Musicus Online Museum

Unus amor

Untexted sequence melody: Unus amor


The melody sung in this recorded performance was in use at Cambrai (northern France), both as a texted melody (“Unus amor”), but also as a purely wordless melody around 1150.  Although the sequences in this gallery demonstrate various practices of “neumatization,” the singing of entirely wordless sequences was rather unusual by the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.  However, evidence of this older tradition seems to have survived in the northern French region at this period, particularly at Cambrai Cathedral. Unus amor,in particular, was apparently associated with St. Stephen and other martyred saints.  The singers begin with the word “Alleluia” to reflect the typical position of the sequence after the Alleluia chant in the mass.

For another example of an untexted sequence melody from northern France, see Letatus sum.