Texts often occupy a central role within ritual practices. They serve as prescripts for the organization of the ritual or as explanation of cosmological backgrounds, as records of ritual performance, or simply as items that are handled and recited during the performance itself.
Musical texts may assume some of these roles within certain ceremonial procedures, especially in serving as prescripts for recitation, but also as ritual paraphernalia (for example, where collectors are concerned). Most importantly, they may serve as records of the performance of those rituals in which music forms a central part, as is the case with opera productions.
This volume aims to identify the mechanisms according to which texts, and especially musical texts, may become ritual agents in their own right. It assesses the value of such texts as sources for the reconstruction of rituals, and discusses questions of how the ritual aspects of these texts may be represented in modern editions. While the main focus is on music, contributors from a variety of other fields concerned with textual studies (Egyptology, Classical and Modern Indology, Jewish and Islamic Studies) facilitate comparison between different types of texts, emphasizing different approaches to the subject.
Introduction, Hendrik Schulze
1. Text and Tradition
‘I Bring Many Boxes Filled with Manuscripts on Papyrus and Big Leather Rolls …’, Andreas H. Pries
Ritual Text in Hindu Initiation, Christof Zotter
Performance Sources of ‘Spoken’ Drama: Incidental Music on the Nineteenth-Century German Stage, Antje Tumat
Texts of Musical Practice – Sources for Interpretation and Fragments of Performances, Christa Brüstle
From Patronage to Collectionism: Dissemination of Roman Cantata Score in France, Alessio Ruffatti
Roman Cantatas Manuscripts (1640–80): A Musical Cabinet of Curiosities, Christine Jeanneret
2. Text and Ritual
Ritual Text and Music in Turkish Alevism: Dimensions of Transmission and Bearers of
Knowledge, Janina Karolewski
Performing Vows: Rituals of Transition in the Nunneries of Early Modern Venice, Jonathan Glixon
The Symbolism of Modal Design, Gregory Barnett
‘Every Friday evening music is performed in the Hall of Mirrors …’ Claudio Monteverdi and the Rituals of Courtly Exchange in Early Seventeenth-Century Italy, Tim Carter
Rhythm, Agency and Divine Presence in the Garhwal Himalayas, Karin M. Polit
3. Text as Object
The Torah Scroll and Its Function as a Ritual Object in Jewish Culture, Hanna Liss
Collecting Opera Scores in the Seventeenth Century – Ritual Aspects, Norbert Dubowy
Seventeenth-Century Roman Cantata Manuscripts as a Source for a Material History, Arnaldo Morelli
The Score on the Shelf: Valuing the Anonymous and Unheard, Margaret Murata
Ritualistic vs Transcendental Work Concept: Editing Operatic Texts, Hendrik Schulze