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Collection of Byzantine chants

Reference code
Collection of Byzantine chants
15th century
Level of description
Extent and format
Paper; ff. iv + 413.
Leather binding, brown, blind-stamped, over wooden boards. Later Greek inscriptions on front board and fol. 413v
Scope and content
Collection of chants for the Greek Orthodox office and mass resembling the manuscript collections called the Akolouthiai used from the 14th century. Ekphonetic and neumatic notation. The Akolouthiai manuscripts contained chants for the morning and evening office, the three liturgies and a variety of other material often including a treatise on notation known as the Papadike, and a collection of kalophonic (melismatic chant) with teretisms (repeated syllables); see K. Levy, 'A Hymn for Thursday in Holy Week', Journal of the American Musicological Society, 16 (1963), 154-7; D. H. Touliatos-Banker, The Byzantine Amomos Chant (Thessalonica, 1984), 38-9. The Akolouthiai were developed by Joannes Koukouzeles (late 13th-14th century) and include much newly composed kalophonic chant as well as older material. The present MS refers to about 60 composers by name including, as well as Koukouzeles, John Glykes and John Lampadarios of Klada.

Main contents (preceded by fragments of a Menaion, fols. 1-3v):-

(1) Treatise on neumatic notation (Papadike), with examples by Koukouzeles, etc. fols. 4-21;-

(2) Prokeimena (versicles from the Psalms) for Vespers, Feasts of BVM, Sunday Morning, Easter Week, etc. fols. 21-35v;-

(3) Chants for the Orthros (Morning office), arranged by tones. fols. 35v-59v;-

(4) Great Vespers. Headpiece. fols. 60-85v;-

(5) Several collections of Polyeleos settings (a selection of verses from Psalms 134, 135; see M. Velimirovic (ed.), Studies in Eastern Chant, III (1973), 112-23). fols. 86-126;-

(6) Antiphonal chant for various feasts. fols. 126-68;-

(7) Amomos chants on the death of laymen and clergy (see Touliatos-Banker (1984)). fols. 168v-207v;-

(8) Three Liturgies, including kalophonic settings (e.g. alleluias, fols. 213v-21). Head-piece. fols. 208-72v;-

(9) Verses for Great Vespers, Prologos settings with Kratemata (Byzantine church melodies with syllabic text), Alleluia settings with Kratemata. fols. 273-404v;-

(10) Eleven hymns for Easter morning.

Headpiece. fols. 405-13.
Umfreville, Edward (c 1702-1786), collector and antiquary
Wanley, Humfrey (1672-1726), scholar, librarian and antiquary
Previous reference number(s)
Archival history
Belonged to Humfrey Wanley (signature, 12 June 1698, fol.1) who stated in a letter to Dr Arthur Charlett, 13 June 1698 (Sir Henry Ellis (ed.), Original Letters of Eminent Men (Camden Soc., O.S., 23, 1843), 262-4), that the MS was taken from the Turks when Buda was recaptured by the Imperial forces in 1686, and later acquired by an Englishman for £4. A description by Wanley with a letter of Dr John Wallis (BL Lansdowne MS 763, fols.125-7v) are transcribed in MSS/0264, fols.96-8, 128-30. Presented by Edward Umfreville, FSA, 1745 (signature, fol.4). Minute Book V, 5 Sept.1745, p.33 (extract, fol.i). Proc., 2nd ser., 7 (1876-8), 310-12.