Jubilare sine Verbis: The Liturgical Role of Melisma in Gregorian Chant

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Date(s) - August 8, 2013
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

UBC School of Music

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William Mahrt (Professor Emeritus of Music at Stanford University)

NOTE: This lecture is part of the Gregorian Institute of Canada conference, and is not part of the Early Music in Context series — but it is open to the general public.

UBC’s Committee for Mediæval Studies presents the 8th Annual Colloquium of the Gregorian Institute of Canada.

From the earliest descriptions of sacred music, melismatic singing – Jubilare sine verbis – has had a significant place. Yet in each genre of Gregorian chant – e.g., introit, alleluia, psalm antiphon, office responsory, etc – melisma has its own distinct and characteristic role. This lecture will describe the differences between the genres and illustrate how they correspond to the differing liturgical functions of the pieces, both between the Divine Office and the Mass, and within each of these. The lecture will be illustrated by sung examples and will be accessible to a non-specialist audience.

William Mahrt, Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, is a leading specialist in theory and performance of mediæval and renaissance music, and mediæval studies. He has published articles on Gregorian chant, Troubadours, Medieval Performance, Machaut, Dufay, Lasso, Dante, and English cathedrals, and has conducted workshops in Gregorian chant and renaissance polyphony.


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