A musical interlude

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An image today that we would normally associate with the Mason Collection rather than the Lawrence Collection, but interesting in its own right. The title says “Latin inscription” but this is more than that, with musical annotation to accompany the words. This appears to be an ancient musical piece from a manuscript and we look forward to identifying it, and perhaps even hearing it played?

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Circa 1865-1914

NLI Ref: L_ROY_11653

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 8345
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio glassnegative nationallibraryofireland manuscript musicalannotation latinscript latininscription psalm20 psalms domineinvirtutetua neume lawrencephotographcollection

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  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 07/Sep/2020 08:14:50

    Psalm 20: Domine in virtute tua laetabitur rex

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    derangedlemur

    • 07/Sep/2020 08:22:28

    Here it is a bit more legible: gregorianik.uni-regensburg.de/cdb/2349

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    derangedlemur

    • 07/Sep/2020 08:23:51

    A search for illuminated manuscript or illuminated score isn't producing anything useful.

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    derangedlemur

    • 07/Sep/2020 08:29:35

    And it's not any of the 4 arrangements on CPDL, so no handy recording. (In fairness, I didn't expect it to be Robert Johnson, but you wouldn't rule out Palestrina)

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    suckindeesel

    • 07/Sep/2020 08:30:38

    "In thy strength, O Lord, the king shall joy; and in thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly."

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 07/Sep/2020 08:31:23

    As a musician and organist (resting), I should know all about this, but I don't! Gregorian chant - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_chant Sounding a bit like this - www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_uN-hP98LE

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    derangedlemur

    • 07/Sep/2020 08:46:04

    Lots of choice for settings, but they're all fundamentally the same: cantus.uwaterloo.ca/chant/248145

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 07/Sep/2020 08:48:08

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] It isn't. I was going for a general effect. And trying to learn how to read plainchant while cooking and eating dinner (baked beans on toast!).

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    derangedlemur

    • 07/Sep/2020 08:50:37

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Sorry - just deleted my comment on the grounds that the settings are all just distinguished by the embellishments, so now your comment looks a bit random. Didn't mean to set you up.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 07/Sep/2020 09:28:42

    The adjacent stuff in the catalogue is all from the NLI. Do you guys have this kicking around in the cellar someplace?

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    derangedlemur

    • 07/Sep/2020 09:32:31

    Good grief! You have some mad stuff in your music collection: The Kinnegad Slashers a favorite air arranged as a rondo for the pianoforte

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 07/Sep/2020 09:45:52

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] We will have a look. https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Do the beans not fall off the toast?

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 07/Sep/2020 09:49:11

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] One of my personal favourites.

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    derangedlemur

    • 07/Sep/2020 10:00:38

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Ha! I bet it was a most horrific abomination, an outrage to the sensibilities of all right thinking people and an atrocity which resulted in the perpetrators being summarily transported to Australia. Beachcomber probably despises their descendants to this day.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 07/Sep/2020 10:42:27

    I really should know more about this stuff. I'll share this image with some people who might know better & see if they can come up with something. I will note the following - This is a manuscript of some of the chants that would have been used in a monastery, a religious house or a church for singing part of what is known as the Divine Office - the daily round of prayers that consist mainly of psalms and selections from scripture. It uses the traditional chant notation which is a little different to the musical notation most of us are familiar with, but is based on similar principles. Someone more knowledgeable than myself would probably be able to deduce a LOT from the texts & the style of text/illustations, etc... But I'm afraid it's largely beyond me. There are four different chants visible on the page. The top one is the end of a longer piece - it reads something like: Egredietur dominus de loco sancto suo veniet ut salvet populum suum and is followed by the singing of an antiphon that is given on the previous page. The text is from Psalm 116: The Lord will go forth from His holy place, He will come to save his people. The next one - beginning with the illuminated letter D has already been linked to Psalm 20. In thy strength, O Lord, the king shall joy; and in thy salvation he shall rejoice exceedingly. That is then followed by "Cantabi", which I take to be as an abbreviation of the response which is supposted to follow. The next bit - beginning with the letter R I can't identify. I'm not good at reading the Latin script. The final bit - beginning with the big T (that looks like an 'O') is the beginning of the 4th Century hymn known as the Te Deum - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Te_Deum

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    John Spooner

    • 07/Sep/2020 12:41:51

    I got used to reading this sort of writing a few years ago when deciphering 17th century wills. The thick vertical strokes are known as 'minims' (not to be confused with the musical term). A single stroke is an i, whereas 2 can be a u or an n, depending on whether the thin connecting stroke is at the top or the bottom. Like wise 3 strokes are either m or w (obviously not applicable in latin). 15 strokes together make the word 'minimum'. The 'min' part of the word Domine (beginning with the big illuminated D, vocative singular of Dominus, O Lord) is an example of 6 consecutive minims. And the next word which looks like 'm' is 'in' - Domine in virtute. One pitfall is a stroke or dot above letters which can stand for a common combination of letters - a sort of scriveners' shorthand, such as can be seen on the third letter of the bottom line. But these abbreviations differ depending on the subject and language of the script, and when, where and by whom it was written.

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    derangedlemur

    • 07/Sep/2020 14:21:00

    It's odd in having the two illuminated letters and then just a massive T for Te Deum, instead of a 3rd illumination.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 07/Sep/2020 14:56:20

    Okay - I think I've landed on something - The antiphon beginning with R reads: Rex sine fine manens, miseris tu parce ruinis, Praemia concedens, et tua cuncta regens I had trouble finding that earlier because it begins "Rex sine fine" -literally "King without end", whereas the most usual rendering of that line is "Rex Aeternum" or "Eternal King". Anyway, for those who know about these things, I'm sure that point would be of help in identifying a possible origin of the manuscript. For example, the text we have in the picture seems to correspond to page 11 of this book which seems to set out the prayers at Sunday Matins according to the tradition of the English diocese of Salisbury. books.google.ie/books?id=Si5hAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA11&lpg...

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    derangedlemur

    • 07/Sep/2020 15:15:32

    It doesn't appear (from the couple of images I can find online) to be any of the Downpatrick Graduale, the Corpus Irish Missal or the Rosslyn Missal. Assuming it's not a pastiche, it does look more or less contemporary with them. Edit: Looking at this, it could as easily be 15th C, www.tcd.ie/news_events/articles/breathing-new-life-into-f...

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    Bernard Healy

    • 07/Sep/2020 15:36:39

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] If you are searching further it might save time to know that it's almost certainly not from a missal. A missal contains texts from the Mass. I am certain that this contains texts from the Divine Office. However, the prayers and chants from the Divine Office can come from books with a variety of names. I see "antiphoner" on the TCD page you link. Or it might be from a "breviary" or "office book". Or there may be some other names that I'm forgetting.

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    derangedlemur

    • 07/Sep/2020 15:42:01

    It may also be a forgery; Apparently Salisbury went to a certain amount of underhand effort to cement their place as an ecclesiastical authority. Could be part of that. www.google.ie/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&so...

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    derangedlemur

    • 07/Sep/2020 16:13:21

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy Could it be a psalter? There's a 14th C thing called the Christ Church Psalter, though I can't find an image of it. It's in the crypt, if anyone's passing.

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    derangedlemur

    • 07/Sep/2020 16:23:42

    I suppose the other place to look would be Marsh's library. Has anyone got mates there?

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    Bernard Healy

    • 07/Sep/2020 16:27:36

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] It might be.

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    derangedlemur

    • 07/Sep/2020 19:15:23

    Well, I've asked my early music mates about it, but it's really a historic document question, not a music question.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 08/Sep/2020 07:13:51

    There’s an antiphonary in Mount Melleray, but I can’t find any online images from it.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 08/Sep/2020 09:06:32

    A friend of a friend who knows about these things contributed the following: “Looks like a 15th or 16th c. Manuscript. The chant at the bottom of the page is the Te Deum, solemn tone. Looks like a Divine Office antiphoner. Hope this helps. “

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    derangedlemur

    • 08/Sep/2020 09:46:27

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy Interesting. That's pretty much exactly what my mate said. Do we know the same people?

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    Bernard Healy

    • 08/Sep/2020 10:14:44

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] As I say - this info is from someone I don't know personally - the friend of a friend based in Colorado.

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    derangedlemur

    • 08/Sep/2020 11:36:05

    My info is coming from north Dublin.