This book opens up discussion on the liturgical music of medieval Ireland by approaching it from a multidisciplinary, European perspective. In so doing, it challenges received notions of an idiosyncratic ‘Celtic Rite’, and of the prevailing view that no manuscripts with music notation have survived from the medieval Irish Church. This is due largely to a preoccupation by earlier scholars with pre-Norman Gaelic culture, to the neglect of wider networks of engagement between Ireland, Britain, and continental Europe. In adopting a more inclusive approach, a different view emerges which demonstrates the diversity and international connectedness of Irish ecclesiastical culture throughout the long Middle Ages, in both musico-liturgical and other respects.
The contributors represent a variety of specialisms, including musicology, liturgiology, palaeography, hagiology, theology, church history, Celtic studies, French studies, and Latin. From this rich range of perspectives they investigate the evidence for Irish musical and liturgical practices from the earliest surviving sources with chant texts to later manuscripts with music notation, as well as exploring the far-reaching cultural impact of the Irish church in medieval Europe through case studies of liturgical offices in honour of Irish saints, and of saints traditionally associated with Ireland in different parts of Europe.
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