelates who had been present. Having re
assembled the council, it was the unanimous
opinion of all present that the Milanese and
Roman missals should be laid on the altar of
St. Peter < the Apostle, secured by the seals of
most of the bishops, and the doors of the church
shut, and that all persons should spend the night
in prayer that God would show by some sign
which of these missals He would choose to have
used by the Church ; and this was done in every
respect. Accordingly in the morning, when they
entered the church, they found the Roman missal
torn to pieces and scattered here and there,
but the Milanese missal opened and intact on the
altar. This was taken by the sapient bishops as
a sign of the rejection of the Milanese, which was
ever to remain only in that church in which it
was first instituted, whilst the Roman was ac
cepted, the sign teaching them that as the pages
were torn and cast asunder, so was the missal to
be dispersed throughout the whole world.*

The Emperor Charles the Great, 743, died 814,
at the instigation of, and being commissioned by,
Adrian I., Bishop of Rome, and a synod of
* Hawkins, <H. of M., 3 1.139.


Mediaeval Music

Roman Catholic bishops who passed a decree
empowering him in the name of the Church to
proceed through the length and breadth of Italy,
and to utterly uproot everything, whether in music
or ritual, which differed from the practice of the
Church of Rome posted to Milan, and seizing
all the chant and hymn books containing the
Milanese song, made bonfires of them in the
middle of the city He also carried many with
him across the Alps into Gaul, where they were
made away with His agents were instructed to
buy up every copy that could be found, or, in
default of fair means, to take them by force
Those of the clergy who refused to give up their
books were to be put to the sword, and many,
both of the higher and lower orders of the clergy,
perished in this manner So thoroughly whole
sale was the destruction, that when Eugenms
\isited Milan shortly after these events, with the
express purpose of obtaining a copy of the
Milanese chants, he could find but one missal in
the whole town, and this had been secreted by a
priest during the persecution in a cave outside the
gates The same measures were taken throughout
Lombardy, and in a few weeks the flourishing
empire of the Milanese song was reduced to deso
lation, and the only fragment that escaped was,
according to tradition, this very missal which
Eugemus found

Uses oi- Rome and Milan 95

Charles the Great published a law, enjoining^
with the severest penalties, that every clergyman
In his empire should be perfectly acquainted with
the music as sung in Rome, and be able to sing
therein when required. In his ist Capitulary,
788 et a. 789, or Legal Code of the Empire, no
less than six statute laws exist, commanding the
exclusive use of the Roman chant. Political
motives, rather than any regard for art, were the
strong reasons which led him to insist on such
universal obedience ; the doctrine of * one Church,
one empire ‘ became clearer to him as his con
quests increased in number, and at last developed
into a great maxim of state.

The compulsion of the Roman modes upon
Gallican use was, we know, one of the vexations
resisted by the clergy of the latter nation under his

The purity to which the Roman chant is reputed
to have been restored by the zeal of Charles the
Great, if it ever received any real bleaching, sub
sisted no longer in Gaul than to the time of Lewis
the Debonnaire, his son and immediate heir, who
succeeded to the empire of the West in 814 ; for
in his reign the music of the Church was corrupted
to that degree, that the Roman chant subsisted
only in the memory of certain papists, who had
been accustomed to the singing of it ; for neither
were there in Gaul, nor in Rome, any books

g 6 Mediaeval Music

wherein it had been written. This strange cir
cumstance is related by Symphosius Amalarius,
or as he is more generally called, Amalarius
Fortunatus, c. 814, d. 837, a principal ecclesiastic
in the chapel of Lewis the Debonnaire, who him
self was sent by Lewis to request of Gregory IV. ?
827-844, the then Bishop of Rome, a sufficient
number of singers to instruct the people.* The
Bishop answered, ( I have no singers of antiphons
whom I can send to my son and lord the Emperor ;
the only remaining ones that we had, were sent
from hence into Gaul with Walla, who was here
on an embassy. 5 Amalarius then goes on to say,
* When I had been a long while affected with
anxiety on account of the difference among the
singers of antiphons in our province, and did not
know what should be rejected and what retained,
it pleased Him who is bountiful to all, to ease me
of my scruples; for there having been found in
the monastery of Corbie, in Picardy, four books,
three whereof contained the nocturnal, .and the
other the diurnal office, by means of these books
I discovered a great difference between the anti
phons of our singers and those formerly in use.
The books contained a multitude of responsaria
and antiphons which they could not sing : among
them I found one of those which were t ordained
by the apostolic Adrian. I knew that these books
Hawkins, i. 141, 142.

Uses of Rome and Milan 97

were older than that which remained in the
Roman city, and though in some respects better
instituted, yet they stood in need of some cor
rections, which by the assistance of the Roman
book might be made of them I therefore took
the middle way, and corrected one by the other ‘

Notwithstanding this labour of Amalarms tore-
form the Roman chant, Nivers, 1683, asserts that
the corruptions of music \vere then so great that it
was very difficult to say where the Roman chant
lay, and after all, the corrections of Amalanus
Fortunatus \vere \ery ill received

A similar episode to that recorded on pp 92, 93,
occurred in the year 1080, this time with the
Mcxzarabic Church, the scene was in Spam
Gregory VII , Bishop of Rome 1073-1085, ex
horted, threatened, admonished, and entreated
Sancius and Alphonso, the kings of Aragon and
Castile, until, fatigued with the importunity of
this restless pontiff, they consented to abolish the
Gothic service in their churches, and to introduce
that of Rome m its place Sancius \\as the first
to submit to this innovation, and in the year 1080
his example was followed by Alphonso The
methods \\hich the nobles of Castile employed to
decide the matter \v ere \ ery extraordinary First
they chose two champions, who were to deter
mine the controversy by single combat, the one
fighting for the Rome Liturgy, and the other for


Mediaeval Music

the Gothic service* The champion for the Gothic
service proved the victor.

The fiery ordeal was next made use of to ter
minate the dispute. A brazier was lighted, into
which both the Roman and Gothic liturgies were
cast. The flames at once consumed that of Rome,
while the Gothic remained unblemished, intact.
Thus were the Gothic rites for the third time
crowned with victory, and yet in spite of this the
Liturgy of Rome was forced upon them, no doubt
by the authority of the Bishop of Rome, and in
this instance by the influence of Queen Constantia,
who determined Alphonso in favour of the service
accordin to the use of Rome.*
* Bona, * De Rebus LiturgV lib. L, cap. ix., 216 ; Le Bnm,
loc. citat. 292 ; Jo. de Ferreras, ‘Hist, de TEspagne, 1 torn.
iiL, 237, 241, 246 ; Mosh., ‘ Eccl. Hist.,’ ii. 341 ; Hawkins,
*H. of M./ L 141 note, Novello’s ed.



HUCBALD, Hubald, or Hugbald, a Bene
dictine monk of the convent of S. Amand
sur 1’Elnon, in the diocese of Tournay, in
Flanders (born 840, died 930, and burred in the
church of St. Peter in his own abbey), is reputed -to
have cast aside the cumbersome, quasi-intelligible
and confusing system of neumes, or neumse, which
prevailed, and to have substituted a new method
of notation.

This new system consisted in the arranging
horizontally of any number of parallel lines, as
the voice or instrument required. To the left,
before each space formed by these lines, signs
representing certain definite fixed sounds were
placed. He arranged the scale as follows :

roo Mediaeval Music

Graves = GABbC


Superiors = ab c d \ , , iTu ‘ ,

E X ?ellentes= e f| g a J a bd e f^ a (6)

Graves. Finales. Superiors. Excellences.

These four tetrachords were detached or dis
jointed, and the semitone in each occurred be
tween the second and third intervals whether
read upwards or downwards ; the octaves (a) and
(6) therefore do not agree as to the intervals ;
this difficulty, however, was obviated by placing
the letters T=tone, and S = semitone, on the left
before the space containing a note when it stood
at the distance of a tone or semitone from the
note immediately above it, showing clearly whether
the voice was to proceed by the interval of a
tone or a semitone. The words or syllables were
written in the spaces or intervals = inter- valle,
between the walls only, and the letters T and S
showed at a glance whether the interval from
one note to another, reading upwards, was a
tone or a semitone. The lines were not written

* * Mus. En.,’ c. xiii.

Systems of Hucbald and Aretino 101

T (A) a

T (G) da / \ te / num. \

T (F) Laa / \ /mi \ de cos \ / k> \

S (E) . \ do / \ e / \ li / \rurn

T (D) \ coelis / \ coe / \lau

T (C) \

The above In modern notation :

Lau-da. – te do mi-mim de – coe – lis coc – li etc – lo-rum. lau-

The number of lines were not limited, but were
regulated by the extent of the scale used and
number of parts required.

He used certain signs before the spaces in place
of the letters inserted above for clearness.


Do \
/ mini \
st ria / in \
cula, etc.
\ glo / Do \ s
se /
/ mini \
sit ri*. / in \
cula, etc.
\ glo / s
E /
Do \
/ mini \
sit ria / in \
cula, etc.
\ glo / Do \ s
as /
/ mini \
sit iia / in \
cula, etc.
\ glo /

IO2 Medieval Music

The above in modern notation :

sit glo – ri – a Do-mini in sse – cu – la, etc.

For the graves he used the letter F with its
arms on the left side these were turned up or
down for the notes G A C, whilst a form of the
letter N was used for the B flat.

For the finales the arms of the letter F were on
the right side, and were differently turned up or
down for D E G ; a plain stroke signified F.

For the superiors the letter F was used, as for
the graves, but upside down ; whilst for the excel-
lentes the F’s were similar to the finales upside
down, the G being represented by X.*

Hucbald was undoubtedly the first to make
use of a stave of parallel lines, and by the adop
tion of a sufficient number, as in example II., was
enabled to write out his parts in score, of which
the earliest instance known is his Organum, or
rudimentary harmony, described in chapter xii.

* It is obvious that Hucbald’s scale was not what
the ecclesiastical or ” Gregorian ” scale is com-

* This system is fully described in his * Musica En-
chiriadis’; Lib. Corp. Chris., Cambridge, No. cclx.

Systems of Hucbald and Aretmo 103

monly supposed and said to have been He made
all his fourths to have the semitone between the
second and third notes, as in D EF G Hucbald’s
tevt is clear enough to anyone not prepossessed
with the immutability of ” Gregorian ” music, for
he says repeatedly that his tetrachords have the
same succession of intervals whether taken up or
down ‘*

It will be noted that we now find, for the first
time, the semitone has been moved up a degree
from the place it occupied in the Greek scales and
tetrachords, where it always occupied the first
place, for we have seenf that the proslambano-
menos, though used, was not counted as a part of
the scale it now is

The position of the semitone is of the utmost
importance It has passed through three stages
in the history of the scale



with the semi
tone in the

ist place =BCDEFGA
2nd place =GAE[>CDEFG
3rd place =CDEFGABC

Hucbald’s tetrachordal or four-note system was m
vogue, in all probability, from the ninth to the
eleventh centuries

* Stainer and Barrett, ‘Diet of Musical Terms’ Art

* Notation
t P 26

104 Mediaeval Music

About the same time that Hucbald’s system of
notation came in, another and somewhat similar
one appeared, described by Vincentio Galilei* in
1581, and afterwards by Pater Athanasius Kircher,
in which the spaces were left vacant, and the
notes were indicated by dots, or points, written
on the lines only, the actual degrees or pitches
of the scale being determined by Greek letters
placed before the stave on the left side :



-* A A-

The same in modern notation is :

Mi- etc.

The combination of these two systems,t with a
limitation of the number of lines and other slight
modifications, produced ultimately the system now
in use.

Guido Aretino, or d’Arezzo, a monk in the Bene
dictine convent of Pomposa, between Ferrara and
Ravenna (born at Apezzio circa 990, died 1050), is
the reputed author of these four works :{

& * * Dialago della Musica,’ p. 37.

t See example from the Monastery of Vallambrosa,
Hawkins, 158.

J ‘Proceedings of the Musical Association/ 1878-1879, p. 79.

Systems of Hucbald and Aretino 105

(1) Micrologus, c. 1024 ;

(2) An Antiphonary, c. 1024 ;

(3) Letter to Monk Michael ;

(4) A small tract entitled ‘ De sex motibus
vocum a si invicem et divisione earum.’

He unquestionably did much to advance the art
of music, both in theory and in practice.
He did not invent :

(1) The staff;

(2) The shape of the pointed notes ;

(3) The placing of the signs or notes between

as well as on the lines ;

(4) The hexachord ;

(5) The monochord ;

(6) The so-called Guidonian hand ;

(7) The use of the syllables UT, RE, MI, etc.

(8) The two coloured lines.

The late Professor Sir F. A. G. Ouseley, Bart.,
Mus. Doc., truly said :* ‘ They would give the-
world at large, to suppose he well-nigh revolu
tionized the art of music, not only by the excellent
schools of music which he undoubtedly did set up,
but also by several inventions, such as the system
of hexachords, principles of solmization, Guidonian
hand, of all of which he is not the originator.’

Fetis, in his ‘ Biographie des Musicians/ proves
from Guide’s own words that none of these inven
tions were his in reality, though many of them

*’ Proceedings of the Musical Association,’ 1878-1879
P- 79-

io6 Mediaeval Music

were adopted by him, and all were discoveries of
his time.*

The syllables UT, RE, MI, FA, SOL, LA, SI,
are said to have been taken from the first lines of a
Latin hymn to Saint John the Baptist :

‘ UT queant laxis, RSsonare fibris
MIra gestorum FAmuli tuorum
SOLve polluti LAbii reatum.
Sancte Johannes.’

The last syllable, SI, is generally supposed to have
been added by Ericus Puteamus, a Fleming, circa

The hexachordal system, erroneously ascribed

to Guido, was arranged as on page 3&, in

diagram J, with the solmization or syllables UT,
RE, MI, FA, SOL, LA apportioned to the respec
tive notes. The position on the scale of any note
could be at once determined by the solmization
shown on diagram J.

This system is built up of seven hexachords :
three upon G, the hard = i, 4, 7, two upon C,
the natural = 2 and 5, and two upon F, the soft =
3 and 6. The position of the semitone in each,
whether read upwards or downwards, is always
between the 3rd and 4th instead of the 2nd and
3rd as in Hucbald’s tetrachordal system ; having
been moved a degree higher, i.e., to the third place,
it thus always fell between MI and FA,

* ‘ Proceedings of Musical Association/ 1878-1879, p. 79.

Systems of Hucbald and Aretino 1 07

B occurs in the 1st, 4th and 7th hexachords
above, and was called b durus.

Bb occurs in the 3rd and 6th hexachords above,
and was called b molle.

These hexachords embraced a compass of two
and a half octaves. From the sign F (gamma)
being placed* below the old proslamb&nomenos
; t was called ( gamma – UT, S hence the term
‘gamut.’ The first eight letters were written
in capitals, the next in italics, and the re
mainder in smaller italics. If a song or melody
was limited to the extent of any one hexachord,
the solmization that is, adapting the syllables
UT, RE, etc., to the sounds required was clear
and apparent. But if this limit was exceeded,
and the melody included part of another hexa
chord, a change in the syllables * mutation/ as it
was termed took place.

Mutation was only possible from C to F, F to C,
or C to G, G to C, owing to the presence of Bj>
in the third or F hexachord, and Btj in the
fourth or G hexachord.

The mutation usually took place at ‘ re ‘ in
ascending, and * la 5 in descending. At the point
of mutation that is, at the junction of the two
hexachords the syllables changed from the former
to the latter ; examples :**

* Aristides Quintilianus uses it as early as no A.D., and
S. Odo in the tenth century. Mus. Times^ xxx., p. 77.

io8 Mediaeval Music

UT re ml fa sol la ut re mi FA sol LA

mi FA (sol) (la) ut re mi fa (sol) (la)
L I _L

Hexachord of F | Hexachord of C

Hexachord of C Hexachord of G

The pitch of any note could be immediately
known by a knowledge of the formation of the
hexachords; for instance if [G] sol, re, ut, was
the note, the pitch of which was required, it was
obvious, from the diagram J, that it could only
be G in the fourth hexachord ; the size and form
of the letter also determined the pitch and number
of the hexachord to which it belonged. The
only place where any difficulty might arise was
with regard to FA UT r which in the second
hexachord = C, and in the third and sixth = F.

The use of the musical hand appears to have
been to illustrate the hexachords with the muta

The hexachordal system, clumsy as it is, was a
great advance on the systems up to that time
known, and most successful in the elucidation of
the mediaeval modes so long as they continued in
general use. It was absolutely impossible in these
modes to show, with anything like clearness or
accuracy, the proper answer to a given subject in
a real fugue excepting by this solmization, in which
it was requisite to make the answer a strict one,

Systems of Hucbdd and Aretino 1 09

that the solmization in one hexachord should
exactly correspond with the subject in another
otherwise it was no true answer, but merely
* limitation ‘; UT should answer UT, RE RE, in
whatever hexachord is selected.

The system of hexachords continued from the
commencement of the eleventh to the sixteenth
century, when our present tonal system of the
octave, through the influence of the chord of the
dominant seventh, came into existence.

In the tenth century we first find the use of a
line, on, above, and below which the neumse are
written. Coussemaker* gives a specimen, ‘ Ode
d’Horace,’ from the library of Montpellier, MS.
425 : the line is black. He also gives a speci-
ment in two parts, each having a distinct line
the two are divided by a roughly – drawn
line with a sort of leaf ornament at the left end.
The MS. is 1139 in the National Library of Paris,
and is given as of the eleventh century. He gives
a specimen,! from a MS. in the same Library, of
the thirteenth century. See also ‘ Musical Nota
tion of the Middle Ages.’

One of the earliest known instances of the use
of the red and yellow lines is given by Cousse-

# f Hist, de PHarmonie du Moyen Age,’ Plate X.
t On Plate XXIII.
I Plate XXVI.

Plain-Song and Mediaeval Music Society’s publications,
Plate XII.

no Mediaeval Music

maker in the abo\e work,* the red line has
F before it, and the > ellow C on the left The
neumse are written on, above, between and
below the two lines , the MS is given as A 47,
‘Archives du Chaptre de Padoue/ twelfth centur}
A specimen, No n, is given in the <Mus Not
Middle Ages/t f the twelfth and thirteenth cen
turies two lines black, one red and one yellow, m
all four During the twelfth century the stave of
four lines, as used for writing the so-called
‘Gregorian’ notation at the present da^, had
become quite common numerous examples could
be given See Coussemaker, in work quoted
above,t also ‘Musical Notation of the Middle
Ages ‘ A stave of twelve lines was also in use
at this period

It is somewhat inexplicable that such an errone
ous statement as to the notation of the ‘ Win
chester Tropanum/ given on pp 469 and 470 m
Sir George Grove’s ‘Dictionary of Music and
Musicians,’ vol 11 , should have appeared The
same error v\as also made by the late Mr William
Cbappell, who was generally so very accurate, at
a meeting of the Musical Association held in
London, March 3, 1879, by Sir G Macfarren,
and by others A specimen of this MS , 775


f See Plate XVI /Pal Mils ,’ vol n , No u, Plain-Song
and Mediaeval Music Society’s publications
? Plates I\, XI

Systems of Hucbald and Aretino 1 1 1

Bod. Lib., is given correctly in ‘The Musical
Notation of the Middle Ages.’*

The four lines, in the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries, were usually red. This was the transi
tional period of the neumse to the square-shaped
notes ; the process was known as ‘ quadrating/ or
* squaring.’t

John Cotton, a monk of Tours the first to recom
mend the use of contrary motion writing in 1047,
expresses a doubt similar to that of St. Isidore,
c 636, as to the interpretation of the neumse
of the Middle Ages. He says : * The same marks
which Master Trudo sang as thirds were sung as
fourths by Master Albums; and Master Salomo (in
another place) even asserts fifths to be the notes
meant; so that at last there were as many
methods of singing as teachers of the art.’

The necessity of a clef, or key, to show what the
notes on the lines and in the spaces represented,
was supplied as early as the twelfth century. Two
clefs, one j representing C and the other -fc F,
were adopted, and the notes that were written on
the lines or in the spaces, on or before which either
the one or the other clef was placed, corresponded to
that note. To obviate the use of ledger lines, these
clefs were moved up or down the staff as required,

* Plain-Song and Mediaeval Music Society’s publications,
Plate II.
f Ibid., Plate XIV.

H2 Mediaeval Music

and provided for all the transpositions then
possible. In fact, excepting to the mode a fourth
above or fifth below, by the use of B[> at the signa
ture, transposition was an impossibility, so also was
the alteration of any individual note, other than by
Bb, until the introduction of sharps and flats in the
next century.

A sharp or flat at the signature of any music
indicates such to be a transposition either from
the key of C major or of A minor.

As early as 1240 we find an Englishman, John
of Fornsete, in Norfolk, a monk at Reading, not
only using thirds, sixths, and passing notes, but a
complete specimen of counterpoint in six parts,
including the first strict canon in the unison
of one in four, with a pes, foot, or burden for
two parts known, a fugue, and a catch all this
in a rota ‘Sumer is icumen in,’ which is the
most ancient and advanced illustration of har
mony, as now understood, extant. The notes
are black. The red note, the white or open
note, and time mark are absent, though all of
these were in use in the following century. This
is the first English song, with or without” music,
and is probably not less than two centuries older
than any similar composition out of England
before the fifteenth century. A facsimile will be
found in ChappelPs * Popular Music of Olden

* Vol. i., pL i.

Systems of Hucbald and Aretino 1 1 3

Gnido says : ‘ A neumse written without a letter
or coloured line, is as useless as a well with plenty
of water but without a rope to draw it by.’*

Gabriel Nivers, circa 1683, assigns as one of the
causes of the corruption of the Cantus Gregorianus,
the uncertainty of the method of notation prior to
Guide’s time, it being very difficult to comprehend
and still more to retain.

Athanasius Kircher, circa 1602-1680, mentioning
the same fact, says it was impossible to ascer
tain the difference between the tone and semitone,
which is in effect saying that the whole con
trivance was inartificial, productive of error, and
of very little worth.f

* Epist Guidonis ad Mich. Mon.’
f Hawkins, { H. of M.,’ 1.1693.



OTRICT time, as now observed, was quite
^3 unknown in the music of the Middle Ages,
anterior to the eleventh century.

When a series of notes strung together, so often
found in ancient manuscripts, occurred, some
what after the manner of a modern run or cadenza,
they were called ‘ Not Ligatae,’ or bound notes,
and were sung, it is conjectured, somewhat quickly
but smoothly, the accent usually falling on the
highest notes :

The mediaeval f modes ‘ were purely diatonic..
The first sharp or flat found is Bb, which, as shown
in Chapter VI,, appeared about the tenth century,
and was the earliest demanded whilst the key
of A minor was the only one in use, to obviate
the occurrence of the tritone, or sequence of the
three whole tones between F and B. A writer

Measurable Music

has stated it occurs in a manuscript at the Monas
tery of St. Gaul as early as A.D. 790,* but this
is most problematical and lacks corroboration ;
the weight of evidence being strongly against its
use before the tenth century.

The word * tone ‘ is very often erroneously and
synonymously used for and with the same mean
ing as the word ‘ mode, 5 with which it must not
be confounded. A tone is, strictly speaking, an
interval, and not a collection of intervals, whereas
a mode is.

Franco, a monk of Cologne, circa 1047-1083,
wrote the first bookf on measured or timed music ;
he does not, however, lay any claim to be the
originator of the system he explains.

To represent the different time-values, he made
use of four signs : J

Perfect Imperfect
Perfect. Imperfect. rests. rests.

I. The Large. -JB| 1
2 The Long ^ i
3. The Breve -*
4. The Semi-

* Codex S. GaUensis, 546.

t * Ars Musica Mensurabili f Bod. Lib.

J Ibid,^ chap. iv.

1 1 6 Mediaeval Music

Triple time, as emblematical of the Blessed
Trinity, was ‘ perfect ‘; common time, * im

A perfect large = three longs = nine breves =

twenty-seven semibreves.
A perfect long = three breves = nine semibreves.
A perfect breve = three semibreves.


An imperfect large = two longs = four breves =
eight semibreves.

An imperfect long = two breves = four semi

An imperfect breve = two semibreves.

The semibreve being the lowest sign, and of
the smallest value, could not be divided, nor could
the large when used in the tenor of a cantos

A. Any single note, or. any three of the same

denomination, or their equivalents in im
mediate succession, were perfect, and
retained their fail value equivalents count
ing as notes.

B. Two or more larges, longs, or three semi

breves in succession, were always perfect,
and retained their full value each, of three
notes of the next in order.

* ‘ Ars Musica Mensurabili,’ chap. iv.

Measurable Music 1 1 7

C. When two breves or semibreves occurred in

succession, the last one received double the
value of the first one, = B P and these
were perfect.

D. A note immediately preceded or followed by

one next in order of diminution, lost a third of
its value, and became imperfect P P B =P P P
instead of P P P P, and so on,*

Five Modes or Measures of Rhythm.

I, p p = 52. S _ = M by Rule B above.

3. P | = 22-d 22 ^ == w W ”

4- ” ” I P = d 22 22- – w w _ C

Note 3 and 4 above. To signify a large or long
was to be treated independently of the next note,
and to divide groups of similar notes in succes
sion, as: mmlmmlmm !!
and so on, a short stroke or dot was used.


written=P p p p p | a as
sung = without divisio modi.

i. .1 m lmtthm=p-|P s 1 P & \ p- as
sun g = with divisio modi= j or *

* * Ars Musica Mensurabili, 3 chap. v.

f The rota ‘ Sumer is icumen in, 3 is phrased in this mood,
and written on a stave as adopted by Franco.

T 1 8 Mediaeval Music

The method of singing any measure, or com
bination of measures, was thus easily determined.


When ascending H ” the first note counted as
a breve 1 ; if it had a tail p a , a long 2 ; when de
scending m m , the first note counted as a long 3 ; if
it had a tail on the left |” B , a breve 4 .

If the first note had a tail on the left down
wards P it counted as a breve, upwards H it counted
as a semibreve.


When the last note was placed immediately over
the last note but one 9 g, 5 it counted as a long;

as with the podatus J, which embraced the inter
vals of a third, fourth, fifth, etc. The lowest note
was sung first, ascending to the interval above.
When the last note was placed at the side of the
last note but one ^” ., as a breve ; when the
last note was placed in obliquity to the last note
but one ^ “\ 7 , it received the value of a breve,
unless it had a tail descending on the right side,
when it equalled a long.

Measurable Music

All intervening notes were reckoned breves,
unless one had a tail ascending on the left side,
when it was counted as a semibreve. Larges
always retained their fall value.


This was a sort of shorthand in which a dash
or stroke was employed to represent two notes ;
the line or space where the ends of the dash or
stroke began and ended corresponded to the two
notes signified, the intervening notes being
omitted; they seldom exceeded the compass of a
fourth. Of course, if the last note was re-
I to be anything else than a breve, obliquity

with a long T> wherever

I2O Mediaeval Music

placed, received an accent, and was sustained
longer than a breve.

Slurs and Appogiaturas.*

! J The eptaphonus with the tail up on the right
side had the value of a long Written. Sung.

The eptaphonus with the tail up on the left
side had the value of a breve

* The cephalicus with the tail down on the right
side had the value of a long

P The cephalicus with the tail down on the left
side had the value of a breve

The appoggiatura= half the value of the note it
preceded, as is the present custom.


Perfection a dot placed immediately after, and
level with the middle of a note rendered imperfect
by position, restored the note to perfection.

Ultimately the dot was transposed to the
lesser prolation and was placed immediately after
a note, and is still so used, to increase a note by
half its value it was known as the point of per-

* * Ars Musica Mensurabili,’ chap. vi.

Measurable Music 1 2 1

fection. The modern pause sign /^ is the old sign
of greater prolation inverted.

Imperfection, or Division the dot was placed
somewhat high up, above and after a note. It was
always placed between one of two short notes, on
a higher level when the first was preceded, and the
last followed, by a long note. It was only used in
ternary measure, i.e., in triple or perfect time, serv
ing, as does the modern bar, to show and main
tain the threefold measure, and to prevent any

Alteration, or Duplication a dot placed higher
than in perfection and lower than in imperfection ;
it did not affect the note immediately before it, but
it doubled in value the last of the two short ones
that followed it. It only occurred before the first
of two short notes which were followed by a longer
one, or which were placed between two longer ones
in perfect time.

Augmentation a dot placed after a note
lengthened it by one-half, as at the present time.

A stroke through a time sign denotes diminution
in value or length, and consequently increase in

The points of

Imperfection, ] wer * ^ use , d ^f 1 ^ I ? e f ure ‘
A i/ ,- – * I and were at a later period sue-

122 Mediaeval Music

Franco divided the intervals in this manner

Concords, or Consonances

Unison, as A to A l Perfect
Octave, as A to a J

Major third, as A to Cj j Im fect
Minor third, as A to C J r

Perfect fourth, as A to D \ Medial
Perfect fifth, as A to E/ Meclial

Bzscords, or Dissonances

Minor second, as A to Bb \
Augmented fourth, as A to D$
Augmented fifth, as A to E$ I Perfect
Major seventh, as A to G$
Minor seventh, A to G J

Major sixth, as A to Fft | Imperfect

Minor sixth, as A to F j r

Unless this system, probably in use as late
as the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries, is
thoroughly mastered and understood, it is impos
sible to translate the music of the twelfth, thir
teenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, into
modern notation

Marchetto de Padova, in the thirteenth century,
c 1274, was the first to enunciate the fundamental
law of euphony, that every dissonance should
resolve itself into a consonance

The minim = minimum, the least, as maxima ==
the long, or greatest, is said to have been invented
in the thirteenth century, by Philippus de Vitnaco,
Bishop of Meaux (died 1360), or by Johannes de

Measurable Music 123

Muris (1300-1370) in the fourteenth century it is
not known for certain by which. Its introduction
rendered a greater extension of rhythmical em
phasis possible, though the new notes were subject
to the same rules as the old ones.

The semi-minima, which we now call the
crotchet, because of the hook which it once pos
sessed, soon followed the minim : as did the lesser
semi-minima, also called the fusa, or croma in
English, the quaver from the fact that this note
was only employed in embellishments, as the
quilisma or quaver of the voice; the fusa was
called f crome,’ inasmuch as it represented the
amount of the proportional loss sustained by a
jiote of superior value when it was coloured, in

The red note, when used with a black one, lost
a third of its value.

About the middle of the fourteenth century,
circa, 1378, the red notes disappeared, but the
names remained ; these were succeeded by white
hollow, or outline notes, which were used with the
black ones. They were subject to the same rules
as the red notes had been; that is, they lost a third
of their value when perfect, and a fourth when im
perfect.* They were always written on a stave of
five lines.

* Musical Times ) voL xxix., 1882.

124 Mediaeval Music

Time signatures, by whom invented is not
known, now began to appear.

Mode regulated the proportion between the large
and long, and the long and breve :

Illp=3rests and

HlC -3 small rests

and semicircle.
110=2 rests and
The Lesser Mode T f 5L. made the Long =3 Breves. n ^^’ saa ^ rests

The Greater Mode j j^^^t made tlie – Lar Se=2 f Longs,
i the Long =3 t Breves.

and semicircle.

TYwg regulated the proportion between the
breve and semibreve :


Perfect Time made ^ Breye = 3 1 Semibreves 1? %* $*
Imperfect Tune 2 ) ( C Oa C2-

Prolation regulated the proportion between the
semibreve and minim :


The notation used for the above may be summed
up as follows :

(1) Rests = relations between the large, long,

and breve.

(2) Circle with or without figure 3, the point =

the sign of perfection.

(3) Circle or semicircle, with or without figure

2, the stroke | = the sign of imperfection.

(4) 0, (I, (|) (t X 0, alia breve, alia capella=

diminution of the value of the notes to half
their value.

Measurable Music 125

(5) (ll) (11 = diminution of the value of the notes

to a fourth their value

(6) O, ( = either perfect time or the greater pro

lation when placed after a note , perfect by
time signature but imperfect by position,
the point sufficing to complete the beat
This is the only way it differed from the
point of augmentation

Some attribute to Walter Odington, a Bene
dictine monk, of Evesham, in Worcestershire, an
Englishman (living 1280-1316), the naming of
the notes , they are mentioned m a treatise written
by him in 1230 There were probably two of this

The first book printed in England with musical
notes was the e Polychromcon ‘ of Ralph Higden,
by John de Ternssa, Wynkyn de Worde, London,
1495 , and the earliest collection, twenty English
songs by Cornysh, Taverner, Cowper, Fairfax, and
others, by Wynkyn de Worde, London, 1530
Both are m the British Museum Both contain a
clef and open notes on a stave of five lines One
of the earliest books containing engraved music,
is to be seen in one of the cases m the British
Museum The music is written on four lines,
with time-signature, clefs, and round -shaped
semibreves, minims, crotchets, quavers, and semi
quavers Its title is ‘ Breve et facile maniera

126 Mediaeval Music

d’ essercitarsi ad agni scholaro, etc.,’ by G. L. Con-
forti ; printed at Rome, c. 1590.

The first book printed with round notes was
* Liber primus Missamm Carpentras/* 1532 ;
printed by Jean de Channay, Avignon. They do
not again appear for 150 years.

The first printed notes were open. Square notes
were gradually superseded in England by round
ones, c. 1700.

* Eliazar Genet, born c. 1 500, Chapel Master to the Bishop
of Rome, c. 1518.




A NTIPHONY, or the alternate responsive
\ singing of two choirs in unison or octaves,
there can be little doubt eventually suggested the
simultaneous singing of the two parts, the pre
cursor of modern Harmony.

The first known definition of Harmony is that
of St. Isidore of Seville in the seventh century:
‘Modulatis vocis, et concordantia plurimorum
sonorum, et coaptatis.’


Organum was the name given to an added part
sung a fourth or a fifth below a given melody,
called the Canto firmo or vox principalis.


Descant or Discant signified the art of singing
an improvised melody to a fixed song. Morley*
speaks of it as f a word usurped of the musitians
* Morley, l Introduction,’ p. 70.

128 Mediasval Music

in divers significations that it is generally
taken for singing a part extempore, on a playne-
song ; so that when a man talketh of a descanter,
it must be one that can extempore sing a part
upon a playne-song.’ The singing of the added


Diaphony StV, twice; (frcweco I sound, was a
term used to express the combination of the two
partsthe Canto firmo and the Organum or added
part, taken together.

C. F.


Organum was known at least as early as the
ninth century ; for Scotus Erigena, who died about
880, speaks of it in his treatise * De Divina

Hucbald in the tenth century describes three
kinds of symphony or harmony, in the fourth,
fifth, and octave:

(1) Diatessaron symphonia = Fourth.

(2) Diapente symphonia = Fifth.

(3) Diapason symphonia = Octave.

He occasionally made use of seconds and thirds,
but preferred the octave to other combinations.

* Grove’s ‘ Dictionary of Music and Musicians,’ ii. 608.

Polyphonic Music 129

True organum comprised fourths and fifths only,
though the unison and octave were used.

He introduced oblique motion on the principle
that ‘ one voice may be permitted to move freely
in any direction, so long as the other remains upon
the same note *; an exact description of the modern
* pedal-point.’

Organum was of three kinds :

(1) Diaphony = in two parts.

(2) Triphonia or Triaphony = in three parts.

(3) Tetraphonia or Tetraphony = in four parts.

In Triphonia, the organum was doubled in the
octave above, being both a fifth below and a fourth
above, or a fourth below and a fifth above the
Canto firmo ; it was also known as Organum
duplicatum, or triplum treble.



In Tetraphony, both the Organum and the
Canto firmo were doubled in the octave above,
forming a series of fifths-fourths-fifths, or fourths-
fifths -fourths.

Hucbald ruled that on whatever interval or


Mediaeval Music

intervals the Organum began, such sequence
should be rigidly adhered to throughout.

The above has by some historians been termed
parallel-organum, distinguishing it from that kind
which admitted major seconds and major and
minor thirds for the purpose of making the fourths
move more smoothly. Two thirds were not to
appear in succession.

Guido objected to the sequence of five-four and
four-five in Triphonia, caused by doubling the
Organum in the octave above, and ruled that these
two parts should both be sung below the Canto
firmo, or by a new method, in which he contrived
to keep the parts nearer together as they
approached the end of the melody. This device
he called


the intervals employed being the unison, seconds,
thirds, and fourths.


Polyphefiie-MH&e- 1 3 1

John Cotton, c. 1047-1083, introduced contrary
motion for the first time between the Organum
and Canto firmo.

De Coussemaker cites MS. treatises published
subsequently to that of John Cotton, and before
the end of the twelfth century ; he gives the text,
translation into French, and an analysis, from
which it seems that during that period the

(1) Use of consecutive fifths had departed.

(2) Thirds and sixths were used as quasi-con-
sonances occasionally.

(3) Passing notes appeared.

(4) The minor third was used at the end of a

(5) Contrary motion prevailed.

The following example of Discantus of the end
of the eleventh or the beginning of the twelfth
century is given on the authority of Dr. Riemann.*
Every note in the Canto finno has the value of a
long P’ of 3 beats the real Cantus planus ; and
the Discantus adds to each a long P of 2 beats,
followed by a breve J.

* ‘ Catechism of Musical History, 3 pp. 24, 25 ; Augener
and Co.


A Bishop of St. David’s wrote in the twelfth
century : ‘ The Britons do not sing their tunes in
unison, like the inhabitants of other countries, but
in different parts.’*

Adam de Hale a Trouv&re, b. 1240 was the
composer of the first comic opera, ‘ Robin Hood
and Maid Marian.’f


Faburdon was in use at two different periods.
In its earliest form it consisted in a single note,
burden, or drone being held on throughout as a
bass to the melody or Canto firmo. It probably
preceded Diaphony, which was certainly an advance
on this rugged attempt at harmony. About the
fourteenth century the introduction of the pre
viously forbidden intervals, the thirds and sixths,
gave rise to the term False Bourdon also,
though with a different meaning. Any slow psalm
tune, written chiefly or entirely in the first order
of Counterpoint, was called Faburdon.

An English MS. by a certain Chilston, preserved
in the ‘ Manuscript of Waltham Holy Cross, ‘J
probably of the fourteenth century, gives rules

* ‘ History of Music/ Nauman i., ed. by Ouseley.
f Hullah’s * History of Modern Music,’ pp. 41, 42, gives
J Hawkins, <H. of M.,’ i., 256, Novello’s ed.

Polyphonic Music 133

and directions * for the sight of descant . , . and of

Hawkins gives an example, and, quoting Morley,
adds after it : * And though this be prikt a third
above the plainsong, yet it was alwaies sung under
the plainsong/

Imitation and Inversion occur in a three-part
song by one Busnois, who lived c. 1450, and died


The word Counterpoint in place of Descant
first occurs in the writings of Jean de Muris, one
of the greatest musical theorists of the fourteenth
century, and of Gerson, Chancellor of Notre Dame,
c. 1408. Counterpoint, Punctus, Contra-punctum,
nota contra notam = really, point with point,
note with note, was, strictly speaking, written
Descant, and was also known as prick-song, owing
to the harmony or parts forming it being written
or pricked down, whereas in Descant it was the
extemporaneous and spontaneous effort of the
singer only.

England, as with all advances in the science
and art of music, was to the fore in that of
Counterpoint. John Tinctor, a Netherlander,
born 1434 or 1435, who died c. 1520, wrote
respecting Counterpoint : c Of this new art, as I
may call it, the fountain and source is said to have

134 Mediaeval Music

been among the English, of whom Dunstable*
was the chief.’

In the fifteenth century England, as the head of
a school, preceded both the Netherlanders and
Burgundians. During the wars of the Roses,
music in England, like the other arts, suffered
much, all progress for the time being at an end

~”~Counterpoint is of two kinds, Strict and Free.
Strict Counterpoint dates from about the four
teenth to the end of theHsixteenth century, when
the -Polyphonic styles^ died. out,,. and the Monodic
came in. The main idea on which the Polyphonic
stjde was based, was~ the melodic relation of two-
real parts. The Monodic, on the other hand, is

“basecTdn the harmonic relation of two successive
chords. The arrangement and treatment of the
parts in each was therefore very different; the
one was lateral, the other vertical. Strict Counter
point admitted the Diatonic genus only, and it is
not until isgSf that the first instance of the
Chromatic genus is

Counterpoint is simple or florid. Simple Coun
terpoint is when the Counterpoint and Canto firmo
respectively comprise notes of the same length.

Florid Counterpoint is when the Counterpoint

* John of Dunstable, in Bedfordshire, a musician, mathe
matician, and astrologer, died 1453.

t ‘ Construe, my darling, 3 a canzonet by Giles Farnaby,
1591, ed, by W. B. Squire.

Polyphonic Music 135

comprises longer and shorter notes than the Canto

At first Concords only were admitted; later,
Discords, under certain restrictions.

Modern Counterpoint includes five species.
The general laws of Strict Counterpoint are
clearly and succinctly set forth by Mr. W. S.
Rockstro in Grove’s ‘ Dictionary of Music and
Musicians,’* and those relating to the Free style
also ably explained.-)- The two styles are not
antagonistic, as the new progressions made use of
in the Free style were unknown to the contra
puntists of the sixteenth century. It would occupy
too much space to enter fully into the subject
here, besides being outside the scope of this
volume. The reader who desires a complete
knowledge of the two styles of Counterpoint can
not do better than consult the articles referred to.
For the practical study of Counterpoint any of
the following excellent works will be found of
much value :

e Counterpoint : Strict and Free.’ By Mr.
Ebenezer Prout. (Augener and Co.) 55.

‘ Counterpoint.’ By Sir G. A. Macfarren*
(Cambridge University Press.) 75. 6d.

* Counterpoint/ By Dr. Bridge. (Novello and

Co.) 2S.

* VoL iiL, 741-744- t Vol. iv., 742-744*

136 Mediaeval Music

“Double Counterpoint/ By Mr, Ebenezer
Prout (Augener and Co.) 55.

‘Double Counterpoint/ By Dr. Bridge. (Novello
and Co.) 2S.

Good works on Counterpoint have also been
compiled by Cherubini, Richter, Ouseley, Daven
port, Fux, and others.


Canto firmo = the Melody, or mis-called Plain-
song, usually in the tenor.

Faburdon (i) = a drone, burden, or holding part
in the bass.

Organum=an added part a fourth or fifth below
the Canto firmo.

Diaphony=the name for the Organum and
Canto firmo taken together.

Descant = the art of singing an improvised part
or Organum.

Faburdon (2) = the addition of thirds and sixths
to the Organum.

Counterpoint = melodies parallel with melodies,
at first note with note written horizontally.

Harmony = combination of notes written verti



MONODIC or Harmonic Music dates from
the end of the sixteenth century. Pre
viously the only apology for harmony was that
arising from Organum, Faburdon, and Counter
point, purely lateral combinations of a series
of superimposed melodies, written from left to
right, with regard only to the movement of the
vocal parts at the prescribed intervals, without
any idea of individual chords constructed vertically,
which constitutes Modern Harmony.

The advancement of the Modern style was
long stayed, owing to the rooted antipathy to
the triton or interval of the augmented fourth
with its three whole tones, which occurs in the
old minor mode of A and in the major mode of C,
between the F and B. The use of this interval
being very rigidly prohibited, neither the major
mode with its major seventh, nor the chord of the
dominant seventh could be used; modulation
therefore as now understood was impossible. The

138 Mediaeval Music

earliest use of the major seventh, or sharpened
leading note in the minor mode, partially, if not
wholly, is found in a treatise written in 1531 upon
Counterpoint, by Stephano Vannco, born 1493 ; it
was translated into Latin by Vincenzo Rossetti of
Verona, and published in Rome, 1533. In this
work he also explains the principles and practice
of Music, Solmization, Measurable Music, Nota
tion, and Counterpoint.

The first to make use of the chord of the domi
nant seventh as a fundamental discord without
preparation was a French composer, born c. 1475,
one Jean Mouton, who died 1522. Its use, however,
does not appear to have become at all general.
, Giovanni Pierluigi, born 1514 at Palestrina in
the Campagna of Rome, died 1594, has been called
the * Father of Church Music.* He was commis
sioned to organize the music of the Italian Church,
which had at that time again sunk into a most
deplorable state, the Masses being interspersed
with secular songs and dances, blasphemously
profane and indecent. The principle he adopted
was harmonic effect in contrast to the harsh
polyphony of the old Netherland, Holland, and
Belgium schools, as represented by Josquin, 1450-
1532. Although he solved the problem, he lacked
any feeling of sympathy for that smoothness
which should be felt from the use of consecutive
chords owing to their mutual relation. His chords

Monodic or Harmonic Music 139

follow one another by abrupt and disconnected
leaps m a restless manner It is problematical
whether we should discern wherein the interest and
elevated beauties claimed for it lay if performed now
His music is absolutely devoid of all expression
He made several attempts to introduce new har
monic combinations in his compositions, intro
ducing an uninterrupted flow of consonant chords,
dominant sevenths prepared, with dissonant and
passing notes charily interspersed He is accounted
by Papists as the greatest, and one of the last com
posers of the Polyphonic School

Polyphonic music, and with it the so-called
ecclesiastical mediaeval music, received its death,
blow at the end of the sixteenth and beginning of
the seventeenth centuries, mainly owing to the
general adoption of the chord of the dominant
seventh unprepared

To Claude Monteverde, born at Cremona in the
year 1568, we may look as the originator of the
modern style of composition, a system of Harmony
which has continued without interruption to the
present day

In his third and fifth book of Madrigals, pub
lished in 1594 and 1599 respectively, are to be
found and used with the greatest freedom, and
without preparation

Chords of the Diminished Fifth
,, Diminished Triad

140 Mediaeval Music

Chords of the Major, Dominant, and Dimin
ished Seventh and inversions.
Major Ninth.
Suspended Sevenths and Ninths.
Perfect Cadences, i.e., Tonic

preceded by the Dominant.
The Sharp also is found at the signature.
The exact date when the major mode came in
vogue has not been definitely determined; it
was, however, used for certain by Monteverde,
who died in 1643.

Dramatic music the Cantata, Opera, and
Oratorio proper date from this period, to which
also we owe the unsurpassable family of violins,
whose makers, even in these days of enlighten
ment and ingenuity, have never been equalled,
much less surpassed, in the richness and fulness
of tone and beauty of workmanship.

It also produced musical giants such as the
world had never before known. Archangel Corelli,
the father of the violin ; Henry Purcell, the father
of English music ; Alexander Scarlatti, the creator
of modern opera ; George Frederick Handel, the
king of oratorio; John Sebastian Bach, the master
of fugue, etc. All born in this wonderful age, the
seventeenth century.

Chamber music must also be included in this
remarkable era which produced such phenomenal
advances, not only in every branch of music, vocal

Monodic or Harmonic Music 141

. a

and instrumental, but in literature, science, and
art generally

The presence of the chord of the Dominant
Seventh at once shows if a composition is of
earlier or later date than the sixteenth century
Its use was not general until the middle of the
seventeenth century

Mediaeval music received its death blow, and
the old chest of viols practically disappeared, until
Mr Dolmetsch quite recently resuscitated them

The square notes were graduallv superseded in
England by round notes at the end of the seven
teenth century


Our major and minor modes are included in
the ten notes of the Diatonic Scale beginning

on A= A B CDEFGabc, these two modes are

i i


generally termed relatives

The minor mode of A = the relative minor of
C major

The major mode of C = the relative major of
A minor

A Tonic minor mode l^as the same keynote as
the major mode

The minor mode is used in three different v?&ys

(1) As written above = the Old Minor

(2) With the seventh raised a semitone = the

142 Mediaeval Music

(3) With the sixth and seventh raised a semi
tone in ascending only = the Arbitrary.

The major mode came into general use between
the middle of the sixteenth and seventeenth cen

The chromatic scale comprises twelve semitones
ascending by sharps, and twelve in descending by


The smallest interval on the pianoforte and
other keyed instruments is the semitone, which is
the meter by and from which all other intervals
are counted.

Intervals are simple when confined within the
compass of an octave, or compound when exceed
ing the limits of an octave.

The simple intervals of which the compound
are formed can easily be found by subtracting
seven from the compound interval, thus :

9 7 = 2, and g=the2nd)^ ,, , .

, , , f Doubled in

IO -7 = 3> and io=the 3rd >

j it J.-L. \ the octave.
11 7 = 4, and n=the 4th J

Diatonic intervals consist of the notes only be
longing to the scale.

Chromatic intervals consist of the notes not
belonging to the scale.

Enharmonic intervals consist of the notes which
are changed in name, but not on keyed instru
ments, as the organ, pianoforte, etc. in sound.

Monodic or Harmonic Music 143

A Diatonic semitone consists of two different
letters, as F Gb-

A Chromatic semitone consists of the same
letter altered, as F FJ.

There are five kinds of intervals :

Perfect, which by inversion remain Perfect.

Major, ,, become Minor.

Minor, Major.

Augmented, Diminished.

Diminished, Augmented.

The unison is not an interval but for convenience.

Intervals are always counted upwards, and
include those counted from and to.

Inversion signifies the reversal of the positions of
the two notes forming the interval. The number
of notes in any interval added to those of Its
inversion = 9 and the semitones = 12.

The octave in the major mode is made up as
follows :

The first note, Tonic or keynote “j

> a major tone |

The second note, or Super-tonic ] J

> = a minor tone

The third note, or Mediant ) J ?

> =a major semitone I
Thefourthnote, or Sub-dominant J }

> =a major tone g
The fifth note, or Dominant ) ;

> =a minor tone
The sixth note, or Sub-mediant


> =a major tone


The seventhnote, or Leading note] _

j- a major semitone
The eighth note, or Octave 1

144 Mediaeval Music

The Tonic, Fourth, Fifth, and Octave are
Perfect, and remain so on inversion ; they are so
called because any alteration either by raising or
lowering them converts them at once from con
cords to discords.

Concords, which are satisfactory in themselves,
are either Perfect as above or imperfect = major
and minor thirds and sixths.

Discords are not satisfactory in themselves and
require to be resolved = the discord must be
followed by a concord they are either Diatonic
or Chromatic.

Diatonic = major and minor seconds and

Chromatic = all augmented and diminished


A chord is, strictly speaking, the simultaneous
combination of two or more notes. The common
chord or triad consists of any note being taken for
the bass with its third and fifth notes added above.
So long as the bass note is not altered, the upper
notes may change their positions without altering

the chord. It is figured | or 5 = Third.


A chord is major or minor according as its third
is, which determines the mode.

Monodic or Harmonic Music 145

There are in each octave of the major mode
Three major chords Xwhich ^^s Perfect intervals=i.4.5-

Tliree minor ‘ on the X Imperfect =2.3.6.
One diminished triad, which occurs on the 7th or leading note.


A chord is inverted when the root is not in the
bass part.

A chord as a rule admits of one less inversion
than there are different notes in such chord. The
first inversion of the common chord has the third
in the bass, which may not be doubled. It may
begin a piece, but never end one. It is figured
I or 6.

ist Inversions of major chords give a minor third + a per
fect fourth, the major sixth from the bass.
minor chords give a major third 4- a per

fect fourth, the minor sixth from the bass.

The second inversion of the common chord has
the fifth in the bass ; it may never begin nor end
a piece of music. It is figured \.

2nd inversions of

Major v a major third.

^ Chords give a Perfect fourth -{- ‘
Minor a minor third.

The diagrams on pages 146-8 show at a glance
the positions each note in the original chords
occupies in their inversions :



Mediaeval Music

C=Bass ”


Fundamental discords are generated from a
fundamental note, prime, or generator as under :


They require no preparation being heard in a
previous chord like other discords, but need
resolution. They are either Diatonic or Chro
matic, and consist of a series of thirds super
imposed on a major triad, and are as follows :

(1) Chord of the Dominant 7thA


(2) Chord of the Dominant gth,

major and minor

(3) Chord of the Dominant i ith,

major and minor

(4) Chord of the Dominant ijth,

major and minor.

The major gth on the Super-) .

tonic L an( ^ on t ne ^ ominant are not

^ . , , _ . f used in the Minor mode.
The major isth on the Tonic )

on the Tonic, Supertonic and
Dominant, from the funda
mental notes of which they
are respectively derived.

Monodic or Harmonic Music 147

(1) The Dominant 7th = Dominant major triad+a minor


(2) The Dominant 9th=Dominant 7th+a major or minor


(4) The Dominant 1 3th = Dominant nth-j-a major third.


First. Second.

i Progressions.


F = Seventh


D = Fifth ; Third

B = Third
G =Bass

, Bass


‘ Sixth

Bass j Sixth |=free.

i i

Sixth t Fourth l =ascends.

Fourth i Second I


Third, j
F ^Seventh
Bass |
| ascends or
Sixth i
– descends
j a degree.


Mediaeval Music


a ^

O 73

*g II

a> T3

c o

‘ o

* !


’55 r ‘5 fl
S S 5 J3 5

c ^


^ c

s 1


> ^


“* ^

cn _
to H3
rt <l>

tt s
g s
H ^A_,
: Eleventh

I 1 1

fi( fn PQ


g 2




W <D

33 S
> S

S “3

-M g
C/l **^

cj^ O





O < fa Q pQ O



Monodic or Harmonic Music 149


Every piece of music ends with a Close or
Cadence, which establishes its tonality, of which
there are several kinds :

(1) The Tonic preceded by a minor chord on
the dominant or an inversion of it; very unja^uaL

(2) The Tonic preceded by a major 1:hord on
the mediant or third; i^ed by Gounod.

(3) The Tonic preopred by a major chord on
the subdominant or fourth ; called Plagal.

(4) The Tonic preceded by a major chord on
the dominant or fifth ; called Perfect or Full.

The last is the most general. The Plagal is
common in old Church music. The Perfect
Cadence is always major, whether the mode be
major or minor. This establishes the tonality, as
it is called, to the key which it marks.

There are two other forms of the Cadence,
usually termed half-closes or Cadences :

(1) The Imperfect or Half-Close = a common

chord on the dominant, preceded by a
common chord on the Tonic ; and

(2) The Deceptive a common chord on the

dominant, followed by a common chord
on the submediant ; it is also called the
interrupted Cadence, and is used as a
device to temporarily delay the perfect

150 Mediaeval Music


The first portion of a movement, the first
half of a double chant, of hymn tunes, etc ,
usually ends on the dominant

Passing notes first used about the middle of
the twelfth century do not belong to the har
mony , they are not essential, and consequently
their progression is almost free

Bach used minor chords at the end of his
preludes, but not of his fugues or chorales There
was a prejudice against the use of the minor third
at the close of a piece in the sixteenth and seven
teenth centuries

Handel and Mozart used both the minor and
the major chords , they also omitted the third at
the end of a piece

A melod} , as a rule, should not proceed by an
augmented nor diminished interval

The chord of the augmented sixth is taken on
the minor sixth of the major mode and is formed
by the chord of the dominant minor ninth on the
supertomc with the dominant minor ninth the
minor sixth of the mode added Ah, D, F$, C, Eb ,
also on the minor second of the minor mode when
it comprises the minor ninth of the tonic, the third
and seventh, and the root or minor ninth of the
dominant D(?, G, B, F, Ab [Macfarren ]

The chord is written in three ways, and called

Monodic or Harmonic Music 151

(i) The Italian Sixth
(2) The French Sixth WE

(3) The German Sixth

Chord on minor sixth.

(1) Root and ninth of supertonic^j

(2) Ninth of supertonic Vomitted.

(3) Root J

This chord is also used in the minor mode.

Chord on minor second.

(1) Root and ninth of dominant ]

(2) Ninth of dominant [-omitted.

(3) Root J


Chromatic concords and their inversions con
tain chromatic notes, hence the term-
In the minor mode there are two :

(1) A major common chord on the minor second
with its first inversion, called the ‘Neapolitan

(2) A major common chord on the supertonic
with its first inversion.

152 Mediaeval Music

In the major mode they are In addition :

(1) Common major chord on the minor second,
and first inversion.

(2) Common major chord on the supertonic
and first inversion.

(3) Common major chord on the minor sixth
and first inversion.

(4) Common minor chord on the subdominant
and two inversions.

(5) First inversion on the subdominant of a triad
with a diminished fifth.


Suspension, as the name implies, is the suspend
ing or holding back the resolution of a chord or
note usually by the fourth or ninth, whilst the rest
of the chord, or part of it, moves on, and must
take place on the accented portion of the bar. The
only notes, whether singly or in combination, that
may be suspended, are the third and eighth by the
fourth and ninth, and the dissonant fifth of the
third and seventh degrees of both major and
minor modes.

A discord, whether suspended or not, must not
be sounded simultaneously with the note upon
which it is resolved, excepting only

(1) The ninth with the root in the bass.

(2) The ninth with the root in an upper part.

(3) The fourth with the third in an upper
part or in the bass.

Monodic or Harmonic Music 153

The suspended note is otherwise treated in
every respect as it would be were it not sus

Any suspension, as with all other discords, may
prior to its resolution rise.

Essential discords are those which belong to
the Harmony, and are as follows :

(1) Chord of the dissonant fifth on the mediant
of major and minor modes.

(2) Chord of the augmented fifth on the mediant
of the minor key.

(3) Chord of the seventh the second inversion
is not available.

(4) Chord of the seventh, with augmented fifth
on mediant of minor mode.

(5) Chord of the seventh, on mediant of major

(6) Chord of the seventh on supertonic of minor

(7) Chords of the ninth. Root always omitted
in inversions ; last inversion is unavailable.

NOTE. The bass of a second inversion of a
discord usually ascends or descends to the next

Consecutive perfect unisons, fourths, fifths, and
octaves, should never occur. Excepting under
very exceptional circumstances, the leading note
the third of the dominant should ascend to
the tonic or keynote by a semitone.

154 Medieval Music


False relation occurs when a note appears in
one part, and again in the next chord in another
part altered, for instance, when a note appears as
a natural in a tenor part in a chord, and as a flat
or sharp in the treble, alto, or bass in the next
chord. False relation does not occur when the
third of the first chord is the root or fifth of the
second chord.


A sequence is a series of repetitions of the same
intervals or chords.


The three kinds of movement or motion are :

(1) Similar, when the parts move in the same

(2) Contrary, when the parts move in opposite

(3) Oblique, when one or more parts are
stationary whilst the others move.


The normal modes are :

with semitones with semitones

C Major between 3 and 4 A Minor between 2 and 3
7 and 8 7 and 8

The presence of a sharp or flat at the signature

Monodic or Harmonic Music 155

indicates a transposition of one of the above, the
sharp or flat only being placed there to ensure the
semitones falling in their proper places.

Every sharp added to the signature shows the
mode has been transposed a fifth higher or a fourth
lower, as under :

1 sharp = a fifth above C = G

2 sharps = G = D

3 sharps = D=A
and so on.

The sharp is always added to the fourth note of
the key from which transposition has been made.

Every flat at the signature denotes the mode
has been transposed a fourth higher or a fifth lower


1 flat =a fourth above C =F

2 flats = , ; F =Bb

3 flats- Bb=Eb

The flat is always added to the seventh note
of the key from which transposition has been


Thorough or figured bass first made its appear
ance in printed books c. 1600; the usual rules

(i) The absence of any figures signified the
common chord was to be used.

156 Medieval Music

(2) A 6 signified the chord of the sixth, some
times written .

(3) I signified the chord of the six-four.

(4) Accidentals were placed by the side of the
figure representing the intervals requiring them.

(5) Accidentals by themselves affected the third

The tempo signs, Adagio, Andante, Allegro,
were imported from Italy about this time.

Equal temperament was introduced at the end
of the seventeenth century, about which period
the distinction between the $ and fl was made, the
sharp no longer being used to contradict the flat,
nor the flat the sharp.

The root in any inversion of a dominant chord
will be found by arranging the notes forming the
chord into a regular series of thirds in order, until
the chord of the dominant seventh is reached ; the
lowest or bass note of this is the root.

The three lowest thirds = a chord of the domi
nant seventh, the lowest note of which will be
the root.

When a chord is derived from the

Dominant <* &* leading note.

Supertonic^^it usually contains thes-* minor 7th,
Tonic ** ^augmented 4th.

Monodic or Harmonic Music 157



2345 6
6 !
5 |
4 ;
3 .
2 ,
3 B
6 7
3 4
2 2
6 7
2 2
7 5
7 : 7
6 6
5 5
1 4
2 2

The squares formed by each of the thick black lines on the
right of ‘ B ‘ joining the thin lines under B,’ embrace respec
tively the Chords under o and their inversions, on reading
from left to right, also the positions each of the intervals in
the original chord occupies in the inversions. The small
figures under the thin line represent the figured Bass of each
chord or inversion.



Page 5. Everyone knows how much the world is indebted
to the Church for its encouragement of painting, Michael
Angelo, Raphael, among many } having been almost entirely
employed in the decoration of churches ; of architecture and
sculpture it is unnecessary to say anything.

Page 6. Antiphons ‘cut off, 7 see Book of Common
Prayer, ‘Concerning the Services of the Church. 1

Page 7. Gregorian musical literature continues to grow
apace, though the probabilities of the ancient Church modes
finally ousting the modern Anglican chant are less than ever.
We know how endeavours are made in some quarters to
gild the pill of the Gregorian tones by tricking them out
with ornate chromatic harmonies in spite of the incongruity,
as well as the injurious effect on the voice by perpetually
singing them in unison (Musical Times, xxvii., 672-3).

Page 1 8. Terpander’s scale is composed of a tetrachord
E F G A, and a trichord b d e ; the latter contains no
semitone. It is to the avoiding of the use of the semitones
of the diatonic scale that Scotch airs owe their peculiarly
bright and mobile character.

In the older form of the air * Cockle Shells ‘ there is no
second or sixth ; f Blythe and Merry/ a Gaelic air, has neither
third nor sixth.

Notes 159


Page 21. The Hebrews, during their long sojourn amongst
the Egyptians, must have become familiar with their music
and musical system, and in the absence of any suggestion as
to the possibility of their having any distinctive system or
method of their own, It may be fairly assumed that the
musical systems were more or less the same.

The Egyptians compared the seven degrees of their scale
to the seven planets, including the sun and moon.

Page 22. The Greeks maintained their rhythm by the
stamping of the feet by the conductor. The first instance in
England of the use of the baton for conducting was by

Pythagoras’ system was doubtless greatly influenced by
the knowledge he gained of the Egyptian system of music
and of the mathematical proportions of their intervals during
his sojourn in that land.


Page 26. The proslambanomenos 7 or the added note, was
never accounted or formed a part of a tetrachord.


– Page 42. With the Greeks Anti as usually applied to
music, is in the sense of ‘ accompanying,’ and therefore, in
that of the Latin cum, * with, 3 and not of pro or contra. In
stead of being responsive, like the chants in our cathedrals
which in Greek would be called Ameibomenai Greek
AntipJions were simultaneous sounds an octave apart, and
therefore like our congregational singing, wherein the voices
of men intermingle with those of women and children. The
voices of the men, being naturally an octave lower than the
others, make the Antiphons.

160 Mediaeval Music

The English word c Counter, 3 as compounded in Counter
part, and in music Counter-tenor and Counter-point, seems
better to express the Greek Anti than the Latin Contra or
our * against’ Counter-point is simultaneous harmony, or
note with note (Chappell, History of Music} L, n).

Page 46. Mr. W. S. Rockstro in his article on the
4 Ambrosian Chant,’ in Sir George Grove’s l Dictionary of
Music and Musicians] now admits that the attribution of the
four authentic modes to St. Ambrose has not been proved.

The system of music adopted by St. Ambrose appears to
have reference to the modes of the ancients, or rather those
of Ptolemy, shown to have been precisely coincident with
the seven species of Diapason, four of which he retained :
the Dorian, D minor ; the Phrygian, E minor ; the Lydian,
F minor : the Mixo- Lydian, G minor, which names he re
jected, calling them protos, deuteros, tritos, tetrartos ‘
(Hawkins, ‘ History of Mmic] i., 107).

The very learned Dr. Usher, upon the authority of two
ancient manuscripts, asserts the *Te Deum 3 to have been
made by a Bishop of Triers, named Nicetius or Nicettus,
and that not till about the year 500 527, which was almost
a century after the death of both St Ambrose and St. Augus
tine (L’Estrange’s { Alliance of Divine Offices] 79). The
Benedictines, who published the works of St. Ambrose, judge
him not to have been the author of it, and Dr. Cave, though
at one time he was of a different judgment, and Bishop
Stillingneet concur in the opinion that the Te Deum J was
not the composition of St. Ambrose or of him. and St. Augus
tine jointly (Bingham’s * Antiquities of the Christian
Church] book xiv., c. ii. 5 9). The first mention of the ‘Te
Deurn 3 occurs in the Rules of S. Benedict of Caesarius of
Aries (Walcotfs ‘ Sacred Archeology] 573).


Page 49. Trinity Sunday. The office of the Holy
Trinity was composed by Alcuin of York in the reign ^of

Notes j 6 1

Charles the Great ; it was not observed at Rome during the
episcopacy of Alexander III., 1159-1183, and was even in
1268 in England known as the Octave of the Pentecost.
In some churches, the festival was kept on this Sunday, or
on the Sunday next before Advent. In 1303 it was estab
lished by Bishop Benedict XL, 1303-1304, as it is now ob
served ; or, according to others, by John XXII., Bishop of
Rome, 1316-1334, or by Thomas A’Becket, Walcott’s
‘ Sacred Archeology] 590. The general observance of the
day as a separate festival in honour of the Blessed Trinity
was first enjoined by a Synod of Aries, in A.D. 1260 (Slant’s
* Annotated Book of Common Prayer*}.

Page 52. If the neumes ever gave the intervals of ascent
or descent exactly, then the knowledge of the necessary rules
was indeed early lost. Hucbald already complains in the
tenth century that the neumes were only an uncertain guide,
and a mere help to the memory rather than a real notation.
John Cotton says the virga, podatus and clives, indicate with
no certainty intervals of ascent or descent.

Various scribes would naturally write the neumes they
copied without regard to accuracy, rendering different read
ings inevitable. The attempts made at the present time
to transcribe them are purely guess-work

Page 53. It is an erroneous assumption that St. Gregory
the Great introduced a letter notation ; the very Antiphonary
attributed to him is written not in letters, but in neumes.

Page 54. Notker knew nothing of the Greek names to
the modes, only the numerical i, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Page 55. For fuller accounts of the ancient service books
the reader is referred to MaskelPs ^Monwnenta RiiuaLia^
and to the article by the late Henry Bradshaw in * The
Chronicles of the Collegiate Church of AH Saints^ Derby]
by J. C. Cox and W. H. St. John Hope. The Saruin
Gradual has just been published in facsimile by the Plain
Song and Mediaeval Music Society, and the Bangor Anti
phonary and Westminster Missal by the Henry Bradshaw



1 62 Mediaeval Music

Page 56. The so-called Gregorian Antiphonary Is said to
be a copy of the one made by Adrian L 5 790, for Charles the


Page 59. { AJ1 musical instruments are called organs
crgana] says St. Augustine, born 354, died 430; l not only
that great instrument into which the wind is pumped by
bellows is called an organ, but also every instrument which
is capable of producing a melody. 3

Page 72. Illustrations of organs of the following periods
can be seen in the works mentioned below :

ist century, Stainer’s * Music of the Bible] fig. 65.

4th Lacroix’s ‘ Fine Arts of the Middle Ages, 3 figs.

363, 393-

8th Hopkins’s ‘English Mediceval Organ] fig. 12.

loth Lacroix, fig. 394,

1 3th Lacroix, fig. 382.

1 4th Lacroix, fig. 395.

Sacristy, vol. iii., 149.

1 5th. Hopkins, fig. 27.

Portatives,’ Lacroix, figs. 376, 383, 396.

1 6th Lacroix, fig. 377.

‘Positive, 5 Stainer’s l Music of the Bible] fig. 62.

After the Restoration the usual place for the organ in our
cathedrals, college chapels, and large parish churches was
on the rood-screen. Previously the organ is found in various
parts of the buildings, sometimes on the north and some
times on the south side, as well as at the west end.


Page 81. The terms < False Greek ‘ and ‘ False Mediaeval
Modes 3 are here used synonymously for the eight octave
scales meaninglessly termed f Gregorian.’

Notes 163

Page 80. Some assert that the designating the mediaeval
modes by the ancient Greek names dates from the tenth
century, probably by Notker.

The difference in meaning is obvious, for Ptolemy, referring
to the Greek modes, stated that the

Phrygian mode lay one degree higher than the Dorian mode.
Lydian 3> Phrygian .,

Mixo-Lydian Lydian

Being transposing scales, this is of course correct. The
mediaeval modes being non-transposing, the names had not
the same meaning.

The alphabetical notation, PABCDEFG, ab^cd
e f o ;3 b % A, is first mentioned by Odo, Abbot of Cluny,
in the 6 Dialogits de Jfuszca 3 ; he died 942. It is formed by
taking an octave each way from the mese a ; below the
lowest octave r, the Greek gamma, was placed, and
above the highest octave the small Greek letters, a 3 |?

Page 91. Regals were movable reed organs, Positives
were supplied with flue-pipes.

Regals when single = one pair = one set of pipes,
when double = two pairs = two sets of pipes.

A pair of organs. The word t pair 3 is here used in the same
sense as we use it in such expressions as pair of tongs, of
scissors, bellows, snuffers, virginals, etc. The number of
pipes in the organ = a complete set.

A great pair of organs = a series of pipes sounding in
unison with the tenor and bass voices.

A small pair of organs = a series of pipes sounding in
unison with the treble voices.

Two pairs of organs = two sets of pipes, are mentioned as
belonging to the Temple Church, London, in 1307.

Page 104. A chronicle of the Monastery of Corbie of the


Mediaeval Music

tenth century mentions the use of the lines to regulate the
positions of the neumes, about 986


Page 105 The finales, D, E, F, g, of Hucbalds system
= all the finals of the eight mediaeval octave scales

‘ In consideration of Guide’s contributions to musical art,
many of the Italian writers of the seventeenth century re
garded him as the restorer, if not the inventor, of musical
science At all events, few modern thinkers will be inclined
to depreciate the great value of his services Those who
look -with scorn and contempt at all efforts to trace the
origin of music to the period of mythical existence, and -who
believe in the tangible, will readily admit that the reality of
musical art began with Guido Therefore, if this be con
ceded, the question of the more remote origin for Gregorian
song must be abandoned as insoluble At all events, its
present form is untraceable beyond Guido J (Musical Times,
xxxi , 526)

Page in Speaking of a table of neumes with transla
tions recently published, a writer in the Musical Times
said l Should anyone attempt to elucidate an old MS by
its aid he will find, as others have before, that he has
ventured into an unknown sea whose depths up to the
present time have not been fathomed 5 (vol xxi , 241)

Leger lines were unknown as late as the fifteenth cen
tury The clefs first appear as fixtures in the sixteenth
century, when leger lines might occasionally be called into


Page 124. Philippe de Vitry is accredited by some with
hafving m\ ented the s> stems of Prolation, and Johannes Tine-
tons with the introduction of strokes added to the time value

Notes 165

to express respectively the greater or lesser mode according
to the number used three = the greater, two = the lesser.

In the 1 2th and I3th centuries the bar unit = the breve.
1 5th century = the semibreve.

i9th = the crotchet

RESTS. The crotchet rest resembles the letter r with the
hook to the right The quaver, semiquaver, demi-semi-
quaverand semi-demi-semiquaver rests have the hook turned
to the left, an additional hook being appended to the upright
for every stroke added to the tail of the note to whose value
it corresponds, thus :

Crotchet = ^ rest = \*

Quaver = j ,7=7

N =3
Semi-quaver = c \ =

*S ^

Demi-semi-quaver = \ = |

S 5

Senxi-demi-semi-quaver = v *j



ADORATION of the Lamb, 72
^Eolian, 16
^olian scale, 17
Alleluia, 56
Alteration, 121
Ambrosian music, 45

Te Deum, 46
Ameibomeuai, 159
Anglican chant, 6

music, 7
Anthem, 56
And, 159

Antiphon, 6,45, 158, 159
Antiphonal singing, 42, 43,

Antiphonary, 48, 50, 51, 56,

58, 161, 162
Antiphony, 127
Appoggiatura, 120
Arab scale, 24
Arians, 43
Asiatic flute, 16
Augmentation, 121
Augmented intervals, 144
Authentic, 80, 86, 87, 88
Avars, 74

B fiat, 6, 67, 68, 69, 89
Babylonian scale, 22
Bangor antiphonary, 161
Belgian adulterations, 6
Black lines, 109, no

notes, 70, 112, 121, 123
Blessed Trinity, 43, 44, 116
Book of Common Prayer,

Books, none written, 53
Bradshaw Society, 161
Breve, 115, 116, 117, 118

119, 120
Breviary, 57
Burden, 112
Burney, ignorance of, 3
Burthen, 112

Cadences, 149
Canon, 112

of the Mass, 56, 57
Canto firmo, 8, 127, 128, 129,

130, 131, 132, 136
Cantus Gregorianus, 113

planus, 131
Catch, 112
Cephalicus, 120
Chants, 6, 95
Choir school at Rome, 48,


Chords, 144
Chords, augmented sixth, 1 50

common, 144

dominant eleventh, 146,

147, 148

dominant ninth, 146, 147
dominant seventh, 146,

dominant thirteenth, 1 46,


inversion of, 145
Chord of the six-four, 145

of the sixth, 145
Chromatic, 72, 144

concords, 151

Index Return

Chromatic discords, 144

interval, 144

scale, 142

Church and the arts, the, 5,

English, 4

Italian, 4, 5

music, 53

of England, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 1 1

Roman, 52
Circle, 124, 125
Clef, 125
Clivis, 161
Closes, 149

Cloveshoo, synod of, 55
4 Cockle-shells, 5 1 58
Collectarium, 58
Collects, 56, 58
Coloured lines, 105, no, in
Communions, 56
Concords, 122, 144

diatonic. 146
Conducting, 159
Conjunct system, 25
Consonances, 122
Contrary motion, in, 131
Counterpoint, 112, 133, 1 60
Counter tenor, 160
Creed, 56, 57
Croma or crome, 123
Crotchet, 123, 125

Deacons to sing Gospel only,


Descant, 127, 133
Descanter, 128
Descantus, 127, 131
Diapason, 39

symphonia, 128
Diapente, 39
Diapente symphonia, 128
Diaphony, 128, 129
Diatesseron, 39

symphonia, 128
Diatonic interval, 21

scale, 22

Diatonic semitone, 143

tetrachord, 39
Diminished intervals, 144
Discords, 122, 144, 146

diatonic, 146
Disjunct system, 26
Dissonances, 122
Divisio Modi, 117
Division, 121
Dominant, 87
Dorian civilization, centre

of, 17

Dorian mode, 17
Dot, 120
Duplication, 121

Egypt, 2 1, 23
Egyptian flutes, 20, 21

harp, 23

Egyptian?, 20, 21, 22, 33, 159
Enharmonic genus, 26

interval, 142

scale, 21

Ephesine liturgy, 43
Epistles, 57
Epistolarium, 57
Eptaphonus, 120
Euphony, law of, 122
Evangeliarium, 57

Faburdon, 132, 136, 137

False burden, 132, 136, 137

False relation, 154

Faux Bourdon, 132

Final, 86

Finales, 100, 102

Five lines, 125

Flat, 114

Flats, 67

Flute, Asiatic, 16

Egyptian, 20, 21
j Foot, 112
Four lines, 125
j French adulterations, 6
endings, 6
foliationSj 6


Mediaeval Music

Fugue, 112

Fundamental discords, 146

Fusa, 123

Galilean Liturgy, old, 43

Gamma, 107

Gamut, 107

Gelasian sacramentary, 49,


Genus, 26

Gizeh/ tombs at, 20 ^
Gloria deo in excelsis, 56, 57 j
Gloria Patri, 43, 45
Gospel-book, 57
Gradual, 56
Graduals, 56, 161
Graile, 56
Graves, 100
Greek lyres, 16
mese, 28
modes, 27
scales, 25, 31, 103
Gregorian antiphonary, 162
chants, 6, 8, 9, 10, 68
music, 4,7, 103,113
sacramentary, 58
tones, 54, 158

Gregory, St, I., 48,49* 5, 5*
S 2 ? 53? 54 55> 565 5$i 74j 75

Gregory, St., IL, 49, 50, 52
III., 50, 51,52

Guide’s hexachord, so-called,


Guidonian hand, so-called,

Harmony, 127
Harp, Egyptian, 23
Hawkins, ignorance of, 2
Hexachord, 105-109
Hexachordal system, 106
Hollow notes, 123
Holy water, blessing of, 57
Homophonic music, 15

Hours, 57

Hours, book of seven, 57
Huns, 74
Hymnarium, 58
Hymns, 56

lambuca, 19
Imperfect, 116
Imperfection, 12 1^
Instrumental music, 15
Intervalle, 100
Intervals, 100, 142
Introits, 56, 57
Italian Church, 4

modern mission, 5

music, 7

Key, 27, 29, 33, 40, 73, 4, 85,


Keys, black, 70

white, 3 1, 67
Kyrie, 56, 57

Large, 115,120, 124

Leading note, 27

Lectionary, 58

Ledger lines, lit

Legenda, 58

Lent, 49> 5

Lessons, 58

Letter to Monk Michael, 105

Liber Pontificalis, 50

Library of Montpellier, 109

of Paris, 109
Ligatures, 118
Lines, black, 109, no

red, 109, no

yellow, 109, no
Litany, 57
Liturgies, 51, 52

Ephesine, 43

Milanese, 92

Mozarabic, 92, 97

Old Gallican, 43

Roman, 52, 92, 97, 98
Lombards, 74
Long, 115, 120, 124

Index Rerum


Lyre, method of tuning, 31
of Egypt, 21
of Greece, 16, 19, 25

Major intervals, 143
Major mode, 140, 142
Manual, 57
Mass, 10, 49, 50, 56, 57

book of, 57
Mattins, 58

Measurable music, 1 14
Measured music, 115
Measures of rhythm, 1 17
Measures or modes, five, 117
Mediaeval music, 74, 114

organ, 59
Melopoeia, 27
Mese, 28, 29. 85
Micrologus of Guido, -105
Milan, liturgy of. 92
Milan, use of, 54, 92-98
Minerva, 77
Minim, 122, 124
Minor intervals, 143
Minor mode, 36, 89, 141
Missal, 57, 161
Mission, modern Italian, 5
Mode, 124
Modes, JEolian, 17

Confinal, 88

Dorian, 27, 28, 33, 34,
39, 40, 84, 86

Greek, 85, 161

Gregorian, 84

Hypo-Dorian, 27, 34, 37?
39, 40, 84, 86

Hypo-Lydian,27, 34, 39,

Hypo-Mixo-Lydian, 27,

34i 39> 40
Hypo-Phrygian, 27, 34,

irregular, 88
Lydian, 27, 28, 34, 39,4i

‘ 8 7>
major, 140, 142

Modes, mediaeval, 85, 1 14
minor, 36, 89, 141
Mixo- Lydian, 27, 34^39?


names of, 27
Phrygian, 27, 34, 39, 4,


Modulation, 26
Monastery of St. Gaul, 115
Monochord, 105
Monodic music, 137
MontpelHer library, 109
aMozarabic Church, 97

liturgy, 92
Musical Association, 105,


Musical catechism, So
Musical notations

Assyrian, 23

Chaldean, 23

Egyptian, 23

Greek, 23

Guido, 106

Hebrew, 23

Hucbald, 99

John Cotton, in, 131

Middle Ages, 109
Musical systems

Assyria, 21

Babylon, 21

Egypt, 20, 21

Greek, 23

Guido, 104

Hebrew, 159

Hexachordal, 106

Hucbald, 99

Middle Ages, 74-9 1

Nineveh, 21

Phoenicia, 21

Ptolemy, 31, 75

Pythagoras, 25

Terpander, 16, 17, 18,


Tetrachordal, 99
Musical Times, 158
Mutation, 26, 107


Mediaeval Music

Narbonne, council of, 49
National chant, 6
Neapolitan Sixth, 151
Neumes, in, 113, 161

not construable, HI, 113,


Noctnrns, 58
Notation, 23
Notss ligatae, 114
Note obliqnas, 119

black, 112

open, 112

red, 112

white, 112

Obliquity, 119
Occursus, 130
Office-book, 57
Office-book of our Lady,

little, 58

Opera, first comic, 132
Ordinal, 57
Organ, 59

Abingdon Abbey, 66

beater, 65

builders, 6,70, 71

building, 59

Bui Id was Abbey, 70

Canterbury, 69

chromatic fingerboard,

compass, 79

Croyiand Abbey, 70

Durham Cathedral, 70

early church, 61

Fountains Abbey, 70

Glastonbury Abbey, 66

keyboard, 69, 72

keys, 65

levers, 63

makers, 70, 71

Meaux Abbey, 70

pipes, 59,60,61,62, 63,
64, 65, 66, 67, 63

pneumatic, 60

Organ, portable, 61, 91

portatives, 91

positives, 72, 91

primitive, 59, 72

Rievaulx Abbey, 69

Ripon Cathedral, 70

slides, 62, 68

tongues, 61, 63, 67, 68

water, 61

Winchester, 66, 68

Worcester, 70

York Minster, 69
Organum, 63, 102, 127, 128,

129, 130, I3i
Outline notes, 123

Pantheon at Rome, 77

Paris, library of, 109

Paris, University of, 79

Passing notes, 131, 150

Pentatonic scale, 15

Pentecost, 49, 50

Perfection, 120

Pes, 112

Phorminx, 16

Pistol-book, 57
j Pitch, 27,87
‘ Plagal modes, So, 88

Plain-song, 9, 86, 90

Plain-song and Mediaeval
Music Society. 12, 109-
nij 161, and advr.

Podatus, 161

Points, 1 20

Polyphonic music, 127

Portative organ, 91

Portiforium, 57

Portuary, 57

Positive organ, 72, 91

Prefaces, 56

Prick Song, 133

Primer, 58

Printed notes, first, 126

Processions, order of, 57

Prolation, 120, 124

Index Rerum


Proslambanomenos, 25, 26,

Prymer, 58
Psalter, 57

Quadrating, in
Quavers, 125

Red lines, 109, no, in

Red notes, 112, 121, 123

Regal, 91

Responds, 56

Rests, 165

‘ Robin Hood and Maid

Marian, 3 132
Roman chants, 95

service books, 55
Romanesque period, 65
Round -shaped notes, 125,


Sacramentary, Gelasian, 49,


Sacramentary, Gregorian, 58
Sambuca, Egyptian, 19
Sanctus, 56, 57
Sappho’s scale, 18, 25, 26, 30
Scale, ^olian, 17

Arab, 24

Chinese, 24

comparative table of, 30

Dorian, 17, 27, 28, 33, 34

Egyptian, 21, 23,31

Greek, 31

Hindoo, 24

Hucbald’s, 102

Japanese, 24

of young children, 16

Persian, 24

Pythagorean, 25, 26

Sappho’s, 18, 25, 26, 30

Terpander’s, 17, 1 8, 30,

Turkish, 24

Semi-breves, 115, 116, 117
Semi-minima, 123

Semi -quaver, 125
Semi-tone, 18, 67, loo, 106
Semi-tone, lyric, 67,68,69, 89
Sequential, 57
Service books, ancient, 56-


Seven hours, 57
Sharps, 114
Slurs, 120
Solmization, 105
Song, earliest, 112
Square notes, 126
Staff or stave, two lines, 105,

four lines, no, in, 125

five lines, no, 125

twelve lines, no
burner is icumen in,* 112,

Sundays after Pentecost, 50

after Trinity, 49

in Lent, 49, 50

Greek, 16

Guide’s, 99

Hexachordal, 99, 106

Hucbald’s, 99, 104

Mediaeval, 74

Ptolemy, 36

Pythagoras, 25, 159

Tetrachordal, 99, 106

TeDeum,Ambrosian,46 } 160
Tetrachords, first order, 19,

second order, 103

third order, 103
Tetraphonia, 129
Tetraphony, 129
Thursdays in Lent, 49, 50
Time, 124

imperfect, 115, 116

perfect, 115, 116

signatures, 125

values, 115
Tonality, 149


Mediaeval Music

Tone, 100,115
Troper, 57, no
major, 38, 39
manor, 38, 39
Virga, 161
Tracts, 56
Vox Principalis, 127
Transposition, 84, 154
Triad, 144
Triapbony, 129
Trinity Sunday, 49
Triphonia, 129, 130
Triptych, 72
Water organ, 61
White keys, 31, 67
White notes, 112
Winchester Troper, 1 10
Tro^du 1 10 Yellow line, 109, 1 10


Adrian I., 58, 80, 92, 93, 96,


/Elred, 69

Albums, Flaccus, 79, So
Albinus, Master, in
Alcuin of York, 79, 80, 160
Aldhelra, St., 62
Alexander IIL, 161
Alphonso of Castile, 97, 98
Alypius, 31
Amalarius, 53, 96, 97
Ambrose, St., 4, 45, 46, 74? 75?


Angelo, Michael, 158
Anno, Bishop, 65
Apollo, 78
Archflochus, 19
Argall, Sir William, 71
Asshwell, John, 70
Augustine, St., 43,46, 160, 162
Aurelianus, 88

Bach, J.S., 140, 15

Baldric, 69

Barrett, W. A., and Stainer,

Sir John, 54, 103
Basil, St., 44
Bede, Yen,, 51, 62
Benedict, St, 160, 161
Beton, William, 71
Binghara, 160
Birbeck, Mr.,_ IT
Biront, Maurice, 71

Boethius, 1,2,3,31
Borton, Robert, 71
Boyce, Edward, 71
Bradshaw, Henry, 161
Bridge, Dr., 135
Bryennius, Manuel, 31
Burney, Dr., 2, 3
Busnois, 133

Carpentras, 126
Cassiodorus, 61
Cave,pr,, 160
Celestine, St., 46
Chamberlyn, John, 71
Channay, Jean de, 126
Chappell, William, 2, 4 14,

29, 3i, 38, 59, HO, 112,160
Chappington, John, 71
Charles the Great, 51, 63, 79,

Cherubini, 136
Chilston, 132
Chrysostom, St John, 46
Cocks and Co., R., 72
Conforti, 125
Constantia, Queen, 98
Constantine, 59, 63
Copronymus, 63
Corelli, 140
Cornysh, 125

Cotton, John, 111,131* l6r
Couper, John, 70
Coussemaker, 109, 1 10, 131
Cowper, 125
Cox, J. C., 161
Cybele, 77


Mediaeval Music

Da Corte, 9
Damasus, 45
Davenport, F., 136
David, King, 1 1
David’s, St., Bishop of, 132
Demps, James, 71
Dempsey, James, 71
Diodorus, 43
Duchesne, Abbe, 58
Duddington, Anthony, 71
Dunstable, John of, 134
Dunstan, St., 66
Dykes, Dr., 7, 9

Ealdhelm, St., 62
Egbert, St., 79
Elphege, St., 66
Elwyn, Count, 66
Engel, Carl, 16, 21
Erigena, Scotus, 128
Ethelwold, St., 66
Euclid, 26

Eugenius, St., 92, 93, 94
Eyck, Van, 72

Fairfax, 125

Farnaby, Giles, 134

Feds, 105

Flaccus Albinus, 79, So

Flavian, 43, 46

Fornsete, John of, 112

Fortunatus, 53, 96, 97

Franco of Cologne, 115

Fux, 136

Fyveil or Nyvell, 70

Galilei, Vincentio, 104
Gaunt, George, 71
Genet, Eliazar, 126
George, aVenetian, 64
Gerson, 133
Gervase, 69

Gevaert, 49, 5*, 52, 53, 57
Giafer, 63
Glareanus, 33, 85, 87

j Gregory the Great, 4, 9, 10,
1 48,49,50, 5 1,52,53.54, 55,
! 56, 58, 68, 74, 75, 76, 161
1 Gregory IL, 49, 5, 5 2

III, 50, 51, 52

IV., 53, 96

Grove, Sir G-, 61, 67, IIO T

Guido, Aretino, 89, 99, 104,
! 105, 106,113, 130, 164
| Gyse, John, 70

Hale, Adam de, 132
! Hall, William, 71
j Handel, G. F., 140, 150
; Hawkins, Sir J,,2, 29, 45, 72,
j 113, 160
; Helmholtz, 15
; Hermes, 77
} Hewe, John, 71

Heweson, John, 71
! Higden, Ralph, 125
s Honorius, 61

I Hope, W. H. St. John, 70,
I 161

Hopkins, Dr. E. J., 67, 68, 71 ,
; 72, 162
: Howe, John, 71
, Hubald, Hucbald, or Hug-
; bald, 54, 89, 99, 102, 103,
104, 128, 130, 161

Hullah, 9, 76, 77

Ignatius, St., 42, 43
Irenaeus, St., 42
j Isidore, St., 51, 53, 127

Jerome, St., 61

John VI IL, 65

John XXI L, 161

John de John, 71

John the Deacon, 50, 51
j Josquin, 138
j Julian the Apostate, 60
j Juliamis, Bishop, 62
1 Jupiter, 49, 78

Index Nominum

Kircher, Athanasius, 104, 1 13

Lacroix, 162

lawless, John, 71

Legg, Dr. Wickham, F.S.A.,


L’Estrange, 160
Leontius, 43
Lewis the Debonnaire, 53, 95,


Lewes, 71

Longman and Co., 9
Macfarren, Sir G- A., 9, 68,

So, no, 135
Marcellus, 44
Marcelona, St., 45
Maskell, 161
Maynhamber, Arnalt, 70
Melchiades, 48
Mendelssohn, 8
Michael, Monk, 105
Minerva, 77

Monteverde, Claude, 139, 140
Moriey, 127
Mouton, Jean, 138
Mozart, 150

Muris, John de, 122, 133
Nero, Emperor, 61
Newton, Sir Isaac, 2
Nicetius, Bp., 160
Nicomachus, 3
Nivers, 113
Notker, 54, 161, 163
Novello and Co., 98, 135, 136
Nyvell or Fyvell, \Vm., 70
Odington, Walter de, 125
Odo, Abbot, 163
Optation, 59
Orpheus, 77
Ouseley, Sir F. A. G., 2, 8 3

105, 136

Padova, Marchetto de, 122
Palestrina, 138
Paul L, 51, 58
Pierluigi, 138
Pippin, 51, 63

Platina, 48, 62
Pliny, 42

Plutarch, 17, 18, 19
Pole, Dr., 12
Prsetorius, 70
Prout, E /3 135
Prudentius, 77
Psammetichus I., 22
Ptolemy, Claudius, 31, 36,

37, 38, 47, 75, 79. 163
Purcell, Henry, 140
Puteamus, Ericus, 106
Pythagoras, 25, 30

Quintilianus, Aristides, 107

| Raphael, 158

I Rawlmson, Sir H., 23

Richter, Dr., 136

Riemann, Dr., 131

Rimbault, Dr., 60, 72

Robert of , organ-builder,


Rockstro, W. S., 2, 135, 1 60
‘ Roose, John, 71
Ross, John, 71
Rossetti, Vincenzo, 138
Rowbotham, J. 3 18, 19,21,64,


Sabeilus, 44

St Aldhelm, 62

St. Ambrose, 4, 45, 46, 74,
75, 76, 160

SL Athanasius, 44

St. Augustine, 43, 46, 1 60, 162

St. Basil, 44

St. Benedict, 160, 161

St. Cecilia, 72

SL Celestine, 46

St. Chrysostom, John, 46

St. Dunstan, 66

SL Ealdhelm, 62

St. Ethelwold, 66

St. Eugenius, 92, 93, 94

SL Gregory the Great, 4, 9,
10, 48, 49,50> 5 *>52,53,54,


Mediaeval Music

St Ignatius, 42, 43

St Irenseus, 42

St. Isidore, 51, 53, m, 127

St. Jerome, 61

St. John Chrysostorn, 46

St Marcelona, 45

St. Peter, 93, 99

St. Sophia, 77

Salome, Master 1 1 1

Sancius, 97

Sappho, 1 8, 22, 25, 26, 30

Saul, King, ii

Scarlatti, Alexander, 140


Smith, Thomas, 71

Southgaie, Mr. T. L. } $ref.

Squire, W. B.. 134

Stainer, Sir John, 6, 54, 103,


Stephanus, 63
Strabo, 63

Taverner, 125

Terpander, 16, 17, iS, 25, 30,


Terrissa, 125
Theodosius, 60
Theopb-ilus, 68
Tinctor, John, 133, 164

Trajan, Emperor, 10, 42
Treasurer, William, 71
Triers, 160
Trudo, Master, 1 1 1

Ursurtsasen II., 20
Usher, Dr., 160

Van Eyck, 72
Vannco, Stephano, 138
Vaulks, John, 71
Vicentino, 72
Virgil, 78
Vitalian L, 62

Vitriaco, Philippus de, 122,

Wackerbath, 66
Walcott, Mackenzie, 160, 161
Walla, 96
Wallace, Lady, S
Wallis, 31
Warnefried, 51
Wesley, S. S., 9
White, William, 71
Wilkinson, Sir Gardner, 20
Worde, Wynkyn de, 125
Wotton, William, 71
Wulstan, 66

Zarlino, 37



AACHEN, 63, 64
Abingdon, 66
>Egean Sea, 19
^Eolia, 1 6, 17
Antioch, 42, 43, 46
Apezzio, 104
Aries, 160, 161
Aragon, 97
Asia, 15, 24
Asia Minor, 42
Assyria, 21
Athens, 44
Avignon, 126

Babylon, 21
Bithynia, 42
British Isles, 43
Buildwas, 70

Csesarea, 44
Cambridge, 9, 102
Canterbury, 69
Castile, 97
Chaldea, 23, 25
China, 15, 22
Cloveshoo, 55
Cologne, 115
Compiegne, 63
Constantinople, 46, 59, 77
Corbie, 96, 163
Cremona, 139
Crewkern, 71
Croyland, 70

Delphi, 16
Derby, 161

Durham, 70

Egypt, 21, 22, 23, 25, 44
England, 65
Evesham, 125
Europe, 3, 88

Fayoum, the } 20
Ferrara, 104
Flanders, 99
Fornsete, 112
Fountains, 70

Gaul, 53, 63, 64, 79, 94, 95, 96

Germany, 63, 64, 65, 69

Ghent, 72

Gizeh, 20

Glastonbury, 66

Grado, 61

Greece, i, 2, 16, 18

Hereford, 9

India, 15
Ireland, 15
Italy, 61, 65

Java, 15
Kilkenny, 71

Lesbos, 16, 18
Liguria, 45
Lombardy, 94
London, 71, 125

Lyons, 42

Malmesbury 3 62, 66


Mediasval Music

Meaux, 70, 122
Mexico, 15
Milan, 45, 92
Mitylene, 18
Montpelfier, 109
Munich, 80

Narbonne, 49
Nineveh, 21, 23
Nivers, 97
North Africa, 15
Norwich, 70

Oxford, 2, 31

Padoue, no, 122
Palermo, 51
Palestine, 44
Paris, 79, *9
Paros, 19
Pelusium, 36
Phoenicia, 19, 21
Picardy, 96
Pomposa, 104

Ramsey, 66
Ravenna, 104
Reading, 112
RievauLx, 69

Ripon, 70

Rome, 1,43,45,46, 48, 5 2 > 55,

98, 125, 138, 161

St. Albans, 70
St. Gall, 54,56* IJ 5
Samos, 25
Scotland, 15
Seville, 51
Spain, 62, 97
Sparta, 17
Stowrnarket, 71
Sumatra, 15

Tarsns, 43
Thasos, 19
Thebes, 44
Tournay, 99
Tours, in
Triers, 160
Tyre, 19

Vallambrosa, 104

Westminster, 161
Winchester, 66, 68, 89
Worcester, 70

York, 70, 71, 76, 79, I 60
York Minster, 69



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