Book Series Studies and Texts, vol. 140

Ludus de decem virginibus

Recovery of the Sung Liturgical Core of the Thuringian 'Zehnjungfrauenspiel'

Renate Amstutz

  • Pages: 412 p.
  • Size:150 x 230 mm
  • Language(s):English, German
  • Publication Year:2002

  • ISBN: 978-0-88844-140-9
  • Hardback
  • Available


This study focuses on the Latin remnants of the play and what they reveal of the nature of the Latin chants. Comprehensive research into the liturgical repertoire as known in the fourteenth century in the Province of Mainz has restored what is essentially the entire liturgico-musical dimension of the drama. Even more, once the recovered Latin chants are placed in sequence and connected through the pertinent stage directions, they emerge as a lively - a Latin liturgical play that may have preceded the mixed-language drama that survived. In the process of the inquiry, basic concepts and forms of medieval liturgy and music are discussed as needed. The study pays particular attention to the 'German dialect' of plainsong and to the special form of recitation in the Mainz Church (Accentus Moguntinus) - regional variations of Roman chanting that are postulated for the chants in the Thuringian play. A few facsimiles from manuscripts complement the musical transcriptions and the discussions of some palaeographical problems. Comparative studies of the peculiar Silete calls and their melodies as well as the so-called travel stanzas 'B' in Easter plays extend in scope and significance to medieval drama in general. Correlated to the book is a Catalogue on microfiche which provides extensive documentation for the liturgical and dramatic sources investigated.