Musica enchiriadis

Musica Enchiriadis

Musica enchiriadis

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Musica enchiriadis is an anonymous musical treatise from the 9th century. It is the first surviving attempt to establish a system of rules for polyphony in classical music. The treatise was once attributed to Hucbald, but this is no longer accepted. Hoppin, Richard H. Medieval Music. Norton, 1978, pp.188-193. Some historians once attributed it to Odo of Cluny (879-942).

This music theory treatise, along with its companion commentary, Scolica enchiriadis, were widely circulated in medieval manuscripts, typically coupled with Boethius' De Institutione Musica.Erickson, Raymond. "Musica enchiriadis, Scholia enchiriadis". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. London: Macmillan, 2001. It consists of nineteen chapters; the first nine are devoted to notation, mode, and monophonic plainchant.

Chapters 10-18 deal with polyphonic music. The author shows how consonant intervals should be used in order to compose or improvise polyphonic music in early Middle Ages. The consonant intervals identified by the treatise are the fourth, the fifth and the eighth, and sometimes the third and the sixth. A number of examples of organum, an early style of note-against-note polyphony, are included in the treatise. Musica......
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