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The Role of Chrodegang of Metz (712-766) in the Formation of Western Plainchant

Recent chant scholarship suggests that early Western plainchant consisted of a blend of Frankish and Roman chant features, and that the Roman cantilena which was transmitted in the time of Pepin III (r. 742-68) and Charlemagne (r. 771-814) was more a way of singing than a collection of fixed melodies. The goal of this paper is to expand upon this view of the earliest era of Western chant through an examination of the activities of Bishop Chrodegang of Metz (712-766).
Historical evidence records Chrodegangs direct involvement in the trip of Pope Stephen II to Francia (753-54), noted by early writers as pivotal to the initial introduction of the eighth-century Roman chant to Francia. Comparison of a text-critical analysis of Chrodegangs Regula canonicorum (Rule for the Canons) with the timing of the popes trip, plus other documents and artifacts from the late eighth to early ninth century, indicates that Chrodegangs interest in the Roman liturgy and chant was noticeably higher after 754. Liturgical books with a blend of Roman and Frankish traditions came into wide use at the same time that Chrodegang rose to regional prominence. Chrodegang, a popular church leader, was also apparently skilled at seeking compromise in situations dealing with old traditions in the face of change. A summary of these strands of evidence postulates the earliest importation and establishment of elements of Roman-style chanting to Metz, under Bishop Chrodegang, and its subsequent development as a blended tradition in the decade after Pope Stephens stay in Francia in 754.
Date27 June 2006
CreatorsOber, Mary E.S.
ContributorsDon O. Franklin, Mary S. Lewis, Deane L. Root
PublisherUniversity of Pittsburgh
Source SetsUniversity of Pittsburgh
Detected LanguageEnglish
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