Gradual of Moggio

  • 1216 ca.; parchment; mm 283 × 191; ff. I, 153, I’. Square notation on tetragram.
  • Oxford, Bodleian Library, Canon. Lit. 340 (Madan 19426)

Quite certainly written at Admont Abbey, one of the main centres of the twelfth-century Benedictine monastic reformation, the manuscript very early was employed in the Friulian monastery of San Gallo, at Moggio.

A gradual is the book that gathers all the chants proper of the Mass, and therefore in many cases was also simply called ‘missal’. On the spine of ms 340 it can be still read “Missalis antiqui pars cum notis musicis”. The Moggio gradual consists of the following principal sections: calendar (f. 1r); Easter tables (f. 7r) (here from 1216 to 1324); gradual (f. 9r). At the end (f. 123v) there is a section with the Common of Saints Alleluia; a kyriale with pieces enriched by trops (f. 127v); a sequentiary starting at Christmas (f. 136r); the greatest part is with music. Our gradual dates back to 1216 or to few years before. Quite certainly written at Admont Abbey, a prominent witness of the monastic reformation of Hirsau, the manuscript with other liturgical books of the Austrian abbey was very early employed at the San Gallo monastery of Moggio. The calendar was probably here drawn out, since its memoirs do not coincide with the gradual sanctorale. In the modern age the book was kept by the count Mario del Pozzo, in his house of Venzone. The liturgical set is inherent in the Roman rite. The monastic component is evident in the choice of some saints’ celebrations and by the share of specific chants of the Austrian tradition (Admont, Sankt Peter). Chants were originally noted with a Germanic-type neumatic script in open field. Subsequently there were replacements and integrations with square notation.

f. 9r, Mass of the 1st Advent Sunday

f. 9r, Mass of the 1st Advent Sunday

Leave a Comment