Friday, December 11, 2009

World War II at Dartmouth

A black and white photograph of men in uniform on the lawn.What was it like on the Dartmouth campus on December 7, 1941?  The idyllic campus setting was shattered by the news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the sheltered life of a Dartmouth undergraduate was about to be altered for the duration of the War and years beyond. 

Immediately following Pearl Harbor, college and university professors, students and administrators all over the nation joined or were called to military service and America's traditional four-year college experience became a casualty of war. With the draft age lowered to 18, many young men could not enroll in college - much less earn a degree - before entering the military. Adjusting to the consequent shortage of college-educated commissioned officers, the U.S. Navy developed a way to combine college education with military service: the Naval Indoctrination Training School and the V-12 Naval Training Program.

Dartmouth became host to the largest of the Navy's V-12 units. On July 1, 1943, some 2,000 enlisted men and an officer staff came "on board" at the College, including 300 students from Dartmouth and 74 from Thayer School. The College and its three professional schools accelerated their curricula and shifted to three-term, year-round operation. Fraternities closed, Winter Carnival was canceled, the Daily Dartmouth ceased publication and rationing was put in place. Civilian students were outnumbered three to one on campus. Run on military time, with reveille at 6 am and taps at 10 pm, Dartmouth operated like a naval base for the duration of the war.

Listen to descriptions of life on campus during the war from the undergraduates who were here and who went to war -- the "Greatest Generation" -- at "The War Years at Dartmouth: An Oral History Project."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rauner Manuscript Codex 003203

A collection of photographs showing the cover and interior of an antiphonal.What is an antiphonal? How big could they make manuscript books in the 16th Century? What are some ways music was represented in the 16th Century? What might work well in a Harry Potter movie? We acquired an item that may answer several of those questions at once.

This antiphonal dates from about 1525-1575 and is approximately three feet by two feet. The original cowhide binding is sewn on seven bands of cords laced into wooden boards with decorative brass bosses with scroll-designed furniture and has two fore-edge metal clasps. The text is in Latin. The item presents staff notation with staves in red and bar lines in yellow.

Antiphonal, Antiphonary, or Antiphoner. Properly the Roman Catholic Church’s collection of traditional plainsong antiphons, but the use of the word has become more comprehensive and it now generally means the book containing all the traditional plainsong for the Divine Office, in distinction from the Gradual, which contains all the plainsong for the Mass.
(The Oxford Companion to Music, 9th ed.)

The Latin term antiphona was borrowed directly from Greek, where it meant the octave. In the first century C.E., antiphona was used in the East to describe singing of two choirs in alternation, one of men and one of women (presumably singing an octave apart), and subsequently it referred simply to psalmody consisting of the alternation of two choirs. By the 4th century, when the term was first used in the West and when St. Ambrose introduced antiphonal singing there, antiphona referred, as it has in general since, to a melody that accompanied the antiphonal singing of a Psalm.
(The New Harvard Dictionary of Music)

Rauner's BIG antiphonal.