Some information about the CANTUS scripts

About the CANTUS indices

The CANTUS project prepares electronic indices of office manuscripts, in which all chants are inventoried, together with their mode, differentia, an ID-number, etc. These indices can be consulted at the CANTUS Home Page , but they can be downloaded as a text file as well. For the scripts in this web site we use 83 char. wide text files, in which each line represents a chant.

How the scripts work

The scripts presented here are written in perl, a typical text-processing computer language, well-suited for the crunching of large amounts of text. Basically, the scripts (i.e. the pages that you acces from the left margin) are computer programs that sift through a number of CANTUS indices, recording and comparing corresponding chants.

How to use the scripts

The scripts are accessed through forms which allow you to specify the manuscripts, feasts or incipits which interest you. In a few of them (Mode cross-reference and Verse cross-reference) manuscripts are selected by clicking in a list of files; in order to keep track of your selection the sigla of the selected manuscripts are automatically gathered in the Shopping Basket below it. All the scripts ask for a search string or a selection string, usually to limit the amount of data by concentrating on matching records only.

It is usually unnecessary to enter complete words or to use wildcards. E.g. walbur will match Walburga, Walburgae, ....

About the results

As all scripts use the 83 character wide text files, the results of some of the scripts (Search) come in tables of 83 char wide, each record on a line preceded by the siglum of its manuscript. The sigla are usually clickable; this will yield a small screen with elementary information on the manuscript, and the possibility to view the file (either entirely or by searching a string). For full information on the manuscripts, we refer to the CANTUS 'about'-files .

The results of the cross-reference scripts come in cross reference tables, in which the manuscripts are compared two by two. The results are clickable, which will yield a list of witnesses.

About the identification of the chants

All chant descriptions in the CANTUS files have an 7-char. ID-number, either the CAO-number (drawn from Hesbert's Corpus Antiphonalium Officii, composed of the letters 'cao' and a 4-digit number), or a non-CAO-number (composed of a 3-letter siglum and a 4-digit number. Please remember that the CAO-numbers are identical through all files, but the non-CAO-numbers are not. As a result, the identification of CAO chants is completely reliable, and in a search through all files identical CAO-chants can easily be found by their CAO-number. Unfortunately, for a non-CAO-chant this is not the case, and the non-CAO chants can only be traced by their incipits. The user has to realize that an incipit search is less reliable than a CAO-number search. As will easily be understood, an incipit search through the files might yield several identical incipits without a guarantee that one is dealing with one and the same chant. For instance, the incipit Nigra sum sed formosa can belong to CAO nr cao3878, but to a younger non-CAO item as well. On the other hand, our software is not able to judge incipits like Deus enim ... and Deus autem ..., or Sancta Walburgis intercede ... and Sancta Gertrudis intercede ....

To make the distinction between the CAO chants and the non-CAO chants visible in the tables, we put the former on a white background, and the latter on a yellow background.

We decided not to try the identification of slightly diverging incipits (like Dum ... and Cum ...), so incipits are only considered identical if they match exactly.

About the full texts

For a better identification of non-CAO-chants we started entering all full texts in a separate database, which is searchable. Please remember that this is work in progress! The full text database is connected with the CANTUS files. You will find that in the tables giving the search results, a growing number of ID-numbers is clickable. Behind these you will find the chant's full text, and some concordances.

About the sigla

Throughout this web site the manuscripts are indicated by sigla referring to their place of origin and their extent.

The first part indicates the place of origin or of first use. The second part indicates the extent, i.e. whether this is an integrum, summer or winter part, and sometimes only one or more fragments or a manuscript with an unusual division. Some examples: The siglum '' refers to the manuscript Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek, Aug. 60, that is prepared at Zwiefalten, and is an antiphonarium integrum. The siglum 'mai.A' means Mainz, Dom- und Dioezesanmuseum, a 5-volume codex from the Mainz Carmelites, part A.

Last change: za 21 juli 2007