Hudební Věda

Addenda to A Dictionary of Hymnographers

article summary

Jan Kouba

The present text relates to Slovník staročeských hymnografů (13.–18. století) (“A Dictionary of Early Bohemian Hymnographers (13th–18th Centuries)”), published 2017 by the Institute of Ethnology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. In its 522 pages, this hymnological handbook lists major authors of sacred songs and hymn books active on the territory of the presentday Czech Republic from the medieval Gothic period to the early stages of the Age of the Enlightenment, including also post-1621 exiles from this territory. The dictionary comprises both Catholic and Protestant authors who produced their writings in Czech, Latin, and German. In all, the compendium contains 71 name entries, most of them extensive, dealing with the typographical, literary and musical aspects of all hymnographic works produced by the individual authors. Beyond that, the entries also include information about anonymous Bohemian hymn books, the history of Czech Reformation liturgy, various specific genres of sacred vocal music and other themes, which makes of this dictionary a compendium in its own right of Bohemical hymnography before the year 1800.

The present Addenda to A Dictionary of Hymnographers first expounds the primarily bibliographical concept of the dictionary, and specifies the scope of its contents, pointing out that the book offers either detailed or at least partial commented references to approximately 430 hymnographic sources, with cross-references to about 800 titles of relevant literature. This introduction is followed by a general survey of hymnological studies in the Czech language in the period from 2000–2020, the time of the dictionary’s making, correlating this production with the contents of the dictionary. The present text’s main section, Addenda et corrigenda, presents new findings related to the dictionary’s various entries, which have emerged in the course of the three years since its publication. Apart from that, this section includes additional bibliographical data citing several earlier studies, plus the author’s own corrections of several formulations in the dictionary. The text is rounded off by the complete list of quoted titles.

Keywords: sacred songs; hymn books; Czech hymnology; Bohemical hymnography

Translated by Ivan Vomáčka