Neume Notation Project

Louis W. G. Barton


2.6.a. Pictures:
Dove Singing into the Ear of Gregory the Great *

The Dove of the Holy Spirit dictating liturgical chant into the ear of Gregory the Great

One of many depictions from the Middle Ages showing Pope Saint Gregory the Great with the Dove of the Holy Spirit perched on his shoulder, singing the 'authentic' chant of the Church into his ear. Gregory dictactes the chant to two scribes, who are writing neumes . In fact, Gregory is probably not responsible for any of the chants in the old Roman liturgy. The idea of a scribe writing down music is anachronistic, since Gregory died in A.D. 604, and neume writing had almost certainly not been invented by that time. [This picture is from a thirteenth-century manuscript.]


The Dove of the Holy Spirit dictating liturgical chant into the ear of Gregory the Great



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Credits: * Gregory picture: Muich, Stadtbibliothek clm 17403.

Revision: 15 December 1999
Copyright (c) 1998, 1999, Louis W. G. Barton