Patterson, Helen L.


Patterson, Helen L., “The Antiphonary of Bangor and its musical implications”, Ph.D. thesis: University of Toronto, 2013.

  • Ph.D. thesis
Citation details
“The Antiphonary of Bangor and its musical implications ”
University of Toronto
Online resources
Abstract (cited)
This dissertation examines the hymns of the Antiphonary of Bangor (AB) (Antiphonarium Benchorense, Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana C. 5 inf.) and considers its musical implications in medieval Ireland. Neither an antiphonary in the true sense, with chants and verses for the Office, nor a book with the complete texts for the liturgy, the AB is a unique Irish manuscript. Dated from the late seventh-century, the AB is a collection of Latin hymns, prayers and texts attributed to the monastic community of Bangor in Northern Ireland. Given the scarcity of information pertaining to music in early Ireland, the AB is invaluable for its literary insights. Studied by liturgical, medieval, and Celtic scholars, and acknowledged as one of the few surviving sources of the Irish church, the manuscript reflects the influence of the wider Christian world. The hymns in particular show that this form of poetical expression was significant in early Christian Ireland and have made a contribution to the corpus of Latin literature. Prompted by an earlier hypothesis that the AB was a type of choirbook, the chapters move from these texts to consider the monastery of Bangor and the cultural context from which the manuscript emerges. As the Irish peregrini are known to have had an impact on the continent, and the AB was recovered in Bobbio, Italy, it is important to recognize the hymns not only in terms of monastic development, but what they reveal about music. In light of musical fragments recovered from the Schottenstift in Vienna, and its links with the Irish recruiting ground in Rosscarbery, County Cork another portion of Ireland’s past has become known. Only by looking back to the AB and piecing the evidence together can the significance of the recovery be fully appreciated. While there are more questions raised in this dissertation than can be answered, the AB is part of a larger history that intersects with the study of medieval music.
Subjects and topics
Dennis Groenewegen