‘Medieval psalters as witnesses to liturgical song: the Iberian case’ with Emma Hornby (University of Bristol), as part of the Seminar in medieval and renaissance music, convened by Margaret Bent.
Abstract: At first glance, a medieval psalter has little to tell the musicologist, apart from being a useful point of reference for checking the origins of chant texts. Two Iberian psalters, however, are crucial witnesses to the Old Hispanic liturgy (BNE 10001, and LBL add. 30851; images of both manuscripts are now freely available online). In this paper, I explore how these psalters preserve a quite different cycle of ferial psalmody than the familiar Benedictine weekly cursus. The antiphons and orations in the psalters provide important evidence about processes of liturgical composition (both musical and textual). Much more than a point of reference, then, these psalters, including their collections of hymns and canticles, are a key part of piecing together liturgical practice in early medieval Iberia.
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