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Re: Lily and Plainsong

From: Juergen Reuter
Subject: Re: Lily and Plainsong
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2001 02:03:03 +0200 (MEST)

Regarding the discussion of special neumes for Bistropha, Tristropha,
Oriscus, Pes quassus, Salicus, and Quilisma-Pes, I finally found a
(more or less) definitive answer ([1], pp. 235-237, 252-258):

The Editio Vaticana (VAT) from 1905 (Ordinarium Missae) / 1907
(Graduale) / 1908 (Antiphonale) is based on research that was done by
monks.  It does not contain distinct notation for the above ligatures.
For example, Bistropha and Tristropha are always composed of punctum
note heads.  Some monks (in particular, Solesmes of Tournai) continued
research and created a new editions that were originally intended for
internal monastical use only: the Antiphonale Monasticum (AM) of 1934,
and the Psalterium Monasticum (PsM) of 1981.  Though these editions
are not part of the official Editio Vaticana, they were included in
later reprints and hence became some sort of quasi-standard and may
turn into an official standard in the future.  They contain additional
ligatures, making up altogether more than 90 different ligatures.
Besides the ligatures mentioned above, the PsM contains for example
small noteheads (like Plica) that precede a Clivis or Porrectus.
Another add-on is the asterisus sign ("*"), which indicates where to

I think, a ligature implementation for lilypond should in any case be
prepared to include Solesmes' extensions, but we should focus on the
pure editio vaticana standard for the moment.  Regarding the syntax,
the extensions introduce new note heads, but the structure (namely the
four ligature types pes, flexa, porrectus and the implicit one) keeps
the same.

Mark writes:
> Can I make my (final!) plea that the syntax operates in terms of
> single notes with no predefined ligatures. For example you could group
> each syllable (neumes and ligatures that are placed adjacent but not
> physically linked) with () and ligatures with []. (Or choose any other
> delimiters you like.)

> So you would write [g\punctum b] for a podatus. [g\punctum b\plica]
> for an Epiphonus and ([foo][bar]) for compound etc. To me this is much
> more intuitive.

Originally, I had the idea of a low-level syntax that comes very close
to your ideas.  After that, I wanted to develop a high-level language
(e.g. based on scheme functions that map high-level constructs onto
the low-level syntax) that provides commonly used complex ligatures
(as MusixTeX does).  The user could then use these high-level
constructs, but if he or she finds that some complex ligature is not
expressible by the high-level constructs, he or she still can fall
back to the low-level syntax.  The only problem that I still see are
Epiphonus and especially Cephalicus, as already explained in my last
mail of this thread.



[1] Hans Musch: Musik im Gottesdienst.  Band 1: Historische Grundlagen
-- Liturgik -- Liturgiegesang.  Gustav Bosse Verlag, 1983.

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