Musical Paleography

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Paleography, Musical


the musical historical discipline that studies ancient systems of music notation; a branch of paleography. Musical paleography involves collecting and describing examples of old music notation, dating them, deciphering them and translating them into modern notation, and publishing the deciphered version, usually with scholarly comments. Alphabetical and numerical systems of notation are studied, as well as systems that use special, conventional signs, the decipherment of which often presents great difficulties (Western European neumes and Old Russian kriuki, for example).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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After a "Forward" by Anscari Manuel Mundo and "Introduction" by Zapke, the first part of this volume is a collection of nine scholarly studies by leading experts in the fields of textual and musical paleography, philology, history, and musicology: Ludwig Vones ("The Substitution of the Hispanic Liturgy by the Roman Rite in the Kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula").
I teach a new course on musical archaeology, the earliest period of old Russia (before the seventeenth century) and in the last two years a course on musical paleography (history of Russian chant notation)" [Editors' Introduction, p.