Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/644

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
578

ANTIPHONARY


578


ANTIPHONARY


antiphonary and the "Graduate" have received the general title of " Gregorian Chant," in honour of St. Gregory the Great (o9U-604), to whom a wide- spread, very ancient, and most trustworthy tradition, supported by excellent internal and external evidence, ascribes the great work of revising and collecting into one uniform whole the various texts and chants of the liturgy. Doubtless the ancient missal con- tained only tiio.se texts which were appointed for the celebr.-int, and did not include the texts which were to be clianted by the cantor and clioir; and the " Antiphonarium Misste" supplied the omitted texts for the choir as well as the cliants in which the texts were to be sung. The immense importance of St. Gregory's antiplionary is found in the enduring stamp it impressed on the Roman liturgy. Other popes had, a medieval writer assures us, given at- tention to the cliants; and he specifies St. Damasus, St. Leo, St. Gelasius, St. Symmachus, St. John I, and Boniface II. It is true, also, that the chants used at Milan were styled, in lionour of St. Ambrose (called the "Fattier of Church Song"), the Am- brosian Cliant. But it is not known wtiether any collection of the cliants had been made before that of St. Gregory, concerning which tiis ninth-century biographer, Jotm the Deacon, wrote: Antiphonarium centonem. . . compilavit. The auttientic antiphonary mentioned by the biograptier lias not as yet been found. What was its character? What is meant by cento? In the century in whicti John ttie Deacon wrote liis life of the Saint, a cento meant the liter- ar>' feat of constructing a coherent poem out of scat- tered excerpts from an ancient auttior, in sucti wise, for example, as to make ttie verses of Virgil sing the mystery of ttie Epiptiany. The work, then, of St. Gregory was a musical cento, a compilation (cen- tonem. . . compilavit) of pre-existing material into a coherent and well-ordered wtiole. Ttiis does not necessarily imply that the musical centonization of the melodies was the special and original work of ttie Saint, as the practice of constructing new melodies from separate portions of older ones tiad already been in vogue two or three centuries earlier ttian liis day. But is it clear ttiat ttie cento was one of melodies as well as of texts? In answer it might indeed be said that in the earliest ages of ttie Cliurch ttie chants must have been so very simple in form that they could easily be committed to memory; and that most of ttie sub.sequentty developed antiphonal melodies could be reduced to a much smaller number of types, or typical melodies, and could thus also be memorized. And yet it is scarcely credible that the developed melodies of St. Gregory's time had never possessed a musical notation, had never been committed to writing. What made his antiphonary BO very u.seful to chanters (as Jolin the Deacon esteemed it) was probalily liis careful presentation of a revi.sed text witli a revised melody, written eitlier in ttie characters used by the ancient authors (as set down in Boethius) or in neumatic notation. We know that St. Augustine, sent to England by the great Pope, carried with liini a copy of the pre- cious antiptionary, and founded at Canterbury a flourisliing .school of singing. That ttiis antiptionary contained music we know from the decree of the Second Council of Clovestioo (747) directing that the celebration of ttie feasts of Our Lord stiould. in res- pect to baptism, Masses, and music (in eantilcnic modo) follow the mettiod of ttie book "whicli we re- ceived from the Roman Ctiurcli". That ttiis book was the Gregorian antiptionary is clear from the testimony of lOgljert, Bishop of York (732-76G), who in ins " De Institutione Catliolica" .speaks of "ui "-^"P"""""'"" and "Mi.ssale" which ttie ' ble8.sed flregory. . . sent to us by our teacher, bles.sed Augiistine".

It will be impossible to trace here the progress of


the Gregorian antiptionary throughout Europe, wtiicti resulted finally in the fact ttiat ttie liturgy of Western I'Jurope, witti a very few exceptions, finds itself based fundamentalty on ttie work of St. Greg- ory, wtiose labour comprised not merely ttie sacra- mentary and ttie " Antiptionarium Missa;", but extended also to ttie Di\'ine Ofliee. Briefly, it may be said that the next tiiglity important step in the history of the antiphonary was its introduction into some dioceses of France where ttie liturgy had been Gallican, witti ceremonies related to ttiose of Milan and witli chants develojjed by newer melodies. From ttie year 754 may ha datetl ttie ctiange in favour of ttie Roman liturgy. St. Chrodegang, Bistiop of Mctz, on tiis return from an embassy to Rome, introduced the Roman liturgy into tiis diocese and founded ttie Chant School of Metz. Subsequently, under Ctiarte- magne, French monks went to Rome to study ttie Gregorian tradition there, and some Roman teacliers visited France. Ttie interesting story of Ekketiard concerning Petrus and Romanus is not now credited, Romanus being considered a myttiical personage; but a certain Petrus, according to Notker, was sent to Rome by Charlemagne, and finally, zX St. Gall, trained the monks in ttie Roman style. Besides Metz and St. Gall, other important schools of chant were founded at Rouen and Soissons. In ttie course of time new melodies were added, at first character- ized by the simplicity of ttie older tradition, but gradually tjecoming more free in extended intervals. Witti respect to German manuscripts, ttie earliest are found in a style of neumatic notation different from ttiat of St. Gait, wtiite ttie St. Gall manuscripts are derived not directly from the Italian but from the Iristi- Anglo-Saxon. It is probable ttiat tiefore the tenth and eleventh centuries (at whicti period the St. Gall notation began to triumph in ttie German cliurches) ttie Iristi and Englisti missionaries broiigtit witti ttiem the notation of ttie English antiptionary. It would take too mucti space to record liere ttie multiplication of antiptionaries and ttieir gradual deterioration, both in text and in chant, from ttie Roman standard. The sctiool of Metz began ttie process early. Commissioned by Louis ttie Pious to compile a " Graduate " and antiphonary, Ama- larius, a priest of Metz, found a copy of the Roman antiphonary in the monastery of Corbie, and placed in liis own compilation on M when he followed I tie Metz antiphonary, R wtien tie followed the Roman, and an I C (asking Indulgence and Charity) wtien he followed Iiis own ideas. His changes in the "Graduate" were few; in ttie antiptionary, many. Part of the revision wtiich, together witti Elisagarus, tie made in ttie responsories as against ttic Roman mettiotl, were finally adopted in the Roman an- tiphonary. In ttie twelfth century the commission establistied by St. Bernard to revise the antijilio- naries of Citeaux criticized with undue sc\ciity ttie wortv of Amalarius and Elisagarus and wit hat jiroduced a faulty antiphonary for ttie Cistercian Order. Ttie multipHcation of antiptionaries. the differences in style of notation, ttie variations in melody and occa.sionalty in text, need not be furttier described here. In Krancc, especially, ttie multipli- cation of liturgies sulj.sciiuently became so great, ttiat when Dom Gu(5ranger, in the middle of ttie last century, started the work of introducing ttie Roman liturgy into that country, sixty out of eighty dio- ceses had tticir own local lireviarics. Of the recourse had to medieval iiiaiiiiscri|its, the reproduction of various antijihonarics and graduals by Pi^re Lani- billotte, by ttie "Plain Song and Medieval Music Society", and especially by Dom Mocqucreau in the " PaliSograptiie Mu.sicale", founded eighteen years ago (wtiicti tias already given phototypic reproductions of antiphonaries of Einsiedoln. of St. Gall, of Hartker, of Montpellier, of the twelfth-