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
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.
To download the recent version of the font click here