Sounding the Word of God: Carolingian Books for Singers


Sounding the Word of God: Carolingian Books for Singers

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Drawing on a wide context of bookmaking, this sweeping study traces fundamental changes in books made to support musical practice during the Carolingian Renaissance.

During the late eighth and ninth centuries, there were dramatic changes in the way European medieval scribes made books for singers, moving from heavy reliance on unwritten knowledge to the introduction of musical notation into manuscripts. Well-made liturgical books were vital to the success of the Carolingian fight for Christian salvation: these were the basis for carrying out worship correctly, rendering it most effective in petitions to the Christian God. In Sounding the Word of God, Susan Rankin explores Carolingian concern with the expression and control of sound in writing–discernible through instructions for readers and singers visible in liturgical books. Her central focus is on books made for singers, including those made for priests. The emergence of musical notations for ecclesiastical chant