Naturally F

My friend Bob hosted a music session at the other parish in town tonight. We sang through the five Mass settings the archdiocese has highlighted on their list for parishes. No parish is required to do all of them, but one of the five will be used for regional or archdiocesan gatherings.

One of them was the chant setting from the new Missal. I’ve sung them through on my own. Also with our own parish musicians. But an interesting thing happened tonight with seventy parish musicians from the southwestern part of our diocese. Nobody was getting the Phrygian cadence at the end of the Gloria or Mystery of Faith acclamations. The Gloria was particularly difficult–after singing the notes E, G, A, and B for two minutes, mostly everybody sang F#. Western music is just too ingrained, I guess.

I’m not crazy about the adaptation of Gloria XV for the missal. Oh, it’s easy enough to sing. But maybe too easy. I don’t really have another chant version I adore, but maybe something. Something in Lydian mode. Let ‘em worry about a sharp fourth instead of a flatted second.

In one parish, the pastor is insisting the chant be done without accompaniment. I also hear that one major publisher isn’t providing accompaniments. I think: mistake. Even with its four-note repetition, I think this piece is going to need something to keep tempo and stay on pitch. And give singers that needed hint at the end.

By the way, Charles, did your friend Noel Jones catch the typo yet on his chant accompaniments?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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2 Responses to Naturally F

  1. In the game of GOTCHA, consider me got, T.
    I went back looking for FNJ’s accompaniment, didn’t find it. I’ll take your word that he needs to revisit it.
    BTW, what’s your take on the ICEL Glory (Mass XI)?

  2. Todd says:

    It’s the Orbis Factor Gloria, right? Didn’t like it long ago, but now I prefer it to Gloria XV. I will say that I think we need a boatload of plainsong settings composed from the English, though. With respect to Paul Ford and his great work, I think we need more music composed in English rather than adapted from Latin chants.

    That said, if I had to do a chant Sanctus today, I would tweak BFW’s #609 rather than use the new Missal chant.

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