Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Brand, Benjamin. “Literary and Musical Borrowing in a Versified Office for St. Donatus of Arezzo.” In Historiae: Liturgical Chant for Offices of the Saints in the Middle Ages, edited by David Hiley, 57-72. Venice: Fondazione Levi, 2021.

An analysis of two contrafacta in the versified office for St. Donatus Splendor stelle clare lucis (dated circa 1300) demonstrates how musical borrowing can interact with literary borrowing to generate extra-musical meaning in medieval historiae. The text of Splendor draws on multiple sources for the St. Donatus passion and at times quotes related psalm texts to accentuate its themes. The office additionally alludes to the dragon-slaying iconography of St. Michael to glorify its subject. The second responsory of the office of St. Donatus, Luce carens corporali, deals with the healing of Syranna, a pivotal episode in the Donatus office, and is melodically derived from O summe Trinitati, a responsory from the Trinity office. The use of this chant in particular emphasizes the doctrine of the Trinity in the healing of Syranna, which is not emphasized in the text. Only at the invocation of the Trinity was Syranna’s conversion complete. Another significant episode, the miracle of the chalice, is addressed in the responsory Divinum mysterium, appearing in the Night Office of Splendor. Divinum is a contrafact of Accepit Ihesus calcem, a responsory from the Office of Corpus Christi. The melodic source is thematically relevant to the Donatus office by connecting the miracle of the chalice to the chalice bearing Christ’s blood. Because of their thematic relevance to the subject of the office, these two instances of melodic borrowing are extensions of the intertextual network of quotation and allusion that paints a portrait of St. Donatus.

Works: Anonymous: Luce carens porporali from Splendor stelle clare lucis (66-69), Divinum mysterium from Splendor stelle clare lucis (70-72)

Sources: Anonymous: O summe Trinitati (66-69), Accepit Ihesus calicem (70-72)

Index Classifications: Monophony to 1300, 1300s

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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