Litterae significativae

Often scriptoria used additional letters in Carolingian minuscula to specify the meaning of signs. But not every region used them the same way: «a» means «augete» in a manuscript of Lorraine, but «altius» in a manuscript from Lake Constance.

Notker of St. Gall explained the meaning of some letters in his letter for Lantbertus, but they were not always used in this way during the 10th century:

St. Gall:

a. Letters concerning melodic direction:

a for «altius» (higher):
eq or e- for «equaliter» (equal):
f for «fremitus, frangor» (din, whir):
h for «humiliter» (low, humble)
i for «inferius» (lower):
l for «levate» (raise!):
s for «sursum» (high!):

b. Letters concerning rhythm:

a for «augete» (enlarge!):
c for «celeriter» (quickly):   
n for «non tenete» (don't hold!):   
st for «strictim» (strictly):
t for «tenete» (hold!):
x for «expectate» (wait!):

c. Letters in context:

m for «mediocriter» (just a little):
pm for «pressim mediocriter» (): 
b- for «bene» (sing out carefully!): 

d. Tironic signs

«supra celeriter quam mox»
		(up as fast as possible!)