1.21 — Mecum Timaui

NotationDate10th c. ineunte
NotesAn unsteady hand copied the text and neumes, both of which are barely visible in places. The hand may be dated since traces of the continuation of both text and neumes onto fol. 1r, the title page of the manuscript, are visible. The text and neumes on fol. 1r were erased in order to make a title page, whose script was dated to s. x1/4 by Bischoff: see B. Bischoff, Katalog I, no. 590. The neumes and text of Mecum Timavi may thus be dated to no later than the first quarter of the tenth century.
The melodic profile and patterning indicated by the two surviving notations as aligned in the book entry is virtually identical. The section of greatest dissimilarity is the second half of the second line, but doubts about the melodic relation at this point are allayed by the distinctive final melisma in both notations. On the relation between the two notations and a melody for Felix per omnes transmitted in a thirteenth-century hymnal from South Italy, see the book entry for Mecum Timavi.

1b, "2b", 3c, 2b, 1b, 1b, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2b, 3c, 1a | 2a, [ ], "2b", 2a, 1b, 1a, 1b, 3c, "2b", 1a, 1a, 1b+4e+2b | 1b, "2b", [ ], 2a, 1a, "2b", [ ], 3b, 2b, 3c, 1a, 1a | 1a, 2b, 1b, "2b", 1b, 1b, [ ], 2a, 2b, 2b, "3c", 1a | 2a, 1a, 2a, "2b", 3c+2a'+3b, "2b", 3c, 3b, 2b, 3c, 1a, 1a
between neumes
MelodyThe pattern of neumes indicates melodic repetition within the strophe that may be summarized as: ab, cd, ef, gb, hf. Melismas are placed at the end of the second line and mid-way through the fifth line.
Historical transcripts
 Mecum_Vecchi1950 Mecum_Vecchi
 MecumGill Mecum_GillinghamB60
 Mecumtimavi-Bern Mecum_Coussemaker
Musical editions
Coussemaker, Histoire de l’harmonie, tr. 4; Sesini, Poesia e musica, p. 180; Vecchi, Versus de Herico, pp. 39-40; Vecchi, Poesia latina medievale, tav. III; Sevestre, Du versus au conduit II, p. 162; Gillingham, Secular Medieval Latin Song, pp. 60-5

Coussemaker’s reconstruction follows the principles outlined in discussion of his realization of A solis ortu. As for Hug dulce nomen, the 6/4 time signature allows the regular accents on the first and fourth syllables to coincide with points of musical emphasis, as well as occasional accents on the second syllable. The alignment of the fifth syllable with a point of musical emphasis also serves as an articulation at the caesura. After the caesura the more regular pattern of trochaic accents is easily observed with 2:1 rhythmic ratios between accented and unaccented syllables. Coussemaker extends his concern for aligning musical emphasis with textual accent by moving melismas so that they are placed on accented syllables: the melisma at 2.12 is moved to the proparoxytone accent at 2.10, while the melisma at 5.5 is moved to the paroxytone accent at 5.4.
Sesini’s reconstruction follows the principles observed in his reconstruction for A solis ortu. In this instance, the result is a rhythmic realization in 5+7/4, a first mode melody and expressive additions without any attempt to indicate the implications of the oriscus sign. The reading of the neumes by both Coussemaker and Sesini is irregular(1).
Vecchi proposes a reconstruction of the melody recorded in Bern 394. The transcription is in equal notes (quavers) with liquescences indicated in smaller font and a single quilisma by a wavy line beneath the relevant pitches (5.5). Dynamic markings follow registral ascent and descent and an overall indication of Grave is added at the opening of the reconstruction in Poesia latina medievale. The melody is again reconstructed in the first mode and is similar in pitch, if not rhythmic realization, to Sesini’s reconstruction of the melody recorded for Mecum Timavi in Paris 1154.
Gillingham’s reconstruction uses stemless noteheads. The reading of the neumes again features several errors: in reconstruction of the melody recorded in Paris lat. 1154, the Aquitanian pes is misread a scandicus (2.1, 3.3 and 5.7) and the contours of melismas are consistently misunderstood (2.6, 2.12, 5.1 and 5.5). Assessment of the Bern 394 reconstruction is more problematic since the neumes are now faint.

(1) 2.1 pes not scandicus (both); 2.6 incorrect (both); 2.11-12 incorrect (both); 3.4 pes not scandicus (Sesini); 5.5 incorrect (both); 5.10 incorrect (Sesini).

The unusually high level of similarity between the two surviving notations for Mecum Timavi may be related to the fact that both notations were recorded in West Frankish manuscripts, whose base texts were copied in the late ninth or early tenth centuries. In other words, the geographical and chronological proximity between the notated sources may explain the high degree of correspondence. A further parallel is to be found between the two neumed melodies recorded for Mecum Timavi and a melody for another poetic text attributed to Paulinus of Aquileia, Felix per omnes, transmitted in a thirteenth-century hymnal from South Italy (Stäblein, Monumenta monodica I, no. 775).
The melody in the thirteenth-century South Italian hymnal (Bari, San Nicola, s.n.) has the same pattern of repetitions as the neumed melodies
for Mecum Timavi i.e. a repeat of the second half of line 1 in line 4, and the second half of line 3 in line 5. The placement of melismas is also similar, namely the end of the second line and before the caesura in line 5 (at the fourth syllable in the Bari hymnal, at the fifth in the Mecum Timavi notations). There are also marked similarities in the overall melodic profile of each half-line, which are most readily appreciated through comparison with the melody recorded in Paris lat. 1154. Indeed the contours of the melodic lines in the Bari hymnal and in Paris lat. 1154 are similar throughout, even if the number of notes per syllable often differs. Perhaps the most likely explanation for the proximity between the melodic profiles recorded for Mecum Timavi in West Frankish manuscripts and the melody given for Felix per omnes in the Bari hymnal is that the melodies for Mecum Timavi, although first recorded in West Francia, derive from an earlier Italian melody, or at least from an earlier way of singing a text of this type known in Italy. The general features or principles of this melody would then have remained in oral transmission in Italy through to at least the thirteenth century.