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Friday, October 30, 2009

Gregorian "Shaboom"

Busy last 24 hours...I went along to a lesson in Chant that St. Anne's parish has been holding. [I hadn't had a chance to go before, but there are a few classes left. It's open to anyone in the county wanting to learn. Most of the people there were in various church choirs, about 12-14 in all I forgot to count. The instructor is the parish choir director, very nice.

30 some years ago, I'd had exposure to nume reading - (and I already know how to read standard musical notation, so it wasn't a big stretch.) I was surprised at how quickly what I had been told about it frosh year in college came back - having taken a "General distribution" course in the history of music, the foundations of western music being built on the Gregorian Chant of the monks. Biggest difference is a 4 line staff instead of 5. I rather like the idea of a non-fixed "do." I was delighted to learn that each choirmaster, as a rule of thumb, prefers to fix the "do" to match the tessitura (sweet spot) of the mix of voices that individual choir has. Thank goodness, I was never one of those with perfect pitch, to whom looking at a standard notation "mi" would be hard pressed to sing "re." Don't know if I'll join the choir yet, I'll have a lot of work to do, but some of the tunes were familiar, and having enough latin helps.

I just need to scour you tube for a lot of the common parts of the Mass (8 different possible tones too -- depending on the character of the celebration.) The notation will take some getting use to but personally, in a lot of ways it's easier than standard notation. Hope I got all that right -- there were some nice hand outs too. The church also has a children's choral group.

Also, finally got an eye exam (I'd lost a contact, and my perscription was long out of date.) I went to Mass this a.m., and work, and also swam 3/4 of a mile tonight down at the Kroc center.

Busy girl, so sorry for all the relative radio silence.


Packrat said...

This sounds interesting - not that I know anything about chant. I just like to sing (off key, usually).

gemoftheocean said...

I was relieved to hear from the choirmaster that my voice blended fine with the rest of the group! I just wentmore full out on the tunes I knew, and laid back on the ones I didn't

If anyone knows any particularly good youtube vids for the common parts of the Mass, in particular, letme know!

Packrat said...

I passed the link to this post on to my daughter. She might know of some. If not, looking some up will give her a break from school work.

The Songster said...

I assume you are looking for vids for music for the Mass Ordinary?
If so, here is a good one for the Kyrie (easiest to find):
DuFay is my favorite!
Hope this helps?
Oh and this is a bit later too, but Palestrina is good too. There are so many good chants on youtube and some really bad ones!

gemoftheocean said...

Thanks, I'll take a look. I think I'm most interested in learning the most commonly done ordinary parts of the Mass. Which "mode"is the one most often done? Ordoes it depend on the liturgical season, and if so, which ones to learn first?

I can sight read music to some extent, when PLAYING it -- but it's a real effort for me, to mentally "hear" something in my head by just looking at the notes, in this case "neumes."

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