Alba Scotti

Una nuova tendenza compositiva nel repertorio dei tropi dei responsori nel patriarcato di Aquileia

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The article gives an overview of the research regarding tropes in the responsories from sources in the Patriarchate of Aquileia dating from a period that runs from the 11th to the 15th century. Differences in the various techniques of 'troping' are distinguished: on the one hand the syllabic intonation of a new text on the basis of the structure of an existing melisma, on the other the adaptation of a melody to a text in verse. The study shows how the analysis of tropes makes it possible to identify layers in the repertoire which reveal evidence of cultural exchange with traditions existing north of the Alps. This process is particularly clear in the "prosa Sospitati", a group of tropes characterised by a type of recurrent verse and by reference to a common model. These represent a turning-point in local traditions of composition, with the "Office for St Nicholas" (imported from the regions of Southern Germany) and the "prosa Sospitati dedit aegros Nicolaus naufragantum" of the French tradition both finding fertile soil in the Patriarchate. The new works came at a moment in history when compositions were experimenting with the new expressive possibilities of text and verse. Verse would become the dominant formal component, determining the ways in which the melodic material was adapted and also providing a model of reference for the technique of contraffactum. The results can be seen in the new Offices and the new "prosae", which in their turn would become models to be copied.

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