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Title: The disposition of the tritone in Gregorian Chant.
Author: Gellnick, Franklyn M.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3493 5988
Awarding Body: University of Kent at Canterbury
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 1997
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This thesis sets out to examine the disposition of the tritone in Gregorian Chant, both as a 'filled-in' and as a disjunct interval, or 'leap'. By comparison with other periods of music history, the tritone's place in early medieval music has hitherto received scant attention; one noteworthy text even claims that it was shunned altogether. But, in general, it has been assumed that the tritone was considered undesirable only as a harmonic device. Intervallic perception is partially determined by the prevailing culture and context. (In respect of the tritone, this is no more demonstrable than in jazz. ) And since the melodic tritone contravenes ancient principles concerning harmonious proportion, the tritone's disposition in the chant may therefore be deemed significant. The primacy of liturgy is affirmed, and the early neume notations accorded an important role in the analyses. The tritone 'leap' seems only to appear in the Great Responsories of the night Office - particularly those of Passiontide - and may owe its existence partly to medieval superstition. Furthermore, modern scholarship has failed to acknowledge the gulf between contemporary theory and practice by adopting a 'theory-dominated view' (as proposed by Rankin in connection with organum at Winchester). Later attempts to edit the tritone from the Benedictine MSS were inconsistent, as illustrated through a comparative study with the Cistercian sources.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Medieval music