chapter  7
25 Pages

The Liturgical Function of the Tropes

WithRitva Jonsson

There are tropers more sophisticated than the Prüm one, with an even more complicated theological system, e.g. some of the Regensburg tropers. There are trope books where rhetorical ornamentation seems to have a large place, especially the English tradition. There has been a long debate over how the tropes should be correctly understood in a liturgical hierarchy. Tropes have most often been described as a rather narrowly defined genre, existing together with the liturgical base chants but totally different in function and type. Tropes can also be unique for one manuscript. Some of the tropes are biblical quotations, and many are very close to the so-called established texts, as we have seen. Sometimes it is even hard to determine if it is a trope or not. It has been said that the liturgical creativity with all its variety existed inspite of the Carolingian efforts to form a liturgical unity.