Solos in the EF?
  • Is it prohibited to sing solos in the EF? While I understand it is not preferred in many places and communities by custom, I don't think it is strictly forbidden. If it is forbidden, and just ignored, I'd appreciate appropriate rubrical references.

    Thanks in advance!
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    I presume we are discussing solos that are not propers (for example, gradual, alleluia, and offertory verses)?
  • Correct. Thanks for the clarification, Ben.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,805
    Are you talking about solos like the Schubert "Ave", or solos like the "Benedictus" of a Mozart Mass?
  • rob
    Posts: 147
    S., I suspect it's neither and both.

    In the EF, based on my limited experience, it's all about context and circumstance; see e.g. BY, above.
  • rob
    Posts: 147
    P.S. Short answer, "no", as far I can determine, leaving aside the question of "soloist's" choice of music.

    And, per BY, who may in the EF be considered a "soloist".

    The priest?
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    I'm guessing that we're discussing something like the Schubert's ave, not Ordinary or proper.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,713
    WHY is it that you guess we're discussing the Schubert Ave Maria? For a piece that originated from Schubert's setting of songs from Walter Scott's epic poem "The Lady of the Lake", it seems that this would be a stretch, even with the transfer of the usual "Ave Maria" words to the song. I should hope one is thinking of something rather more substantial than this war horse.
  • War horses, better pieces, etc. Anything sung by one voice, and not a proper chant.

    Any references on direct prohibitions? I'm hoping to learn something.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,279
    If there is a prohibition and it binds under sin, there will be lots of singers in hell. LOL.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,778
    There were a lot of sacred solos written specifically for performance in the EF, from Viadana through Gounod and on. Just sayin'.
    Thanked by 1Richard Mix
  • MaryAnn,

    I believe that Schubert's Ave Maria is in the sights of Pius X's Tra le Sollecitudini, but I don't think it's named.

    God bless,

  • Jeffrey and cgz, yes and yes. Agreed, and I'm aware of the areas you mention.

    What I'm wondering about is a specific prohibition of all solos. I don't think it exists, though I'm desiring to learn. Think everything from "Adoro te devote" to Mozart's famous "Alleluia". I realize the two are so very different to us musicians.
  • MaryAnn,

    Beyond what I've mentioned, I don't think there is a blanket prohibition.

    God bless,

  • Chrism
    Posts: 809
    "I'd appreciate appropriate rubrical references"

    Here's the only one I can find, from Tra le sollecitudini, 1903:

    12. With the exception of the melodies proper to the celebrant at the altar and to the ministers, which must be always sung in Gregorian Chant, and without accompaniment of the organ, all the rest of the liturgical chant belongs to the choir of levites, and, therefore, singers in the church, even when they are laymen, are really taking the place of the ecclesiastical choir. Hence the music rendered by them must, at least for the greater part, retain the character of choral music.

    By this it is not to be understood that solos are entirely excluded. But solo singing should never predominate to such an extent as to have the greater part of the liturgical chant executed in that manner; the solo phrase should have the character or hint of a melodic projection (spunto), and be strictly bound up with the rest of the choral composition.

    Thanked by 2CHGiffen dad29
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,079
    Kinda-sorta this: It's not a concert surrounding some actions and words by a priest.