The project is dedicated to the research and edition of the music-historically significant, editorially untapped stock of the monodic, ecclesial, and secular music of the European Middle Ages with Latin text. Until the end of the Middle Ages, the music of Europe was determined by Monophony. The permanent abandonment of Monophony and the new concept of the polyphonic compositions constitute the music-cultural characteristics of modern Europe and simultaneously necessitate the perception of the Middle Ages as a musically other culture.
The handwritten sources of the monodic music from the Middle Ages are relatively accessible and most texts of the chants and songs, that are handed down in these manuscripts, are available for research in older and newer editions. However, only a small part of the melodies is accessible in editions, which meet scientific requirements. Therefore, the edition project contributes significantly to a complete indexing of the total stock of European Monophony. As fundamental research the project strives to eliminate one of the biggest deficits of music-medieval studies and to build a philologically secured foundation for further research of the shaping phase of European music.
The long-term project which is set to last for 16 years is built up modularly. 26 planned volumes are distributed amongst 6 departments (ordinary-chants of the mass, tropes, sequences, songs, games, antiphons). The findings of the project are additionally made available in digital form. For this, a software was developed for digital transcription of monodic melodies, that are noted in non-mensural form.