Responsories of the Latin Office of the Dead
 
In 1993, when I published my Doctoral thesis The Responsories and Versicles of the Latin Office of the Dead, I was forced to inform my readers that the data-base and the computer programmes on which the whole investigation was based did not work any more, because the computer (a CDC 6400) was taken down and my programmer, Director Bjarner Svejgaard at the Computer Centre of Aarhus University (RECAU), had regrettably died in 1988 before the data and the programmes could be transferred to a personal computer. Consequently I had to conclude that “since the original machine is no longer in operation, it is not possible to make inquiries into the data for the time being.”

This deficiency has now been remedied. At the Institute of Musicology, University of Regensburg, Robert Klugseder has incorporated my series of responsories, as they are seen in chapter 4 of my book, in the Cantus planus Western plainchant database search facility. It is now again possible to search for offices of which only a few responsories are known, under the condition that one knows their position. This possibility is vital for establishing the origin of the source. In order to establish this it is not only necessary to isolate unique items, structures or patterns but to prove (as far as possible) that they do not turn up elsewhere.

Let me give you a fresh example.

One of the last fragments I have described from the Danish National Archives in Copenhagen is RA 8683. It contains three responsories from an Office of the Dead: Peccante me quotidie (68); Memento mihi domine quia ventus est (46) and Libera me domine de morte eterna (38). These three responsories are normally the last three responsories in the Dominican series. Let us see what the result would have been if the final responsory had been Libera med domine de vijs eterne (40).
This is made in this way:
     
The result is as follows:
Location Time Index Music R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 Extra
Agen 1505 AGENSN   14 72 82 0 24 32 57 0 68 46 40 0  
Agen 1525 AGEN10705   14 72 82 0 24 32 57 0 68 46 40 0  
 
Compared with more than 2.000 series of responsories for the Office of the Dead only two series
have this combination in the third nocturn, and they are both from the diocese of Agen in France.

If you want to make an inquiry yourself click on ‘Go to the query’ and fill in the responsory-numbers on the positions as indicated in your source. Avoid approximations, they are in general misleading.
Knud Ottosen
Updates:
February 2008, based on the corrections of the new (second) print edition [RK]
May 2008: new source VIE1894 (Dominican monastery of Vienna) [RK]
June 2008: new sources VIE1824 (Regensburg) + MUN23037 (St. Georg-Prüfening OSB) [RK]
July 2008: new source HEIL65 (Heiligenkreuz OCist) [RK]
January 2009: VIE61A/B correct shelfmark: *43.Y.61(breviary from the Passau cathedral) [RK]
March 2011: new source VIE1903 (Gaming OCart) - oldest Cartusian source (~1250) [RK]
June 2014: new sources LAMB103A/B (Lambach OSB), LAMB164 (Lambach OSB), GRAZ1119 (Lambach OSB?) [T. Csanády]