Mixing local and regional, traditional and non-traditional elements: the case of the graduale Wladislai

Title: Mixing local and regional, traditional and non-traditional elements: the case of the graduale Wladislai
Author: Kiss, Gábor
Source document: Musicologica Brunensia. 2016, vol. 51, iss. 1, pp. 79-90
  • ISSN
    1212-0391 (print)
    2336-436X (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

In the late medieval manuscript heritage of Central Europe we encounter sources that cannot easily be classified according to liturgical traditions. For an approach regarding the traditions as a value, these atypical late sources may give the impression of decline and corruption. However, these sources can show well what kind of connections might have existed between the traditions. How wide could have been the compilators' horizon? Which traditional melodies, variants or tradition independent popular pieces became known to them? What tendencies, transmission lines and cultural channels can we observe in the melody history of the region, etc.? So, from the point of view of cultural history the detailed analysis of such sources can be just as interesting as the experiences of a comparative research of the traditions. One of the most interesting such manuscripts is the richly decorated monumental Graduale Wladislai. The literature connects it to Wladislaus the 2nd (Hungarian and Bohemian king), but there is no convincing explanation for what purpose the poor king would have ordered such a representative codex of ambigous content. In all probability it was manufactured in a Bohemian scriptory and as a whole the manuscript is alien to the Hungarian tradition. However, its content is less Bohemian than the outer appearance suggests and some Hungarian charactersitics were also included in the repertory. Apparently several codices of different traditions were used as models and they were combined in a creative way. This paper rather concentrates on the layer of the special, tradition independent or ambigous chants of the manuscript that either represent individual initiatives or might represent the influences of several traditions.