'More divine than human': Early Tudor plainchant and polyphony of the Lenten Compline Office in the Use of Salisbury, 1485-1558
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Date of Graduation
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
School of Music
Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy
Codified at Salisbury Cathedral in southern England during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the Use of Salisbury, or Sarum Use, was an influential model of church structure and liturgy across England until the middle of the sixteenth century. Within this model, certain distinctive features are observable, including patterns of ritual observance in such liturgies as the Office of Compline, prayed at the end of the day. This study examines the structure of the Sarum Compline Office, and the phenomenon of polyphonic music created for its observance, during the forty-day penitential season of Lent. This thesis specifically explores ways in which early Tudor-era composers, in the shadow of the turbulent politics of the Tudor era, treated the ritual musically in terms of the creation and enactment of polyphonic music within the context of normative plainchant, in turn considering how the ritual format, architectural style, and acoustical characteristics of spaces such as Salisbury Cathedral impacted the performative contexts of this composed music.
The study focuses on the following questions: (1) Based on ritual indications from both the printed sources of the period ca. 1500, and the older manuscript sources of Salisbury Cathedral, how was the chanted Office of Compline enacted liturgically, musically, and spatially, during the Lenten season? (2) What items of composed polyphony exist specifically for performance in the Sarum Use for Compline during Lent? (3) How did the use of this composed polyphony inform the ritual and liturgical ceremonial discussed above? (4) What do the ritual rubrics of Sarum Use have to say to us about the performance practices of the polyphony? (5) What do the local contexts of the parish church, cathedral church, university/collegiate chapel, and household chapel(s) bring to bear on the performance practices of this ritual music? The study concludes with recommendations for further research, and a performance edition of the plainchant for the Compline Office during the Lenten season, as well as transcriptions of selected polyphonic compositions (by John Taverner, John Sheppard, Robert White, Philip Alcock, John Norman, Philip ap Rhys, and John Redford) associated with the Compline ritual from the period ca. 1485-1558.
Ardrey-Graves, Mark Wayland, "'More divine than human': Early Tudor plainchant and polyphony of the Lenten Compline Office in the Use of Salisbury, 1485-1558" (2015). Dissertations, 2014-2019. 21.