Scholars have neglected Iberia’s early-medieval Christian liturgy, reflecting the insurmountable difficulties the non-pitch-readable music notation presents for conventional methodologies. This project’s trans-disciplinary methodology integrates the study of melody and text across the Old Hispanic liturgy for the first time. With theologians and musicologists, I will explore the potential the Old Hispanic chants had for promoting a particular religious experience within an almost-forgotten liturgy. Together, we will bring the many-layered and cross-referential Old Hispanic approach to text choice, musical punctuation and melodic pacing explicitly to the attention of modern composers, encouraging them to explore compositional processes that evoke similar spiritual responses. The composers will act as a communicative channel between the pure scholarship demanded by the Old Hispanic material, and contemporary concert audiences and congregations. We will produce a team-authored book, several peer-reviewed articles, a series of publicly performed compositions, an EU-workshop and an International Festival of new music inspired by the project findings. The Old Hispanic liturgy is one of the musical, intellectual and theological jewels of our European cultural heritage, and this project will give a wide audience a holistic understanding of its richness.
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