The Liber Ymnorum of Notker Balbulus

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 • Volume 1 of 2: Text and Music •  9781907497292

Winner of the Claude V. Palisca Award of the American Musicological Society

The volumes [121] and [122] present an important and distinctive collection of Carolingian poetry, composed for the liturgy in the last quarter of the ninth century by Notker Balbulus (‘the stammerer’), monk of St Gall (d. 912). Notker was not the first liturgical composer inspired by the Carolingian renaissance of learning to make new texts for elaborate Alleluia melodies, but he was certainly the first to raise the sequence genre to a consistently refined linguistic and theological level, and to provide a repertory for the annual cycle of holy feasts. His collection circulated widely in Germanic areas in the tenth and eleventh centuries, while some of his compositions – such as 'Sancti spiritus' – became staples across all of Europe.

Notker’s Liber ymnorum has never before been edited with the melodies after which his sequences were fashioned and to which they were sung. Bower provides here a full edition of Notker’s dedicatory preface, followed by 49 sequences. Each sequence is presented with two musical notations (‘Carolingian’, in neumes, and pitched on staves), followed by translations and an extensive commentary.

Please note that the two volumes are published under a single ISBN and are not available separately.

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