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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/839

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similar descending group (/•, , climacus). More com- plicated combinations were designated as modifica- tions of the simpler groups. The addition of a lower



L-le- Id-

y. Ost^n-de nobis Do- mine mise-ri-

i J^ . .

^^^]n"> , I . . , n 3


c6rdi-am tu-

am : et salu-ta-

s^^^^-^'^^=^-HVv^v^ ^




um*da no- bis.

^>7 r;^^ f Hr

note to a group ending with a higher note was indi- cated by the adjective fiexus, the addition of a higher note to a group ending with a lower note, by resupinus.

follows on the same syllable. An analysis of all the cases of liquescence occurring in the MS. (inuiual ,'539 of St. Gall is made in the second volume of the "Palg- ographie Musicale" (pp. 41 sqq.), where the subject is treated very fully. This analysis sliows that by far the largest number of cases (2450 out of 3504) occur when a vowel is followed by two or more consonants the first of which is one of the "liquids" (1, m, n, r) either within a word (like sanclos) or through the col- location of two words (as in lej. A considerable num- ber is found before an explosive dental at the end of a word followed by another word beginning with one or more consonants (317 before t, 48 before d). Forty- nine times it is found before a final s followed by another consonant (e. g. nobis Domine) and sbc times before s in Israhel ; seventy-three times before g, thirty- two times before two consonants the second of which is j (e. g. adjutor), forty-six times before single m, thirty-four times before a single g followed by e or i. One hundred and fifty-nine times on the dijihthong au, and two hundred and eighty-eight times before a sin- gle j (including one hundred and fifty-three cases on alleluia).

It is clear from what has been said, that this liques- cence must be connected with the proper pronuncia- tion of the consonants. But as to what it should mean in the rendering, authors are not agreed. Thus the preface to the Vatican Gradual says: "ipsa co- gente syllabarum natura, vox de una ad alteram lim- pide transiens tunc 'hquescit'; ita ut in ore compressa 'non finiri videatur', et quasi dimidium suae, non morte, sed potestatis amittat". This is not easy to translate, but it would seem that the last tone of the liquescent neum should "lose one half, not of its length, but of its strength". The " Paleographie Musicale" on the other hand, says that in the exact pronunciation of certain combinations of consonants an obscure vowel sound enters between them, so that a word like confundantur would sound coib^fuivdan"-

vtu.1 aritiiei tna*

-' V JxuJe^A mu-for^tneftrtda mi na die

■ J ^ ■/ ' ■' '^ y J' ■■■ "" r ■ u


a ml no ctitmferfTum c^tM>r'iVHTvf{u.\iUo


ru^hiutc eorrheu.

III. III.— MS. 239 (IX-X Century), Laon

Thus even the clivis (more correctly clinis) was at an early period called virga flexa, and the torculus could be considered as a pes flcxus. The sign y\/\ would be a porrectus flexus, the \/\/ a torculus resupinus, etc. Again the placing of several puncta before a sign is ex- pressed by the term pra;punctis, their addition after a sign subpinctis. In accordance with that a scandicus is a virga pra'punctis; a climacus, a virga subpunctis; '^•, pes subpunctis; .'•., scandicus subpunctis, or, also compunctis, the last-named adjective indicating the addition of punctis before and after.

A special modification of the neum form is that which is called liquescent or semivocal. It consists generally of a shortening, attenuating, or curling of the last stroke. It occurs only at the transition from one syllable to the next and there only in certain cir- cumstances. It is never found when another neum

tur and that it is this after-sound which exerts its in- fluence on the tone preceding the first consonant. It is not easy to see why this obscure vowel sound com- ing after the first consonant should influence the tone preceding it, nor why the consonants should change the dynamic character of the preceding vowel sound. Possibly the nature of the liquid consonants, 1, ni, n, r, which evidently have given the name to the liquescent neums, would give a more satisfactory explanation. It is well known that these consonants can be sung, that is be prolonged on a definite and varying pitch. It would seem, then, that when one of these nants follows a vowel, then sometimes the last note on the vowel sound is smoothly fused into the consonan- tal sound, part of its time value being given to the singing of the liquid or semivocal consonant. This would conveniently apply to the first class of cases