Two Renaissance Dominican processionals written for Bavarian nuns – music manuscripts now in the National Library, Cape Town

  • C Steyn
Keywords: Altenhohenau, Augsburg, Dominican order, Grey Collection, manuscripts, nuns, Processionals, processions

Abstract

The 114 Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the Grey Collection of the National Library, Cape Town, form one of the most valuable parts of the collection and is the most beautiful. There are very few other Western manuscripts of these periods in Africa. In South Africa, a country without a  Medieval or Renaissance past, they are of great cultural importance, since they are representative of the countries of origin of a fairly large section of the population. Fourteen of these are music manuscripts that are known, but have not all been studied fully. In this article two Processionals of the Roman Catholic Church, one from the fifteenth and one from the sixteenth century, are discussed. Although previously mentioned in publications, they have never been discussed in depth. It was discovered that they were written during the fifteenth and the sixteenth century for two Bavarian nunneries, the one at Augsburg the other at Altenhohenau, probably by nuns of the nearby Dominican nunnery at Nürnberg. They concur with the authoritative Dominican exemplar written during the thirteenth century as well as with other early Dominican Processionals, and are therefore without a doubt Dominican. Each of them, however, also contains chants representative of the local liturgy of the convent for which it was written.

Keywords: Altenhohenau, Augsburg, Dominican order, Grey Collection, manuscripts, nuns, Processionals, processions

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eISSN: 1011-3053