I came across this statement and I can't understand the difference between of two "text" which is bold, and also meaning of the "elaboration" within below statement, does it mean composing on texts or describing the texts by the details?

Numerous melodies were composed for the Agnus Dei during the Middle Ages, and their form (including at first even the number of acclamations) was quite varied. Like the *Kyrie, it is found in medieval sources with texts that have usually been thought to be additions to or elaborations of the received official text, though the priority of the latter is a matter of some debate.

Google Books: 'The Harvard Dictionary of Music' By Don Michael Randel


I read this as follows:

official text There are original texts, the "officially" accepted text, the original, the first transcript of the melody or song.

text There are also "derived" texts, melodies or songs that have been based on the original but changed in some way. The change may include additional verses or additions that are based on the original.

In this context "elaborated" is used as a synonym of additions, meaning "to add details. Usually if words are phrased "x or y", it can be implied that they are being used as synonyms.

Also the question makes more sense with a "the": What is the meaning of the parts that I have highlighted in bold.

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But if the "addition" and "elaboration" are synonym in this statement, so why the "latter" at the last line is used?

Good point. Synonyms (or similar but not identical words) linked with a conjunction are frequent in literature. The two purposes I see are to emphasize or bring attention to the adjective, or if the adjective doesn't quite convey the full meaning.

The usage of "additions to or elaborations" implies that "addition" alone is insufficient to convey the author's intent and in fact the additions are inspired from the original text and enhanced, requiring the adjective elaborated. This conjunction is also important to the sentence.

Other examples would be:

  • "dazed and confused" to portray someone who hit their head
  • "overcast and cloudy" to describe the weather
  • "dark and gloomy" to describe a night scene
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