ICEL Chant Organ Accompaniments
  • We have been challenged to supply organ accompaniments for the ICEL chants, giving people a chance to choose from various settings, and easing the transition for those used to singing with accompaniment.

    I look forward to being able to provide audio recordings of singers and organ.

    The idea of this thread is people posting a variety of accompaniments for the ICEL chants in different styles that will make them attractive to those with different tastes as far as accompaniment styles.

    UPDATE: The ICEL Chant accompaniments for organ or the set for simplified organ/keyboard with guitar chords are here on this link.
  • Holy, Holy, Holy
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 4,943
    Great! I was just suggesting this in another thread (after Noel posted the above). It would be good to produce a collection of accompaniments that we can offer to music directors who know not the way.
  • Jeffrey's Coggins said: "Wouldn't it be easier to adapt the NOH accompaniments for English usage?"

    Yes, and this IS something that needs to be done. I am working off Jeff Ostrowski's multiple versions of accompaniments to the Chabanel Psalms idea - if you don't like this accompaniment don't let that stop you from singing the psalm, rather play another one.

    French composers have proved there are myriad ways surround and supprt chant in harmonies.

    I intend to build a webpage at Basic Chant where people can pick and choose from my and those of arrangements of my and other composers of these chant settings for accompaniment as well as singing in harmonized forms.
  • Mark P.
    Posts: 248
    (Tongue in Cheek) How about a version with blues-y "cocktail chords?"
  • Mark, I did a basic guitar chord and bass version that was truly ugly. But am still thinking....cocktail chords? Will leave that to the experts!
  • Did someone mention my name?
  • Actually, a cool jazz chord setting would be very useful with these....my experience has been that Mass guitarists fail to play with any creativity even they they in secular music can really wail...some brazilian chords would be nice. And a complete guide on how to play them!
  • Aristotle found this on 2008 - move to 1:00 to hear music.
  • ICEL Chant Glory To God set for SAB, easy accompaniment suitable for organ, piano or keyboard.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 5,397
    Thanks, Noel. I am printing this out so I can play through it.
  • Lord Have Mercy - note that the Latin setting is as included in the ICEL music. The Latin/English and English versions are not as here they match the exact melody rhythm of the Latin Kyrie and includes different division of the English syllables to match the Latin.

    To me does not seem to make sense to have an English and Latin version vary - confusing - and in when done this way the Latin and be intoned and answered with the English as in the second version. I am hopeful that the ICEL will pick up on this and make this change too.
  • Kyrie - SAB - this is the version above but set out for SAB singing.
  • Guitar Chords and Simple Keyboard Chords - ICEL Glory To God

    This version might be useful for churches with contemporary groups as well as keyboard and organ players who play chords.

    I get email messages from Catholic church organists looking for music with chords, so I know that there are people out there looking for music, but have limited time to practice and learn music. A lot of them are people drafted out of the pews and are good-hearted but do not have access to materials.

    I encourage all of you to create accompaniment versions of these chants to help get them adapted and used in parishes.
  • I Believe in One God - Voice and Organ
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 939
    Noel, I think this is a great idea, especially offering several different kinds of accompaniments. I only looked at the first Gloria, but I have a couple comments. For one, the notation implies a different rhythm than I would sing. While I can easily adjust my performance using a notation like this, others might find it difficult. I would much prefer open noteheads for sustained notes, and black noteheads for moving notes. This gives the performer the opportunity to decide which moving notes are shorter and which ones are longer, based on context. Also see Columba Kelly's Responsorial Psalms for Advent and Christmas (GIA) for another example of this kind of notation.

    Second, I find the practice employed by Theodore Marier and others of providing a single gathering tone (usually in the tenor voice) before congregational entrances to be extremely effective in performance. It gives the people chance to breathe, and (with an appropriate change in registration) a strong cue that it's their turn to sing. Speaking of turns, how did you come up with the divisions for antiphonal singing? It seems a little frantic to me, with about twice as many as indicated by the double bars in the GR. I find having a consistent performance practice, regardless of the period or compositional style, helps the choir and congregation alike perform a wide variety of repertoire with greater ease.

    Thank you for a much appreciated effort, and I look forward to reading through the other accompaniments and choral harmonizations.
  • Incantu,

    You and others who have written me privately, these are purely my own creation, written to assist singers and directors of music and organists that I know in a way that I think will help them make the transition to chant. But, more than that, I hoped that they would inspire others to get to work on doing this as well, based upon their understanding and abilities, to write many versions so that people might be able to find accompaniments that fit their music programs.

    To attempt to answer your questions: (my comments in italics.

    For one, the notation implies a different rhythm than I would sing. While I can easily adjust my performance using a notation like this, others might find it difficult. I would much prefer open noteheads for sustained notes, and black noteheads for moving notes. This gives the performer the opportunity to decide which moving notes are shorter and which ones are longer, based on context. Also see Columba Kelly's Responsorial Psalms for Advent and Christmas (GIA) for another example of this kind of notation.

    There are many who would come to open headed notes, especially in an accompaniment but also in the melody, and freak out. Surely there is a need for authoritative editions for those with the ability to perform these as you would. My work does not intend to do this, but rather help those who have no experience in singing and especially playing chant. I, myself, look forward to accompaniments by people as qualified as Fr. Columba Kelly and others appearing in the Commons.

    Second, I find the practice employed by Theodore Marier and others of providing a single gathering tone (usually in the tenor voice) before congregational entrances to be extremely effective in performance. It gives the people chance to breathe, and (with an appropriate change in registration) a strong cue that it's their turn to sing.

    Well, (laughing) I'm not Theodore Marier! That is definitely one way to do it. And I am sure that there will be versions that do this.

    Speaking of turns, how did you come up with the divisions for antiphonal singing? It seems a little frantic to me, with about twice as many as indicated by the double bars in the GR. I find having a consistent performance practice, regardless of the period or compositional style, helps the choir and congregation alike perform a wide variety of repertoire with greater ease.

    If the GR score is to be followed as far as divisions for antiphonal singing, I'll quickly withdraw this. This is nothing but a call and response version that would be appropriate only as a step in adopting the Glory To God - people are often more able to learn in short bits - and then, having their bits in mind and hearing the schola bits for months then it is very, very easy to make the transition to singing through it. I propose that this is better than singing it with a Glory To God response over and over again...but really is nothing but a preparatory way of getting people to sing it as a whole.

    There has been concern about tritones and a descending minor seventh in the choral SAB version...it's just a style that I am comfortable writing in at times - much. much better versions are bound to appear that conform to common styles of harmonization. If there is serious concern that these are detrimental and should not be posted, I'll be glad to remove them

    Please don't be discouraged from writing to ask questions, but do sit down and get to work on your versions. We need them badly to be able to establish chant as the universal music of the Church.
  • I'd add that for someone who is uncomfortable writing accompaniments, possibly transferring the NOH ones to page might be something to do.

    I am a proponent of unaccompanied chant but, like singing chant in Latin, to get people into singing chanting English with accompaniment is a valuable step along the way. The more than what they are singing conforms to what they are used to, the easier it is to get them involved.

    Teaching this music is easier if no mention is made of the fact that it is chant - instead just teach it the way you do a hymn.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 939
    Well, (laughing) I'm not Theodore Marier! That is definitely one way to do it. And I am sure that there will be versions that do this.


    My references to Marier and Kelly were not meant to compare your skill as a composer or your individual compositional style. The three things I mentioned are really matters of performance practice, not composition. If the idea of providing accompaniments is to promote a common repertoire, I think it also follows that the ideal is to have a common performance practice for the chants (whether accompanied or unaccompanied).

    If your goal is to provide something that will be useful to your own parish or a group of friends, you have certainly done that. At a visitor parish such as my own, I evaluate success based on how well newcomers are able to participate in what we are doing without instruction and how prepared our choir members and parishioners are to participate when they are at another parish. Attending 8 Masses in one weekend in Paris taught us a lot about what works in practice and what doesn't.

    I don't mean to suggest that you have to change your settings to conform to my concept of the ideal common practice. Nor do I intend to compose my own accompaniments any time soon, as I am more likely to improvise accompaniments than to submit a composition for public scrutiny. Hopefully, however, other composers and arrangers will accept your challenge to add to the repertoire of varied accompaniments, and perhaps some of them will find it helpful to consider my suggestions.

    Regarding the divisions of the Gloria, the traditional practice is described at number 45 in Psallite Sapienter. The fact that the ICEL version uses the double bar lines suggests that this practice is to be followed. Otherwise, single bar lines (as seen in the Sanctus) would have been employed.
  • I didn't take them that way, thanks!

    Would you be interested in explaining this: "I would much prefer open noteheads for sustained notes, and black noteheads for moving notes. This gives the performer the opportunity to decide which moving notes are shorter and which ones are longer, based on context." I'm not quite sure what you mean but am interested in understanding.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 939
    Noel, you replied before I had the chance to edit my last post!

    The comment you quote above is more applicable to ornamented or melismatic chants than to this syllabic Gloria. Also, I notice in your accompaniment the not infrequent use of passing notes in the organ while the chant line is sustaining, a feature that I don't believe is common in, say, the Belgian school of accompaniment (Jeff O. will correct me if I'm wrong). Perhaps your use of stemmed notes is more suitable to this compositional device.

    In short, when we see three notes low-high-low on one syllable, we know in chant notation it would be a torculus. Even though the ICEL editions don't contain rhythmic signs, we can often tell the difference between the short torculus and the long one, the latter appearing at cadences and in certain stereotyped melodies (eg, when it appears in the second syllable of Do-MI-nus). Now, the Solesmes school, Vollaerts-Murray, and Kelly might have three different interpretations for the long torculus, but they can all be expressed as three notes (square or round -- it doesn't matter) on one syllable. Adding stems, however, and making them three eighths or three quarters suggests a more definite rhythmic reading. As I said, I can adjust for this in performance, but many others couldn't.

    One thing is clear, that the absence of rhythmic indications in the ICEL scores does not suggest an absolutely equal value for every black note. Even in the absence of ornament and melisma in this Gloria, I'm pretty sure that I would sing all of the final mi's as longs (we praise YOU), as well as penultimate stressed syllables (O God, almighty FA-ther). You use half notes for some of these longs (an innovation not found in the ICEL source) and quarters for others. To me, the consistent use of black noteheads would allow the composer to step out of the way a little and to hand the issue of performance practice over to the interpreter. If your goal is to provide a serviceable accompaniment for the chant, and not a rhythmic treatise, then the only information you really need to provide is the harmony itself, and not the rhythm.

    That's my explanation of my previous statement, which is not to disregard the fact that, yes, some musicians are going to freak out looking at noteheads.
  • ICEL Credo - Simple Piano & Guitar Chords
  • Really, if anyone finds these offensive, tasteless, or otherwise not worthy of being posted, I will be glad to remove them....if I were improvising accompaniments, this is what I would play.
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 849
    I'd add that for someone who is uncomfortable writing accompaniments, possibly transferring the NOH ones to page might be something to do.


    I'm probably being dumb here, but what is NOH?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 5,797
    I am dying to try my hand at the NOH accomps. Maybe I will do that instead of the choral propers since not a whole lot of people are interested in them.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 4,943
    Noel, as a keyboard novice, I find the simple keyboard accomps interesting, and am happy to see them.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 5,397
    I am also happy to see those accompaniments. It is my plan to NOT buy the new and revised Mass of Creation. Instead, I plan to steer the congregation toward the missal chants. Should anyone ask about MOC, we don't have it. :-)
  • Thanks so much for sharing these!
  • ICEL Sanctus and Agnus Dei (English) with simple keyboard and guitar chords.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 5,797
    OK... here is a sample of the NOH adaptation for Agnus Dei. I am not satisfied with this because Sib insists on using dotted notes. I will probably attempt this in my Hybrid Notation and use the dragndrop tool I developed with InDesign... (I know, Noel... I am sorry.... still perfecting the system. Will release soon!)

    Incantu... please note that I took liberty to assign note length on cadences to try to maintain the authentic harmonization to the NOH as close as possible.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 5,797
    Here's the entire piece: (I don't like this in English... why can't we just sing LATIN!)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 5,797
    And here it is with the (and this goes against my principles >:C ) guitar chords. If you MUST use guitar, then I guess this is better than MOC.
  • It's nice to see complex guitar chords - I used ones that are common (simple) but this will be a challenge to guitarists and shows some respect for their abilities.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 5,797
    FNJ:

    Actually, since I am a guitarist, (and please be clear.... just because I am a guitarist myself, doesn't mean it is appropriate for liturgy!) I am planning on putting these on Capo III as that would be the easiest way to play in this key... forgot to do that yet.
  • I'm really pleased that you are onboard with this project - getting music that's free in the hands of choir directors and organists is so important.
  • I've been thinking about re-transcribing portions of the NOH in finale. I agree that dotted notes just confuse the issue, especially since I've been accompanying straight from the NOH for some years now. First, I would nix all stems. Second, I would use half-notes most of the time throughout the accompaniment. Third, then the melody notes can be either quarter or eighth, or even sixteenth notes - they all look the same without stems. Maybe I would go ahead with an occasional whole note, if length permitted. Then again, NOH simply ties open notes together. This is all in my head so far. I have not tried to input anything yet. It is an elegantly simple system. Our schola was slightly confused in the Epiphany Propers when there were both a closed and an open note on middle F. I realized then, and instructed them - ALL open notes are strictly in the accompaniment. Melody notes are ONLY closed, lengthened only by dots or episimas.
  • DougS
    Posts: 792
    Re: the NOH transcriptions:

    Steve, your plan sounds like a good one. Eliminating all of the stems and using mostly open notes in the accompaniment are the two key issues from a visual standpoint. If Finale can produce Schenkerian graphs, it can do what you are asking it to do.
  • For those looking to get started on the ICEL chant melodies, here are the Finale Files and also XML files that I created to work from to save you some time, hopefully.

    They are not exact copies - some half notes substituted, that sort of thing, but should save some time. If anyone wants to clean them up and make them exact copies of the ICEL, I am sure that that would be appreciated.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 5,797
    Yea, I tried to eliminate the stems, but then I had dotted whole notes... jeesh! Just goes to show that rhythm can really be a distraction to the truly non rhythmic and freely flowing music of GC.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 5,797
    aha! Thank you, Steve! I looked at it again and did some cheating with the program. I used only half note values for open notes, deleted all the dotted notes, created dotted quarters for cadences and then used 'stretched' ties to link notes together and made all the unneeded rests disappear with the hide function. Voila!

    FNJ

    Glad to help... This project really goes against my principles... promoting English plainchant AND guitar while butchering the N.O.H. (argh!) Here is a version with the guitar chords Capo III which are much easier for an amateur guitarist to play. As you probably know, it's important to keep the original chords for keyboardists and the bass player.
  • Francis, I understand.

    The more accompanied versions in different forms of chant in English that exist, the wider we open the doors to Latin unaccompanied chant becoming a goal.

    English and Accompaniment are the Training Wheels on the Chant Bicycle. Once we overcame the fear of falling riding with training wheels we all got excited about riding without them.

    And who hasn't dreamed of riding a unicycle?

    Training Wheels to Chant!
  • DougS
    Posts: 792
    Francis, the revised version looks so much better. Well done!
  • I understand the reasons for using the dotted notes...but at the entry level, organists who see this rather than a quarter tied to a half will get confused, since there are no rests (which I also understand) but since they are used to measures being complete, this may not compute for them.

    The NOH harmonizations are outstanding. It just concerns me that people who are new to this will not be find this to be...friendly. Let's put it this way, in a pastoral sense, they could serve to hold people away from the glory that is chant.

    Possibly beginner's NOH in English and an advanced version?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 5,797
    Thnx, Doug. Yes, I think this works much better. Do you have any other suggestions on layout, spacing, note values, etc.?

    I understand FNJ... however, I want people to be riding a UNIVERSALcycle... (This is an inside joke for Doug and Adam as we have been hitting each other over the head for days on another thread... whew!)
  • DougS
    Posts: 792
    I think it looks good as is.
  • Noel, I can't expand your ZIP file. Can you send it to me directly?

    Gratefully,
    Paul