School of Music
University of Nebraska--Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0100
(phone: [402] 472-2507; Internet: plefferts1@unl.edu)

Data entry: Peter M. Lefferts
Checked by: Peter Slemon
Approved by: Peter M. Lefferts

Author: Anonymous
Title: Rosarium theologie (excerpt)
Source: Bruce W. Holsinger, "The Vision of Music in a Lollard Florilegium: Cantus in the Middle English Rosarium theologie (Cambridge, Gonville and Caius College MS 354/581)," Plainsong and Medieval Music 8, no. 2 (1999): 95-106 at 103-5. Reprinted with the permission of Cambridge University Press.

[-103-] Cantus. Song hathe thre things reprehensibel or reprouabel. The first is wen a man seketh outher fagyng or flateryng a voice, outher for to glorifie or for to delite. Unde Gregorius, 'Wen a flateryng voice is souzt, a sobre life is leste.'

[-104-] Also Austyn seith Libro. 10. Confessionum, 'Als ofte as song deliteth me mor than thing wich is songon I knowlech me so ofte greuosly to haue synned.' The secunde is brekyng of voice, wer for it is seid in Legenda Sancti Sebastiani, 'Trow thou not hym to be numbered among worschiperes of Criste that seketh the sauours of heuenly things and breketh his voice.' 'Wer,' seith Bernarde, 'Brekyng of voice is signe of a brokon soule.' Unde Ezechiel 33, 'My puple hereth thi wordes and thei done tham nozt; for thei turne tham in to song of the mouthe, and their herte seweth auarice; and it is to tham as a dite of museke that is songen with a softe and a swete soune. And thei schal here my wordes and thei schal not do tham.' Therefore seith Austyn De cognicione vere vite, 'the preier of the hert nozt of the mouthe ascendit to heuen. Soules for sothe herith not the criyng of the voice but of the herte, and thai helpe them that trewly calloth on tham, ne thei here no more criying preiers than tham that are made with ouzte voice or tong or herte. Sequitur, soules of senztis, beholdyng nozt voices but wordes, thei gette of god thair desires to tham. Wer for it is writen, "our lorde hath herde desire of pore men the preparacion thair hert has thin ere herd".'

The therd is ouer miche enhizhyng of the voice, as doth tho that will rather syng hiz than openly. Wer for seith Iohannes in Epistola ad Ephesios et distinctione 92 "Cantantes, 'Hereth zong men to wome is office in the chirch of singyng: that is to syng to god nozt with voice but with hert. Ne in the maneres of tragedies, the throte and the chekes leue to be enoynted with medicine that mesures of teatrales ben herd in holy chirch. Fro the office forsoth of syngyng and chantyng dekenes be fonden except that thei neclygent nozt the ministeryng of the auter willes the studie modulacon of voices.' Item Gregorius ibid, 'In the holy chirch of Rome,' quod he, 'somtyme was sprongon a custome ful reprehensibel, that som syngers leue chosen to the ministeryng of the holi auter and ordened in the ordere of dekenes serueth to modulacion of voice, wome it war conabel for to entend to the of office of prechyng and studie of almos. War for it is often done in the holi minsteryng, that wiles a fagyng voice is souzt, the conabel life is reckelessed. And the synger the minister of our Lorde prikke with maneres wen he deliteth the puple with his voices. Of wiche thing I ordene be this present decre that in this see ministeres of the holy auter oweth nozt for to syng but only the office of the lesson of the gospelles or redyng of the gospell thei fulfil or do costomabily amonge the solempnites of the messes. Psalmes for soth or other lessons I deme or ordeyne to be schewed or done be subdekenes, or if nede asketh it be lesse orderes. Wo so evere assaieth or tempteth so to come agens my this decre cursed be he.' Concordat Isidorus Libro. [1] Ethimologiarum capitulo 12o / Et in Canone. distinctione 21. / Et de Consecratione distinctione 5 'Non mediocriter. per Ioannem. Concordat Augustinus in Libro de catazizand[i] rudibus 6 distinctione 98 'Cedulo et Isidores in Epistola ad Ludefredum ut distinctione 24. 'Perlectis. Of song forsoth it is seide Amos 5., 'I schal take away the voice of thi dites and I schal nozt here the songe of thi herpe.' Upon wich seith [-105-] Jeronymus, 'Our lorde', he seith, 'demeth or supposeth the songe of som men gruntyng of sowes, ronnyng of asses and barkyng of hundes.' Also Odon seith thus in Sermone Intravit Iesus in quoddam castellum, 'Som men', he seith, 'ar soudenly delited of custome or swetnes of sovne in the numbre of psalmes and in songes wiche the understode not. But sych is the contemplacioun of an asse, that gladly hereth a sovne but vnderstandith not the witte or menyng.' Plus ubi oracio et devocio.

Return to 15th-Century File List

Return to the TME Home