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Module Code - Title:


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Prerequisite Modules:

Rationale and Purpose of the Module:

To continue the work begun in 'Materials, Methods & Context for Western Chant 1' by examining methodologies and theoretical paradigms relevant to the study and performance of Western plainchant. To deepen the investigative process using both historical musicological and ethnomusicological approaches.


Students will continue to cover topics that form a basis for the performance and advanced study of Western plainchant, and will be introduced to the historical and contextual examination of related repertoires (e.g., Old Roman, Ambrosian, Old Hispanic, Old Beneventan, Galican, etc.). Lectures and tutorials will also facilitate the tools necessary to undertake musicological, historical, and performance-based research.

Learning Outcomes:

Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)

1. Demonstrate and articulate a knowledge of key texts in Western plainchant, including recent critical texts about the historical performance practice movement. 2. Apply theories and methods from historical musicology, ethnomusicology and semiotics in a creative and relevant manner to the interpretation of primary sources and secondary materials. 3. Demonstrate a theoretical mastery of the Western medieval modes. 4. Evaluate palaeographical and semiotical differences between various regional chant notations. 5. Show proficiency in the recognition, differentiation and understanding of the musical signs of medieval chant, and evaluate how they work in different medieval manuscripts, and how they connect to performance practice.

Affective (Attitudes and Values)

1. Differentiate between the various approaches to chant scholarship and interpretation. 2. Show willingness to embrace different practices of historically-informed chant performance.

Psychomotor (Physical Skills)

1. Demonstrate a practical knowledge of the Western medieval modes and their employment in chant by means of sight-reading. 2. Deliver a practical understanding of historically-informed chant scholarship.

How the Module will be Taught and what will be the Learning Experiences of the Students:

This module combines seminar presentations, practical work in notation and sight-reading of historic al music notation, as well as laboratories in transcription, semiotics and palaeography. Seminar presentations will combine source material studies, theoretical discussion, and presentations drawn from historical, semiotical, and cross-cultural study. Recent scholarship which is of particular relevance includes work on Chant and orality - Leo Treitler, 'With Voice and Pen', Peter Jeffery, 'Ethnomusicology in the Study of Gregorian Chant' - as well as the current and ongoing work of leading scholars such as Susan Rankin, Katarina Livljanic, David Hiley, James Grier, Emma Hornby and Edward Nowacki, amongst others. The work in the module is project-based, and includes a major chant transcription project which engages students in demonstrating their knowledge of materials and methods in a creative and articulate manner. When relevant the students will be encouraged to work in teams to develop a collaborative approach to research.

Research Findings Incorporated in to the Syllabus (If Relevant):

Prime Texts:

Cardine, Eugène (1970) Gregorian Semiology, transl. Robert Fowels , Solesmes
Cardine, Eugène/Solesmes (1979) Graduale triplex [Graduale Romanum of 1974 with neumes of Laon 239, Einsiedeln 121, St Gall 359 and 339 etc. added] , Solesmes
Dronke, Peter (1996) The Medieval Lyric , Suffolk, UK: Boydell & Brewer (reprint of 1968 ed.)
Harper, John (1991) The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy from the tenth to the eighteenth century , Oxford, Clarendon Press
Hiley, David (2009) Gregorian Chant (Cambridge Introductions to Music) , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Hiley, David (1993) Western Plainchant: A Handbook , Oxford: Clarendon Press
Stevens, John (1986) Words and Music in the Middle Ages: Song, Narrative, Dance and Drama, 1050-1350 (Cambridge Studies in Music) , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Treitler, Leo (2003) With Voice and Pen: Coming to Know Medieval Song and How it was Made , New York: Oxford University Press

Other Relevant Texts:

Jeffery, Peter (1995) Re-Envisioning Past Musical Cultures: Ethnomusicology in the Study of Gregorian Chant , Chicago: University of Chicago Press
McKinnon, James (2000) The Advent Project: the Later-Seventh-Century Creation of the Roman Mass Proper , Berkeley; London : University of California Press
Bischoff, Bernhard; Dáibhí Ó Cróinin and David Ganz, translators (1990) Latin Palaeography: Antiquity and the Middle Ages , Cambridge University Press
Turabian, Kate L (2013) A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 8th , Chicago: Chicago University Press
Mascareñas, Óscar (2010) Exposing the Play in Gregorian Chant: The Manuscript as an Opening of Re-Presentation , Doctoral Thesis, University of Limerick

Programme(s) in which this Module is Offered:

MARCSOTFA - Ritual Chant and Song

Semester - Year to be First Offered:

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