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About the volumes:
The years 1590-1890 comprised a period of intensive activity in the realm of Gregorian chant, marked by two major and opposing series of fundamental changes to the repertoire. This vitality notwithstanding, only a small handful of studies provide information about chant in this period. The present monograph and edition seek to remedy this lacuna in our knowledge with respect to chants for the Mass Proper. It presents the first large-scale account of the various repertoires involved, together with transcriptions from selected primary sources. It offers also the first extensive listing of our primary printed sources. Earlier studies have indicated the most basic features of post-Tridentine revisions of chant, but these generalizations remain jejune without access to readings from major sources. These have largely been lacking. Inasmuch as no single work can offer both a panorama of the period as a whole and a detailed study of individual sources in their entireties, the author has chosen to focus in the initial and largest part of this book on five complete Mass Propers and a group of individual chants. In this fashion the reader is brought into touch with the variety of early editorial revisions of chant and also with contemporary sources that sought to adhere to previous medieval traditions.
Later chapters deal with the plainchant musical of Nivers, the virtually unknown repertories of Neo-Gallican chant, aspects of chant during the 18th century, and the major monuments of 19th-century chant that preceded the return to medieval chant sources represented by the editions issued by the Abbey of Solesmes. Issued in two physical pieces, part 1 has text with Audio CD performances of some of the Mass Propers discussed in the book, and part 2 has complete comparative music examples of Mass Propers discussed in the book, examples that detail variations between the various traditions transmitted in the sources.
About the author:
Theodore Karp has contributed to our knowledge of medieval and Renaissance music in the areas of Gregorian chant, secular monophony (especially trouvère chansons), 12th-century polyphony, and polyphony of the late 15th and 16th centuries. His major works include a two-volume study of The Polyphony of St. Martial and Santiago de Compostela and a series of related essays comprising Aspects of Orality and Formularity in Gregorian Chant. He has served on the faculties of the University of California at Davis and the Northwestern University School of Music, from which he retired as Professor Emeritus in 1996.