Treitler: With Voice and Pen - Coming to Know Medieval Song and How it Was Made
Leo Treitler's seventeen classic essays trace the creation and spread of song (cantus), sacred and secular, through oral tradition and writing, in the European Middle Ages. The author examines songs in particular - their design, their qualities and character, their expressive meanings, and their adaptation to their communal and ritual roles - and explores the chances for, and the obstacles to, our understanding of traditions that were alive a thousand years ago.
Ranging from c. 900 (when the written transmission of medieval songs began) to 1200, Treitler shows how the earlier, purely oral traditions can be examined only through the lens of what has been captured in writing, and focuses on the invention and uses of writing systems for representing these oral traditions.
Each of these seminally influential essays has been revised to take account of recent developments, and is prefaced with a new introduction to highlight the historical issues. The accompanying CD contains performances of much of the music discussed.
Table of Contents
1: Medieval Improvisation
2: Written Music and Oral Music
3: The Vatican Organum Treatise and the Organum of Notre Dame of Paris
4: 'Peripheral' and 'Central'
5: On the Structure of the Alleluia Melisma: A Western Tendency in Western Chant
6: Homer and Gregory: The Transmission of Epic Poetry and Plainchant
7: 'Centonate' Chant: Ubles Flickwerk or e pluribus unus?
8: Lingering Questions about 'Oral Literature'
9: The Politics of Reception: Tailoring the Present as Fulfilment of a Desired Past
10: Oral, Written, and Literate Process in the Music of the Middle Ages
11: Observations on the Transmission of Some Aquitanian Tropes
12: History and the Ontology of the Musical Work
13: The Early History of Music Writing in the West
14: Reading and Singing: On the Genesis of Occidental Music-Writing
15: Speaking of Jesus
16: Medieval Music and Language
17: The Marriage of Poetry and Music in Medieval Song