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Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 473: The Winchester Troper.

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Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 473: The Winchester Troper.
Alternate Title:
The Winchester Troper
Latin, English, Old (ca. 450-1100), and Greek, Modern (1453- )
ff. 2 + 199
Approximate Date:
[ca. 1025 - 1075]
Parker Manuscripts
This small sized book, CCCC MS 473, is commonly known as The Winchester Troper; together with Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 775 (sometimes also called by this name) it attests to the musical repertory of the Old Minster Winchester in the eleventh century. It contains some of the oldest polyphonic music in the West. As well as 'tropes', musical phrases which were added as embellishments to the standard chant for the liturgical texts, it also contains sequences and other music. It would have been used by a precentor, whose job it was to lead the music at mass and the divine office. There are many signs that it comes from the Old Minster Winchester, including texts for the feasts of the Winchester saints Swithhun, Æthelwold, Justus of Beauvais, Hædde (Hedda) and Birinus. Datings from the script have varied from circa 1000 to the second quarter of the eleventh century; the earlier dating has led people to associate this manuscript with Wulfstan of Winchester OSB (fl. late tenth century), also known as Wulfstan Cantor, who was precentor of the Old Minster Winchester at around that date, and who wrote saints' lives and hagiographical poetry. A later dating, perhaps 1020s-1030s, now seems probable, but it is still likely that at least some of the material it contains is his work. Material was added to the manuscript serially over the course of the eleventh century.