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Journal Article

The Transmission of Western Chant in the 8th and 9th Centuries: Evaluating Kenneth Levy's Reading of the Evidence

Emma Hornby
The Journal of Musicology
Vol. 21, No. 3 (Summer 2004), pp. 418-457
DOI: 10.1525/jm.2004.21.3.418
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/jm.2004.21.3.418
Page Count: 40

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Topics: Gregorian chants, Music manuscripts, Music notation, Musicology, Melody
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Transmission of Western Chant in the 8th and 9th Centuries: Evaluating Kenneth Levy's Reading of the Evidence
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Abstract

Since the 19th century, scholars have been attempting to discover the origins of Gregorian chant and to establish when musical notation began to be widely used in its redaction. For almost 30 years, Kenneth Levy's scholarship on the subject has been hugely influential. He hypothesizes that Gregorian chant was notated in the time of Charlemagne (742-814), or even Pippin (714-768). There are alternative ways of reading the 8th- and 9th-century evidence, however, and largely oral transmission of the Gregorian melodies until the later 9th century cannot be ruled out.

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