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HUGBALDUS, Monachus Eluonensis (Hucbald of St.-Amand, 840-ca 930). De laude calvorum ad Carolum Caluum Imperatorem... Louivain: Hieronymous Wellaeus, 1562.

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HUGBALDUS, Monachus Eluonensis (Hucbald of St.-Amand, 840-ca 930). De laude calvorum ad Carolum Caluum Imperatorem... Louivain: Hieronymous Wellaeus, 1562.

12o (153 x 90 mm). 4 leaves. Modern blind-tooled calf. Provenance: purchased from Emil Offenbacher, 10 March 1959.

A poem in praise of baldness, dedicated to Charles the Bald, Emperor of Germany. The author was a Benedictine monk in the 9th century. A massively constrained text, every word of the 133 lines of Latin hexameter begins with the letter "c," a literary device known by the modern Oulipians (masters of such text-generating methods) as a tautogram. As a result of some of his linguistic exercises, Hucbald contributed to musical theory, inventing the so-called Dazia signs, thus being a forerunner of Guido of Arezzo. "Hucbald's principal achievement, however, consists in having given a theoretic basis to the custom of adding another melody to the chant of the Church, which custom he called organum, or diaphonia, thereby laying the foundation for polyphony which developed from it" (Catholic Encyclopedia). RARE: no copies of this work appear in American Book Prices Current in at least 30 years, nor are any located on RLG. Blumenthal Bookmen's Bedlam p.151.

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