Question - bringing on new schola members
  • question: are your new schola members

    (a) required to have their own copies of the Liber Usualis
    (b) given a copy to use, which is owned by the parish

    and if (b), could you say a little about how this is managed, and whether you are considering making a change?

    Some of our singers have their own, but we also have the (b) program and I am not all that happy with it.

    thank you!
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 483
    Given a copy? Even on loan? Wow!
    Why would schola members really need to have an LU in their possession?
    I don't see a reason to loan out more than a Liber Brevior, if such a book is required. Even then, it's best for people to own their own, because of markings, etc.
    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • How large is your schola, and how formally integrated into the parish music program? A church that is serious about its music will have the requisite number of libers, octavos, anthem anthologies, hymnals, and all, to be used by its choirs and scholas. No, choristers and scholars do not buy their own music. I shouldn't think that libers would be an exception. As for being given a liber? No. Parish music is provided for use, not given for to possess.

    On the other hand, if your schola is, like some, small and not well enmeshed in the parish music program it isn't unherad of for each scholar to acquire his own liber. Though some serious scholars will want to own their own libers, none should be required to do so. Too, libers are rather expensive and the cost, if required, might cost you a scholar who can't afford one. Also too, when a church invests in the music for its choirs and scholas it is a statement that these entities are valued highly, taken seriously, and provided for adequately.

  • All singers are provided 3 hymnals plus a lot of CPDL music.
    Schola members also are provided the Versus Psalmorum et Canticorum & Cantus Selecti. Long term members usually decide to buy their own copy of LU (and Cantus).

    It seems that having a Liber at home promotes study time during the week. I didn't realize that [people having a copy at home, whether owned or on loan] might not be the norm. I don't mind people writing in the loaned copies, ** but only in pencil**.

    Our schola is probably 'small' (5-6 at the moment), and is elemental, with sung "EF" Mass every Sunday.

    >> (L)ibers are rather expensive and the cost, if required, might cost you a scholar who can't afford one
    True. My concern is with the ones who do not stay; frankly, we do not always get the loaner back. I am thinking of asking for a deposit, but it feels sorta tacky. so I am wondering how it is done elsewhere.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,472
    Different book, but we've recently acquired hymnals for the choir. I stamped them all with the parish name and numbered each one. They are loaned out and I keep track of who has which number, and it is explained that they are to return the book if leaving the ministry for any reason, "OR WE WILL FIND YOU!" Any markings they wish to make must be done lightly and in pencil.
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 192
    "OR WE WILL FIND YOU!"
    Well ... actually we will find you for your own sake, as there is quite a horrible curse stamped at the end of each of the loaned books.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,099
    In my old schola, the libers were owned by the TLM society, numbered on the inside cover, given to singers as long as they continued to sing with us, and tracked in a spreadsheet by the director before me, and then by me.

    In my current parish, where I am a singer and not director, many of the gentlemen have purchased their own LB or LU, but there is also a supply in the loft for those who have not.
    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • Igneus
    I went to that link to look up the Book Curses. Yikes!
    I especially liked the little rhyme in the medieval section. LOL thanks
  • Our choir sings at the EF, but none of our choir members sing (directly) from the Liber Usualis or Liber Brevior, even though we sing the proper Gregorian chants of the Mass. I do not advise people to buy a Liber unless they really want one for other reasons, for example to learn more about the Office. Singers are strongly encouraged to mark their music during rehearsal, but I do not advise marking an expensive chant book. All of the chants of the Mass are available for printing from the Internet in formats that are much easier to read than the Liber, so IMO there's no need for a "choir loft" choir to use small-format heavy choir books.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 924
    Our E.F. choirs encourage that the members have an L.U., although I bring a bag of them along for those that have forgotten or yet to buy one.

    When we sing the Ferias of Lent most sing from photocopies, rather than the G.R. I only have 2, and during Holy week we sing from booklets to avoid problems with different editions.

    The problem with printed copies is where do you store them! I already have two filing cabinet drawers and 10 box files / binders with just the Hymns and motets we sing if I added all the propers (Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Feast days) this would be a lot of music.
    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • The simple answer regarding storage of printed copies is: We don't! In our choir loft we don't store anything because it's territory owned by the OF. Most of the printed proper Gregorian chants end up recycled, although some singers keep theirs for the following year (as do I). I store our polyphonic sheet music at home and bring what we need to Mass. [BTW, the ferias of Lent are laid out here.]
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,173
    The EF group in our Archdiocese was fortunate to inherit a load of choral music and Graduales from a couple of predecessor choirs, which obtained the music by scavenging from parishes which were abandoning Latin. The scavenging was discriminatory, retaining 'good stuff' only. This included about 30 LU's and another 30+ Roman Graduales.

    The music completely filled four four-drawer vertical files and two two-drawer lateral files; all of the music was packed into 12"x15" envelopes, filed by seasonality and sub-filed alphabetically. (Masses were filed alpha-only). It was all numbered, of course, and the choir had a Music-Nazi librarian who was extremely zealous about collecting all the music after every rehearsal and Sunday Mass.

    So. You can buy the music so your membership has it. Just make certain that you also have a Music-Nazi librarian and you will never lose any of it.

  • >> during Holy week we sing from booklets to avoid problems with different editions.

    yes!! Back in the 80s the convents were dumping the Latin I suppose, as I was able to buy a good number of LU copies especially from UK. Through the good efforts of the SSPX and now the TLM to keep the old liturgy & music alive, the options have expanded.

    Those secondhand copies with widely varying publish dates are now our 'loaners'; and during Holy Week we too sing from booklets to avoid problems with different editions.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,278
    The scavenging was discriminatory, retaining 'good stuff' only.

    Did you mean, "retaining chant and polyphony only"?
    Let's file 'em like it's 1547 England.
    (Yes, I know there are space and time limitations, and I'm not blaming dad29 or any of his forebears. It's just a situation that sucks.)