Medieval music-liturgical sources and mensural fragmentes from the Augustinian monastery St. Florian

The monastery library of St. Florian today contains around 800 medieval manuscripts. The oldest sources date back to the 9th century. Many manuscripts with exceptional book decorations survive from the 12th, 13th and the beginning of the 14th century in particular. The present study was able to locate 34 medieval music manuscripts. Overall, the library contains around 200 liturgical sources, of which approximately 70 have musical notation (see austriaca -> database of the liturgical mss. of Austria).

To date, no comprehensive history of the medieval music and liturgy of the Augustinian collegiate monastery St. Florian has been written. This is due not least to the fact that individual aspects have already been analysed in some depth by various authors (e.g. PRASSL, Franz Karl: Psallat ecclesia mater. Studien zu Repertoire und Verwendung von Sequenzen in der Liturgie österreichischer Augustinerchorherren vom 12. bis zum 16. Jahrhundert, Graz 1987; Choralhandschriften öster­reich­i­scher Augustinerchorherren im 12. Jahrhundert, in: Musicologica Austriaca 14/15 (1996), p. 9-23; FRANZ, Adolph: Das Rituale von St. Florian aus dem 12. Jahrhundert, Freiburg 1904; KAFF, Ludwig: Mittelalterliche Oster- und Passionsspiele aus Oberösterreich, Linz 1956, p. 33-37, here p. 45-59). In the present study, Robert Klugsder provides a summary of the musicological literature concerning the liturgy in St. Florian that has already been published to date. New insights into sources that have not or only insufficiently been examined so far will be presented in subsequent chapters.

Fragments with neume notation from the 11th century were able to close a transmission gap in the semiological research. A fragment with three chapters from Aribo’s De Musica has been added to the small number of musical treatises from St. Florian. This is also the oldest known copy of this text from Austria. The scholarly analysis of the special chants for St. Florian means that another “Austrian” historia is now available in addition to the Offices for St. Virgilius, St. Rupert, St. Coloman and St. Leopold. Fragments of a Liber ordinarius that probably came from St. Pölten cast new light on the circulation of this rule book throughout the dioceses of Salzburg and Passau. A tonary containing meloform tropes (Finales) sung as a melismatic conclusion to the psalmody carries significant implications for plainchant performance practice. Two fragments with mensural notation represent an important new source for the music of the early modern period: Fragment 1, written around 1480, contains three-part cantiones for the Christmas season (incl. Agmina fidelium colunt, In natali domini). Fragment 2, dating from the beginning of the 16th century, contains parts of the four-part All Saints’ motet Sancti dei omnes by Jean Mouton.

More information (incl. music transcriptions) in KLUGSEDER, Robert: Mittelalterliche musik-liturgische Quellen aus dem Augustinerchorherrenkloster St. Florian, in: Musicologica Austriaca 31 (2012).

The images of the Stiftsbibliothek St. Florian are published with the permission of Prof. Dr. Karl Reh­berger and Dr. Friedrich Buchmayr.