The Transmission of the Cantus Sororum

January 2013 - December 2015

Within this project, aspects such as musical transmission, variation, stability, orality and the continuous change of the material in relation to its context were studied. This angle of approach was concretized in the research into the transmission of the music of the official liturgy of the Birgittine Sisters in the Low Countries, the Cantus Sororum (the 'Song of the Sisters'). This Gregorian music was composed around 1350 by St Birgitta of Sweden and her confessor, Petrus Olavi. The liturgy and elaboration of the Cantus Sororum are considered one of the most impressive achievements of medieval monastic culture. The research focused on the library of the Maria Refugie Benedictine Abbey in Uden (Netherlands), where a collection of liturgical manuscripts from the late fifteenth to the mid-nineteenth century is kept.

The research on music in the Birgittine monastic order continues with funds from the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences) and the Vetenskapsrådet (Swedish Research Council) within the framework of the project The Multisensory World of Vadstena Abbey in the Late Middle Ages.