St Vincent and St Peter : location and the musical connection between two feasts in Ben 35

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2011-05

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In the Beneventan region, chant manuscripts and the chants they transmitted served as a documentary ritualization of political and liturgical transition. In the twelfth century, circumstances relegated the Beneventan monastery of San Pietro extra muros, for which the chant manuscript Ben 35 was destined, and its parent monastery San Vincenzo al Volturno, to liminal frontier positions between political and liturgical factions. Newly-composed music such as that found in Ben 35 anchored the alliegances of these monasteries within a fluctuating political and liturgical context at a time when ties to Rome and assertion of local practices were both necessary to assure the continuation of a monastery's influence. Thus Ben 35's unusual features are more easily explained when greater consideration is given to the context of its origin and destination. In particular, the destination of Ben 35 played a very important role in determining the musical styles of the chants that were associated with the feasts of Saint Vincent and Saint Peter, saints whose cults were most closely tied to the location of the manuscript.

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