Receptions of French Liturgical Music in Central Europe in the High Middle Ages

Project code
Project type
Mezinárodní projekty LA
Year of start
Year of completion
Researcher in MÚA
Hana Vlhová-Wörner
Masarykův ústav a Archiv AV ČR

The influence of French repertoires on Czech liturgical music in the 13th century is a newly identified, but characteristic aspect of Czech music history, distinguishing Bohemia from the repertories of adjacent regions. Traces of French repertoires are recognized in tropes for mass and for Benedicamus Domino, office chants, troped lessons and sequences, with evidence coming mainly from the St Vitus’s Cathedral and the St George’s monastery at Prague Castle. Recent study on medieval church history pointed to the bishop of Olomouc, Robert (1202–1240), whose possible English origin and studies in Paris may explain the contact between contemporary Western traditions and Bohemia. An interdisciplinary evaluation of the phenomenon has the potential to reassess the hitherto experienced models of the circulation of liturgical chants in the High Middle Ages and to revise the interpretations of “cultural centres” and “peripheries”, which had been defined on the basis of selected parameters whose validity needs to be reconsidered today.

The project is carried out with Prof. Konstantin Voigt, Director of the Department of Musicology at the University of Freiburg.