Sought after French Falsobordoni ("faux-bourdons") found online
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    This video created a buzz when it was posted to NLM several years back, arousing curiosity over the charmingly simple yet haunting three part falsobordone setting used in alternating verses of the Magnificat:

    The same music surfaced again on YouTube a few months ago, at the 16 minute mark of this video:

    I was finally able to track down the music. Maybe this is no secret, but it's a happy discovery for me: the setting for Mode 1, along with settings for the other modes, is on p. cxxx of the book Office de l'Eglise noté pour les festes et Dimanches, à l'usage des laics (1760). Which is available from Google Books:

    Might be a fun project to transcribe this into modern notation - but the 18th century square notation looks easy enough to sing from as is.

    One interesting surprise is that one of the three parts, corresponding to the recitation tone/melody, is intended to be sung not by choristers, but by the congregation ("Le peuple"), with the high part taken by "Enfans de Choeur" and the low part taken by either "Choeur ou Chantr."
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,564
    The part taken by the congregation ("Le peuple") is the usual modal chant melody which would be sung (by all) if there were no "faux-bourdons" setting ... and this simply makes it possible for the congregation to sing the Magnificat with the choir.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,454
    Great find, Robert! If you're interested in fauxbourdon settings, check out Henri de Villier's' blog, He's the music director at Schola Sainte Cecile in Paris.

    He regularly features fauxbourdon arrangements. For example, here's one of the Vidi Aquam. You have to "like" them on Facebook to get a PDF of it.

    Here's a recording of their Solemn High Mass on Corpus Christi. It sounds like the responses after the Asperges are in four part harmony, and it might be fauxbourdon; I'm not sure.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,686
    I just re-set these Fauxbourdons in Modern notation. I'll upload them later this week, for anyone who wants them.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,686
    Ecce Falsobordoni!

    These are printed exactly as they appear in the original book, i.e. Vs. 1 in plainchant, Vs. 2 in fauxbourdon. I'll get 'round to putting all the verses in (the plainchant is written for that), but I'd like another set of eyes to proof the polyphony before I do that.

    For those unfamiliar with Fauxbourdon: The notation is conventional: speech rhythm is primary, but watch for a couple places where a part might have two half-notes to a whole-note in the other two.

    The subtitle should read " L'EGLISE " not " L'EGISE " . (Mistake # 1)
  • Interesting, but I find myself content with the bourdons in these books, you might consider trying them ... or..some other academic library will sort you out. Mostly italian 16th c. ones.

    XXX falsibordoni IV, V et VI vocum super octo tonos cantici Magnificat by Fr X Haberl
    Kirchenmusikalisches jahrbuch. n.s. v.8 ( year 1893)


    Psalmodia Vespertina by Carl Kraus (Vespers Psalms in Falso bordone)