Cultural transfer of music between Byzantium and the West
More than ca. 60 codices of the 8th–14th cent. contain parts of the Missa graeca, of which approx. 48 are neumated. The chants can be found among others in psalters, grammars and various other collections, but mainly in musical manuscripts and here primarily in tropers and graduals dating from the 10th/11th cent.
The term “Missa graeca” is applied for the chants of the Roman “Ordinarium missae” (i.e. Δόξα/Gloria, Πιστεύω/Credo, Ἅγιος/Sanctus and Ἀμνὸς τοῦ θεοῦ/Agnus Dei). The medieval mansucripts themselves do not use this term, which established itself later for the Greek order of mass for the feast of Saint Dionysios from the 13th cent. onwards and will therefore also be used in the present project. In the manuscripts the Greek text can be found quite often together with the Latin one. These sections frequently bear the headline “Latine et Grece”. Often there can also be found a Latin interlinear version or a Latin translation after each section. In medieval times the “Kyrie” does not belong to the Missa graeca, because it was already a fixed part of the Roman liturgy. It might have established itself when Greek was still the liturgical language in Rome. Therefore the Kyrie is not included among the chants of the Missa graeca in the relevant manuscripts and will not be considered in the present project either.
Beside the Missa graeca the project will concentrate on further bilingual chants, which can be found with Greek and Latin text in Western manuscripts and which have hitherto not been linked to the Missa graeca. For the present project those bilingual chants have been selected, which are neu mated and can be found in more than one manuscript. The project will therefore concentrate on the bilingual chants for the veneration of the cross on Good Friday, the so-called “Hodie”-antiphons for Christmas, Easter and Pentecost, the bilingual Alleluia-verses for Christmas, the antiphons of the so-called “Veterem hominem”-cycle for the Octave of Epiphany and the Cherubic Hymn (“Cherubikon”).
These chants primarily appear in Beneventan codices, but partly also e.g. in the Worcester Antiphoner (approx. 1230), in manuscripts from St. Gall (e.g. St. Gall 359 or St. Gall 376), the Vatican or from the National Library in Paris (among others Troparia from Narbonne, St. Martial in Limoges, or the Anti phoner from Compiègne).
The “Akathistos Hymn” also belongs to those texts, which have been repeatedly translated into Latin at an early stage (from approx. the year 800 onwards). But because a neumated version has not been preserved of the Latin Akathistos Hymn, it will not be included in the present project.
B.M. Harley 3059, fol. 111v: Qui cherubim mystice
(ｩ British Library Board)
Athens EBE 2458, fol. 161v: Οἱ τὰ χερουβίμ / Oi ta cherubim
(ｩ Athens National Library)