Hermannus(surnamed Contractus on account of his paralyzed limbs), Swabian theoretician and composer; b. Saulgau, July 18, 1013; d. Altshausen, near Biberach, Sept. 24, 1054. He was the son of Hermann, Count of Vehringen. He was a student in the Reichenau monastery, and, under the guidance of his tutor, Abbot Berno, he acquired wide learning. In 1043 he entered the Benedictine order. His best-known work (containing valuable historical notices on music) is a chronology from the time of Christ to 1054. It has been republ. several times, and is to be found in Peres’s (Pertz’s) Monumenta (Vol. V). Hermannus was the author o Opuscula musica, in which he gives a thorough discussion of the church modes and criticizes the Daseian notation used in the 10th-century tract Musica enchiriadis. He proposed his own notation by Greek and Latin letters. In the indication of a change in pitch, it had an advantage over neume notation. His notation is written above the neume notation in some MSS of the 11th and 12th centuries in the Munich Library. The sequence Grates, honis, hierarchia and an office for St. Afra, Glorioso et beatissima, are the only compositions which have been definitely established as being by Hermannus. L. El-linwood ed. Musica Hermanni Contracti (Rochester, N.Y., 1936), which gives the Latin text (prepared from the Vienna MS and an 11th- century MS at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.), an Eng. tr., and commentary.
W. Brambach, Hermanni Contracti Musica (Leipzig, 1884); H. Oesch, Berno und Hermann von Reichenau als Musiktheoretiker (Bern, 1961).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire