Aurelian of Réomé

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First theorist of gregorian chant, flourished in mid-ninth-century France. His importance rests upon his treatise, Musica disciplina, (c. 830; reproduced in Scriptores ecclesiastici de musica potissimum 1:2763). In the introduction he mentions his name and that of his monastery and Bernard to whom the treatise is dedicated (Bernardo, futuro nostro Archiepiscopo ). No other facts about his life can be ascertained. His treatise is divided into two parts: chapters one to seven, which transmit the theories of music inherited from Greek authors through Boethius, Cassiodorus, and Isidore; and chapters eight to twenty, which deal with the chant repertory of his day. In the second part he reveals his familiarity with the practical performance of chant, treating at great length how antiphons are to be intercalated into psalm singing, both at Mass and at Office. In this context he speaks for the first time of modes, using the terminology protus, deuterus, tritus, and tetrardus in authentic and plagal forms. Several passages show his knowledge of a primitive notation and chironomy. The treatise is, thus, a juxaposition of ancient theory and contemporary practice without achieving a synthesis of the two.

Bibliography: a. gastouÉ, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie 1.2:315051. h. hÜschen, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. f. blume (Kassel-Basel 1949) 1:858859. j. p. ponte, The "Musica disciplina" of Aurelianus Reomensis, 3 v. (Unpub. doctoral diss., Brandeis U. 1961), a rev. text, tr. and commentary. l. a. gushee, "The Musica disciplina of Aurelian of Réomé: A Critical Text and Commentary" (Ph.D. diss. Yale University, 1963); "Aurelian of Réomé" in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, v.1, ed. s. sadie (New York 1980) 702704. j. p. ponte iii, "The Musica disciplina of Aurelianus Reomensis" (Ph.D. diss. Brandeis University, 1961). d. m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1996).

[r. g. weakland]