chapter  10
8 Pages

Northern French Elements in An Early Aquitainian Troper

WithPaul Evans Philadelphia

A study of the contents of the troper shows that, in a number of ways, its repertory stands not only outside of the particular tradition of St. Martial but also outside of the general Aquitainian tradition as well. This is not primarily a question of a completely different group of trope texts, since there is relatively little variation in this respect from one Aquitainian manuscript to another. The standard Aquitainian version appears to be a melodic embellishment or elaboration of the northern French version–the version preserved in our early St. Martial troper. The primary characteristics of Aquitainian notation are certainly present, including the diagonal ascent and vertical descent of the neume forms and the typical Aquitainian quilisma and oriscus, although the neumes lack the careful heightening of later manuscripts. Nevertheless, certain elements of the notation are not distinctively Aquitainian.