This edition takes as its basis the orthography of the sources. However, all contractions are written out in full. Spelling tends to follow the idiosyncrasies of the original rather than conforming to any particular standard. However Jesu, Jesum, etc. is used in the edition even though the sources normally use Ihesu, Ihesum, etc.
Older sources tend to prefer ‘c’ to ‘t’ in some words, such as ‘leccio’ instead of ‘lectio’, for example. In this and similar cases I have normally taken the latter form. Many of the later Sarum sources display a preference of ‘c’ over ‘t’ in certain words, for example ‘leticia’ and ‘justica’ instead of ‘letitia’ and ‘justitia’. In this and similar cases I have normally taken the former form.
In some words ‘um’ is frequently spelled ‘un’; for example, ‘solennitate’ appears rather than ‘solemnitate’; ‘veruntamen’ is used instead of ‘verumtamen’. Of course in most of these cases the final ‘m’ or ‘n’ is represented only by a horizontal line above the vowel.
‘Michi’ and ‘nichil’ almost always appear, rather than ‘mihi’ and ‘nichil’.
‘xs’ is not normally used; ‘exultate’ rather than ‘exsultate’ for example.
As in the sources, ‘y’ often appears where one might expect ‘i’, as in ‘alleluya’.
Double vowels, such as ‘haec’ and ‘aeterna’ are not normally found in the originals, and are not used in the edition.
‘Kyrie eleyson’ and ‘Christe eleyson’ usually appear as ‘Kyrieleyson’ and ‘Christeleyson’ and appear to be sung that way as well.
The question mark does not usually appear in the psalms. (Question marks are not necessary for the performance of the psalms, because the inflections are controlled by the psalm-tones.) Question marks are generally omitted from the psalms in the scholarly edition; but in the performing edition question marks appear in the psalms.
Accents have been added to spoken/sung texts in accordance with other sources and guided by the Accentuarium that often appears bound with 16th c. printed Sarum breviaries. There are, however, certain words where the placement of the accent may be in, such as eundem and ejusdem, for example. In such cases I have normally conformed to current practice.
A useful article on accents in relation to the enclitic -que appears here.
The mode is indicated at the beginning of each chant. In some chants where the range is very small, the definition of the mode is unclear; an editorial choice is made in each case. In some chants, particularly sequences, the ambitus encompasses both plagal and authentic ranges–and sometimes even more; again an editorial choice is made in each case.
Vertical divisions (bar lines), whether the full staff, half staff, quarter staff, or above the staff, are editorial. When a bar line above the staff appears directly above a podatus (2-note neume ascending, with one note directly above another), the breath, if taken, should be between the two notes of the podatus.
The sources use the following clefs: D, F, C, G, B-flat. The edition uses the F and C clefs, and on occasion the G clef.
An accidental in the staff maintains its effect until the end of the word, unless cancelled by another accidental (when an accidental that pertains to a given word that continues onto a following line is required, it will normally be repeated on that following line). Accidentals above the staff are editorial; those contained in square brackets are optional. Such editorial accidentals apply only to single notes, not to whole words. An accidental, whether alone or acting as a key-signature, affects only the octave in which it appears. (A small number of melodies use B-flat in the lower octave, but B-natural in the higher octave.)
It will be found that flats are often omitted from the sources when the note B occupies the space above the top line of the staff. Such omissions are not normally recorded in the edition.
Users of modern chant editions will be familiar with the custos or guide that indicates the first pitch of each subsequent line of chant. Sarum sources generally–and this edition–omit the custos.
In the sources liquescent neumes normally represent voiced consonsants that appear at the end of syllables. In the edition all liquescent neumes have been represented with smaller note heads even though the sources often omit the note head itself. This draws into question the detail of the performance practice. Further, it should be understood that the notation of liquescent neumes is not consistent amongst the sources. Where one source may have a single note, another may have a liquescent, and another may have a neume of two pitches. The edition generally adopts the liquescent versions.