Inside the Offertory

Inside the Offertory : Aspects of Chronology and Transmission

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The offertory has played a crucial role in recent vigorous debates about the origins of Gregorian chant. Its elaborate solo verses are among the most splendid of chant melodies, yet the verses ceased to be performed in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, making them among the least known and studied members of the repertory. Rebecca Maloy now offers the first comprehensive investigation of the offertory, drawing upon its music, lyrics, and liturgical history to shed new light on its origins and chronology. Maloy addresses issues that are at the very heart of chant scholarship, such as the relationship between the Gregorian and Old Roman melodies, the nature of oral transmission, the presence of non-Roman pieces in the Gregorian repertory, and the influence of theoretical thought on the transmission of the melodies. Although the Old Roman chant versions were not recorded in writing until the eleventh century, it has long been assumed that they closely reflect the eighth-century state of the melodies.
Maloy illustrates, however, that rather than preserving a pristine earlier version of the melodies, the prolonged period of oral transmission from the eighth to the eleventh centuries instead enforced a formulaic trend. Demonstrating that certain musical and textual traits of the offertory are distributed in distinct patterns by liturgical season, she outlines new chronological layers within the repertory, and along the way, explores the presence and implications of foreign imports into the Roman and Gregorian repertories. Carefully weighing questions surrounding the origins of elaborate verse melodies, Maloy deftly establishes that these melodies reached their final form at a relatively late date. Available for the first time as a complete critical edition, ninety-four Gregorian and Old Roman offertories are presented here in side-by-side transcriptions. A companion web site provides music examples and essays which elucidate these transcriptions with significant insights into their similarities and differences.
Inside the Offertory will be an important and longstanding resource for all students and scholars of early liturgical music, as well as performers of early music and medievalists interested in music.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 464 pages
  • 182.88 x 254 x 38.1mm | 975.22g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 110 black and white music examples, 94 line illustrations
  • 0195315170
  • 9780195315172
  • 2,169,840

Table of contents

Acknowledgements ; 1. Introduction ; 2. The Offertory Lyrics ; 3. The Gregorian and Roman Offertories ; 4. The Milanese Melodic Witness and the Question of "Italianate" Style ; 5. Origin and Chronology ; 6. The Offertory in Manuscripts: An Introduction to the Edition ; Appendix 1: Textual Sources and Variants ; Appendix 2: Manuscripts Cited ; Bibliography ; Edition
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Review quote

This is a book that inspires confidence from the outset ... complex and thoroughly researched ... This publication is sure to find a warm welcome amongst chant scholars everywhere. * John Caldwell, Plainsong and Medieval Music * Inside the Offertory presents a convincing solution to an old puzzle: what kind of relationship does Gregorian chant have with the Old Roman repertory? * Early Music * Maloy's clear expository writing and excellent use of tables and transcriptions within the text prevent the reader from becoming overwhelmed by the depth of information she presents. * Kate Helsen, Early Music * Inside the Offertory is a very complex book and a review ... cannot do justice to the extraordinary amount of material or to the thoughtful reflections thereupon ... May this major contribution to the study of the offertory inspire similarly detailed books on the other Proper chants of the Mass. * Joseph Dyer, Early Music History * a superb achievement... wholly impressive, both in its scope and in its detail. With this book, Maloy establishes herself not only as a major player in chant studies, but also as one of the most dynamic and nimble thinkers in the field, reshaping and redefining many traditional debates. The book is undoubtedly essential, both for serious scholars of chant and for up-coming students, who, no doubt, will appreciate the author's compulsively thorough contextualization
and documentation of every subject she touches upon ... the single greatest achievement of Inside the Offertory may be Maloy's ability to challenge and inform a diverse readership equally well, setting the bar impossibly high for all those who will follow. * Daniel J. Dicenso, Rivista Italiana di Musicologia * immensely valuable, and the edition and notes of the offertories are a veritable gold mine of information that should spur continued and intense study of a repertory that is the most problematic in both the Roman and Gregorian traditions. * Alejandro Enrique Planchart, Music and Letters *
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About Rebecca Maloy

Rebecca Maloy is Assistant Professor of Music (Musicology) at The University of Colorado, Boulder.
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