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Muzikologija  2011 

The status of chanting codices in the Serbian chant tradition

DOI: 10.2298/muz1111039p

Keywords: codex with notation , chanting skill , chants , Anthologion , manuscript , Srbin , Stefan , Isaija , Nikola

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The status of chanting codices, which is directly associated with the phenomenon of musical literacy, is examined in this paper by means of the examples of a few scarce neumed manuscripts that represent a primary source for the reconstruction of the Serbian music past. The following reasons have been stated in the Serbian musicological literature as an explanation for the lack of a larger number of preserved neumed books: 1) melodies were transmitted orally, 2) an intensive liturgical practice, in which chanting had a primary place and 3) historical circumstances due to which manuscripts were exposed to decay. For the sake of an objective evaluation of the probable level of chanting skill in the Middle ages in Serbia, the aforementioned reasons have been reconsidered and revised.


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