Pinakes | Πίνακες

Textes et manuscrits grecs

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Résumé :

The cantillation of the Scriptures played an important role in the complex matrix of symbols that is the Byzantine liturgy. Beginning in the ninth century, a special type of notation called ‘ekphonetic’ was developed to indicate in the lectionaries the formulae used in the chanting of the appointed scriptural pericopes. Gradually, over the course of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the system fell into disuse, and the meaning of the notational signs was forgotten. Unfortunately, no surviving Byzantine theoretical treatises explain the system; hence the only sources of information about it (apart from the lectionaries themselves) are lists of ekphonetic neumes found in some manuscripts. Of particular value in this regard is the manuscript Sinaiticus graecus 213. Not only is this one of the oldest datable Greek evangeliaries, but it contains the most ancient list of neumes heretofore discovered, having escaped the attention of musicologists probably because of its unusual location in the manuscript. The present study, proceeding from an analysis of the theoretical information contained in the Sinait. graec. 213 list, will seek to establish the practical application of the neumes within the body of the manuscript, thus contributing to a clarification of the structural characteristics of the earliest, so-called ‘preclassic’, phase of the notational system.