The quote below is from the Instituta Patrum de modo psallendi, an anonymous Carolingian or more likely High Medieval document on singing psalms in Gregorian chant. (I've seen one commenter on this document date it to the 12th century, because of identical wording found in documents of Bernard of Clairvaux.)
In the fourth paragraph beginning "Ammonemus", the author admonishes cantors to stay in synch with each other. He enumerates a list of 'sins', the last two of which trouble me:
Nullus ante alios aut post, incipere in Versu vel cantu, verba cantata reiterare, vel nimis discorditer festinare, praesumptiori vel altiori, remissiori an graviori, id est, sursum vel iusum, tardiori vel velociori voce, aut post alios diutius protrahere, vel punctum tenere praesumat.
I can't tell if the phrases "post alius" and "diutius" apply to both verbs "protrahere" and "tenere", or to only the first one. If they both apply to "protrahere" only:
No one may presume ... to protract (the notes) longer after the others, or to hold the cadence.
then the second 'sin' doesn't make sense to me, because "holding the cadence" ("punctum tenere") isn't bad in itself ... at least how I am reading it. So then am I misunderstanding the meaning of "tenere" in this musical context?
But, if they both apply to "protrahere" and "punctum tenere":
No one may presume ... to protract (the notes) or hold the cadence longer after the others.
then the translation makes sense to me, and the comma between the two Latin phrases is a mistake on the part of the editor. And so my questions are:
- Do both "post alios" and "diutius" apply to both verbs or to only the first?
- In general, how to tell whether an adverb phrase applies to one or both disjoined verbs?
EDIT: I noticed a few sentences later, the author says
Si morose cantamus, longior pausa fiat; si propere, brevior: semper in Psalmodia punctus et pausa teneantur.
So it could also be that "tenere punctum" is a musical figure of speech I'm not yet acquainted with.