Writing and notation Beneventana

The Lombard period coincides , Benevento , with one of its greatest splendor : the political power reached, the rise of rich religious buildings , palaces public and private , make it for magnificence is second only to Constantinople. From time to ancient splendor , today, there are only the bare walls of what was once the crown jewel of Lombard maximum . Instead, have come down to us shining examples of the culture that developed between Benevento and Montecassino ( especially many many monks and abbots were Lombards and intrinsically linked to the princely court ) : writing and musical notation Benevento , unfortunately known only to a few scholars . Writing Benevento (also known as Monte Cassino ) starts to be characterized in the eighth century , first used in the duchies of Benevento and Spoleto , then irradiated in the whole southern Italy and survives until the thirteenth century , Of this there are approximately 700 codes , surely the minimum part of those drawn up . His handwriting is very regular , purely calligraphic type ; However, it often retains the union of many letters and ligatures typical of cursive writing . At first glance it looks like the Gothic but the trend is different. In addition, the rich ornamentation of some letters is developed plots with complicated designs , with arabesques and figures of animals : some letters are sometimes developed to fill up a whole page. At the same time develops the musical notation Benevento , cultivated in the centers of Benevento and Montecassino Bari , then exported to the East on the Dalmatian coast and to the north in central Italy. It dates back to the tenth and twelfth centuries and is present in numerous manuscripts of Gregorian chant , sacred chant purely monodic and choral (without instrumental accompaniment ) of the Roman liturgy . Characteristic of handwritten scores style beneventano is the perfect readability , necessary for the interpretation of the intervals between the notes ( the writing is almost always adiastematica , ie without the presence of a musical staff ) . What makes them particularly important in order to return the philological study of Gregorian chant melody of Benevento and is considered as the most reliable by far among the ancient neumatic notations , that is composed of musical signs .