Jerome of Moray: a Scottish Dominican and the evolution of Parisian music theory 1220 1280

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This article examines the Tractatus de musica of Jerome of Moray ('de Moravia ), affirming his Scottish identity, as proposed by Michel Huglo in 1994. It argues that the Tractatus de musica presents an important overview of Parisian music theory in the thirteenth century, relating to both chant and mensurable music in that century, because it combines the views of several generations: the Positio discantus vulgaris, which he says was used 'among the nations ; the De mensurabili musica of John of Garland, who corrected its deficiencies; and the treatises of Franco of Cologne and Petrus Picardus. It considers Jerome s career in three phases: his exposure to music and music theory in Scotland; his studies in Paris, most likely under John of Garland, perhaps at the cathedral school of Notre-Dame; and his involvement in the liturgical reforms within the Dominican Order, implemented by its Master, Humbert of Romans in 1256. Rather than assigning Franco s Ars cantus mensurabilis to 1280 (as proposed by Wolf Frobenius) and Jerome s Tractatus to sometime after this, I suggest that Jerome was exposed to John of Garland s teaching in the 1240s and that the Franconian system may have started to gain ground in the 1250s. Jerome compiled his Tractatus over a period of time, adding an excerpt about cosmic music from the commentary of Thomas Aquinas on Aristotle s De caelo perhaps as early as 1271 or 1272, in response to the criticisms of John of Garland and his followers being made by Johannes de Grocheio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-142
Number of pages20
JournalPlainsong & Medieval Music
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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