Tonary letters

The tonary letter system is thought to have originated in tenth-century St. Gall, possibly with Hartker. They appear in early manuscripts with adiastematic notation from this area and are written in the margins of manuscripts. Tonary letters reference a tonary (whether included in the manuscript or elsewhere), by means of a two letter system, the first of which indicates mode, and the second of which distinguishes between differentiae within a mode. Modally-indicative letters, in ascending order from mode 1 to mode 8 are: a, e, i, o, b, H, y, w. For example, 'ab' is a mode 1 differentia and 'wd' is a mode 8 differentia. Johannes Cotto, active around St. Gall c. 1100, described these letter in his De Musica:  "One should also know that by some the phtongi - that is, the tones - are designated by vowels, and the differentiae of the consonants, in this way: a denotes the first tone, e the second, i the third, o the fourth, u [v] the fifth, Greek H the sixth, y the seventh, and ω the eighth. And b indicates the first differentia of any tone, c the second, d the third, g the fourth, and so on, with the mute consonants in alphabetical order" (Chapter 11). See the following example from CH-SGs 388 (p. 138):

example of tonary letters

A couple manuscripts, A-Wn 1890 and  D-KA Aug. LX use tonary letters in conjunction with notated differentiae in the manuscript. For example, see A-Wn 1890, f. 165 (below), where the tonary letter "i" (indicating a third mode differentia) is written underneath the notated differentia in the margins of the manuscript. In D-KA Aug. LX, the notated differentiae seem to have been added at a later date in-line, at the end of each antiphon, and the tonary letters are written in the margins of the manuscript, many of which are trimmed off.

example of tonary letters

Contains 148 unique differentiae

Diff. ID Melodic transcription Mode
66iii 1--h-h-hg-gf-gh-gg--4 Mode 1
52a 1--h-h-h-g-h-g--4 Mode 1
66r 1--h-h-hg-gf-gh-g--4 Mode 1
64c 1--h-h-g-f-g-gh--4 Mode 1
67a 1--h-h-hg-gf-gh-gh--4 Mode 1
63b 1--h-h-hg-gf-g-g--4 Mode 1
66lll 1--h-h-hg-gf-gh-gF--4 Mode 1
66d 1--h-h-g-f-gh-g--4 Mode 1
70b 1--h-h-hg-gf-gh-gfd--4 Mode 1
67h 1--h-h-hg-gf-gh-ghG--4 Mode 1
52m 1--h-h-h-g-h-gg--4 Mode 1
71e 1--h-h-hg-gf-gh-gfe--4 Mode 1
72m 1--h-h-hg-gf-gh-gfed--4 Mode 1
66l 1--h-h-g-f-g-ghg--4 Mode 1
69c 1--h-h-hg-gf-gh-gf--4 Mode 1
64a 1--h-h-hg-gf-g-ghH--4 Mode 1
67c 1--h-h-g-f-gh-gh--4 Mode 1
75l 1--h-h-hg-gf-g-gfed--4 Mode 1
64d 1--h-h-hg-gf-g-ghG--4 Mode 1
64i 1--h-h-hg-gf-g-gh--4 Mode 1
72b 1--h-h-g-f-gh-gfed--4 Mode 1
66b 1--h-h-hg-gf-g-ghg--4 Mode 1
57c 1--h-h-hg-gf-h-g--4 Mode 1
66h 1--h-h-hg-gf-g-ghgF--4 Mode 1
150e 1--f-f-f-f-cd-d--4 Mode 2
287a 1--f-f-f-fg-cd-d--4 Mode 2
256a 1--f-f-f-f-cd-df--4 Mode 2
153a 1--f-f-e-ed-cd-dd--4 Mode 2
153c 1--f-f-e-ed-cd-d--4 Mode 2
T152f 1--k-k-k-kj-gh-h--4 Mode 2
152f 1--f-f-f-fe-cd-d--4 Mode 2
152k 1--f-f-f-fe-cd-dd--4 Mode 2
97a 1--k-k-k-h-k-jh--4 Mode 3
92a 1--k-k-k-hk-h-gF--4 Mode 3
160a 1--j-j-k-h-k-jh--4 Mode 3
92o 1--k-k-k-hk-h-gE--4 Mode 3
97d 1--k-k-h-k-j-h--4 Mode 3
92r 1--k-k-k-hk-h-gg--4 Mode 3
163a 1--j-j-k-h-k-j--4 Mode 3
86b 1--k-k-k-h-k-k--4 Mode 3
93g 1--k-k-hk-h-h-gh--4 Mode 3
172a 1--j-j-k-h-k-k--4 Mode 3
89f 1--k-k-k-h-k-khG--4 Mode 3
89g 1--k-k-k-hkJ-h-hG--4 Mode 3
97l 1--k-k-k-h-kk-jh--4 Mode 3
89b 1--k-k-k-h-k-kh--4 Mode 3
93n 1--k-k-k-hkJ-h-gh--4 Mode 3
92l 1--k-k-h-k-h-g--4 Mode 3
92i 1--k-k-k-hk-hG-g--4 Mode 3
93p 1--k-k-k-hkJ-h-ghG--4 Mode 3
135a 1--k-k-k-k-kl-k--4 Mode 3
205a 1--j-j-k-hkJ-h-gE--4 Mode 3
93c 1--k-k-k-hk-h-gh--4 Mode 3
94a 1--k-k-k-hk-h-ge--4 Mode 3
86m 1--k-k-k-h-k-kk--4 Mode 3
27h 1--h-g-h-jH-gg-e--4 Mode 4
34i 1--h-g-h-j-gf-eD--4 Mode 4
31d 1--h-g-h-jH-g-eg--4 Mode 4
41n 1--h-g-h-k-g-ee--4 Mode 4
158a 1--h-g-h-k-hG-efed--4 Mode 4
28b 1--h-g-h-jH-g-ef--4 Mode 4
42a 1--h-g-h-k-g-ed--4 Mode 4
31e 1--h-g-h-jH-gF-eg--4 Mode 4
34a 1--h-g-h-jH-gf-e--4 Mode 4
43a 1--h-g-h-k-g-ef--4 Mode 4
43d 1--h-g-h-k-gF-ef--4 Mode 4
35d 1--h-g-h-jH-gf-ed--4 Mode 4
25b 1--h-g-h-j-g-gh--4 Mode 4
44a 1--h-g-h-k-g-efd--4 Mode 4
275a 1--h-g-h-k-g-efed--4 Mode 4
20j 1--h-g-h-jh-gf-eddC--4 Mode 4
25d 1--h-g-h-jH-g-ghG--4 Mode 4
47a 1--h-g-h-k-gf-e--4 Mode 4
27a 1--h-g-h-j-g-e--4 Mode 4
T41d 1--m-l-m-o-lK-j--4 Mode 4
359b 1--h-g-h-h-g-gh--4 Mode 4
27k 1--h-hg-h-j-g-e--4 Mode 4
41a 1--h-g-h-k-g-e--4 Mode 4
27b 1--h-g-h-jH-g-e--4 Mode 4
25n 1--h-g-h-jH-g-h--4 Mode 4
13a 1--h-g-h-j-h-gh--4 Mode 4
40a 1--h-g-h-k-g-gh--4 Mode 4
45a 1--h-g-h-k-g-eg--4 Mode 4
28g 1--h-hg-h-hjH-g-ef--4 Mode 4
31a 1--h-g-h-j-g-eg--4 Mode 4
240e 1--h-g-h-k-hg-e--4 Mode 4
41d 1--h-g-h-k-gF-e--4 Mode 4
129t 1--k-k-l-j-k-hG--4 Mode 5
269a 1--k-k-l-j-k-hjhg--4 Mode 5
129a 1--k-k-l-j-k-h--4 Mode 5
131e 1--k-k-l-j-k-hhg--4 Mode 5
131a 1--k-k-l-j-k-hg--4 Mode 5
131g 1--k-k-l-j-k-hgF--4 Mode 5
204a 1--k-k-l-j-k-ghg--4 Mode 5
8a 1--h-h-f-gh-g-fg--4 Mode 6
7g 1--h-h-f-ghG-g-f--4 Mode 6
7h 1--h-h-f-ghG-gF-f--4 Mode 6
8b 1--h-h-f-ghG-g-fg--4 Mode 6
7a 1--h-h-f-gh-g-f--4 Mode 6
T7aA 1--m-m-k-lm-l-k--4 Mode 6
141e 1--l-l-m-l-k-kJ--4 Mode 7
143b 1--l-l-m-l-k-jh--4 Mode 7
144c 1--l-l-lm-l-k-jk--4 Mode 7
143a 1--l-l-m-lK-k-jh--4 Mode 7
142a 1--l-l-m-l-k-j--4 Mode 7
147bb 1--l-l-lm-l-lk-ll--4 Mode 7
143c 1--l-l-m-lK-k-jhG--4 Mode 7
143d 1--l-l-lm-l-k-jh--4 Mode 7
144a 1--l-l-m-l-k-jk--4 Mode 7
142i 1--l-l-m-l-k-jH--4 Mode 7
148d 1--l-l-lm-l-k-lk--4 Mode 7
147n 1--l-l-m-l-lk-ll--4 Mode 7
T143bA 1--g-g-h-g-f-ed--4 Mode 7
147a 1--l-l-m-l-k-l--4 Mode 7
142j 1--l-l-m-l-kk-j--4 Mode 7
147c 1--l-l-m-l-lk-l--4 Mode 7
142m 1--l-l-m-lK-k-j--4 Mode 7
281a 1--l-l-n-l-k-kh--4 Mode 7
141l 1--l-l-m-l-kk-kk--4 Mode 7
144d 1--l-l-m-lK-k-jk--4 Mode 7
141h 1--l-l-lm-l-k-k--4 Mode 7
147w 1--l-l-m-l-l-lkl--4 Mode 7
148b 1--l-l-m-l-k-lk--4 Mode 7
141a 1--l-l-m-l-k-k--4 Mode 7
142f 1--l-l-m-l-k-jj--4 Mode 7
142b 1--l-l-lm-l-k-j--4 Mode 7
148j 1--l-l-m-l-kk-lk--4 Mode 7
142p 1--l-l-m-lK-k-jj--4 Mode 7
229c 1--l-l-m-l-lk-m--4 Mode 7
118a 1--k-k-j-k-h-g--4 Mode 8
114d 1--k-k-k-kj-h-ghG--4 Mode 8
119a 1--k-k-j-k-h-gh--4 Mode 8
99d 1--k-k-h-k-l-k--4 Mode 8
120a 1--k-k-j-k-h-ghg--4 Mode 8
119g 1--k-k-j-kJ-h-gh--4 Mode 8
135b 1--k-k-k-k-kl-k--4 Mode 8
123a 1--k-k-j-kj-h-g--4 Mode 8
159a 1--k-k-k-kj-h-ghg--4 Mode 8
211a 1--k-k-j-kj-h-ghg--4 Mode 8
135c 1--k-k-k-k-l-k--4 Mode 8
212a 1--k-k-k-h-k-gh--4 Mode 8
99e 1--k-k-h-k-kl-k--4 Mode 8
211f 1--k-k-j-kj-h-ghgF--4 Mode 8
113e 1--k-k-k-kj-h-g--4 Mode 8
135d 1--k-k-k-k-kl-kk--4 Mode 8
233b 1--k-k-j-kj-h-gh--4 Mode 8
114c 1--k-k-k-kj-h-gh--4 Mode 8
288a 1--g-g-j-g-f-fd--4 Tonus Peregrinus
Consists of 11 manuscripts