The music font "Volpiano" is named after William of the Volpiano (also known as William of Dijon, or Fécamp), the great 11th-century reforming abbot. The manuscript Montpellier, Bibl. de l'Université, H 159 may be connected with his work. As is well known, Montpellier H 159 notates chants of the mass with both neumes and alphabetic letters running from a to p.
See Michel Huglo, 'Guillaume de Dijon', in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Revised Edition (London 2001), vol. 10, p. 536; Alma Colk Browne, 'The a-p System of Letter Notation', Musica disciplina 35 (1981), 5-54. Alma Colk Santa-suosso, Letter notations in the Middle Ages, Musicological Studies vol. 52 (Ottawa 1989).

The music font "Volpiano" was conceived by David Hiley and created by Fabian Weber at the Institut für Musikwissenschaft of Regensburg University, on the basis of the "Guido" font of the Institute for Musicology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest. It was designed principally for use in databases and inventories, since melodies notated with Volpiano can be sorted and searched 'alphabetically'. It has so far been used for several large projects, including the melodies of saints' offices on the Regensburg Cantus Planus website (several compilers), the melodic inventories of Augsburg chant sources by Robert Klugseder, and the transcription of the great responsories in manuscript Paris BnF lat. 12044 by Kate Helsen.

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