Open Source Catholic Hymnal
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    (I can't believe I'm actually suggesting this...)


    I am willing to entertain the notion of coordinating a (mostly) Open Source Catholic Hymnal.

    Contents:
    - Order of Mass (OF, maybe EF)
    - Handful of chant ordinaries in square notes, Latin and English
    - The most common chant hymns, in square notes (Marian antiphons, Tantum ergo, etc...)
    - A few hundred SATB hymns --- mostly PD stuff, plus some of the best things written more recently

    Everything done in Lilypond or Gregorio (I will teach people to use it if they are willing to help).
    Everything worked on in Github (I will teach people to use it if they are willing to help).

    All the PD and Creative Commons stuff would be done in public GH repo, and all the source files would be made available.
    This would start being usable right away, before the collection is complete.

    At some point in the future (year from now? two?), when the bulk of the PD/CC stuff is done (And NOT before then) we can start dealing with copyrighted stuff that really should make it into any decent pew hymnal. We can also - at that point - do a crowdsourcing campaign to pay for the initial print run.

    ---

    If I actually kick off something like this, how many people here would contribute in one or more of the following ways (please specify):

    - engraving chant with Gregorio (typing source code)
    - engraving SATB hymns with Lilypond (typing source code)
    - building lilypond templates
    - typing lyrics
    - helping with final layout, etc in LaTeX
    - buying hymnals
    - contributing cash
    - proofreading texts and music
    - learning to use Github
    - writing scripts (Python, Ruby, or similar) for automating score building
    - promoting the project
    - tracking down PD harmonizations for hymns
    - researching lyric variants
    - producing clean follow-the-score performance videos (with real voices and/or real instruments - not weird midi crap)
    - allowing your own texts, tunes, or harmonizations to be licensed into the Creative Commons.

    (If there is a skill you have, that you think would be helpful, and which you are willing to contribute, you can mention that too.)

    I will not kick off a project like this without clear support on key tasks from a number of people.
    Putting a hymnal together is HARD. And time consuming.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,188
    .
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,870
    (I can't believe I'm actually suggesting this...)
    I can't believe you are, either.
    Thanked by 2Adam Wood Cantus67
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    (I can't believe I'm actually suggesting this...)


    I can't believe you are, either.


    If I get the response I expect, I will be able to link to this thread every time someone says "CMAA should do a hymnal, blah blah blah" explaining why that isn't gonna ever happen.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Salieri
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    And if I'm pleasantly surprised, then - well - who knows. Maybe we'll have a hymnal. (And I'll have a decently cool bullet for my CV.)
  • I can engrave in Gregorio and Lilypond. Willing to do so. I could possibly help with other aspects, but at least engraving I can promise in some substantial measure (sorry for the pun).

    (I'm new here and I understand that fact raises red flags. I'm committed to helping a project like this if it happens.)
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • If I get the response I expect, I will be able to link to this thread every time someone says "CMAA should do a hymnal, blah blah blah" explaining why that isn't gonna ever happen.


    Good thinking. I will be able to link to it as well, thanks!
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Adam, why?
  • davido
    Posts: 90
    You are welcome to use the Lilypond hymn collection that I started as a jumping off point. I can try to move it all to GitHub, but I don't know anything about it and am swamped with school right now.
    I would be willing to engrave in Lilypond and Gregorio code (I only know how to use the online portals for Gregorio, no idea on the LaTex stuff).

    I think this is a great idea. A few questions though:
    - Woudn't including chants duplicate material CMAA provides in the PBC?
    - How would this hymnal be different from Ostrowski's yet to be published hymn? St. Michael Hymnal? Adoremus Hymnal?
    - Is this to be a small, stop-gap hymnal of some kind, or a comprehensive, ideal English language Catholic hymnal?


    What I would like to see is a comprehensive English language hymnal, containing the best PD and non-PD traditional, metrical hymnody, with un-altered poetry, and the best traditional harmonizations. Perhaps also with versions of the most common chant hymns and antiphons in English translation.
    It could be a companion volume to the PBC, with the two offering the comprehensive congregational repertoire that my children need to learn in order to restore musical nobility to the services of English speaking Catholics.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,921
    I thought about doing this for years.

    I even started gathering digital hymnals and depositing them into a folder, created a page template for SATB hymn engraving, etc.

    But my philosophy concerning promoting "hymnals" within the confines of the RC liturgy short circuited. I believe the best model for a pew book is more like the LCM (however congregational singing of propers I believe is misguided, and at the risk of being labelled something else, a pew book without any Latin somewhat betrays our Latin heritage, or in the least leaves one asking "what about our Latin patrimony and GC holding pride of place? What will the children (and converts) think over the years?). It truly appears that we are a schizophrenic Rite.

    I realized I am also finished supporting the misled model of music in the OF with my composing, publishing skills. Hence why I am sticking to Latin motets, Latin ordinaries and organ works. I believe THAT defines the true essence of a RC composer, and I have been accused of being arrogant, apodictic, and narrow minded as a result. So be it, that was the model for Catholic composers for centuries, so I am OK with the abuse I suppose.

    Therefore, all my efforts from here forward are given toward promoting the best three aspects of sacred music: GC, polyphony and organ whether that be as a DoM, organist or composer. I believe hymnals are on their way out (in the long run).

    Perhaps you read my comments in the thread about the 1940. Vernacular hymnody replaced the essence of what should be performed at the liturgy and in my mind, that thread truly bespeaks the continuing confusion about authentic sacred music. (I am glad you are including chant in your model, however.)

    In my own projected model to create an all in one pew resource, I was intending on putting the Latin ordinary and common chant hymns in the front (basically the PBC), and vernacular hymns in the back. No one needs 500 hymns in a Catholic pew book. 250 very good hymns is more than enough, and many of them would have been directed toward use in the Office. Congregations singing the propers to me is wishful thinking, and I feel that really should be the job of the schola. Roles, for me, dictate pertinent content for a musical pew resource and the OF has truly blurred, muddied and confused the lines both in theology (active participation) and musical content.

    There is alway another twist that someone comes up with in creating a pew resource and I wish you the best in your efforts.

    I forgot to add a mention about the question, "How does one define a Good (musically and theologically) hymn?" In other words, 99.99 percent of hymns or songs authored this side of the 20th century I don't feel are worth considering for a Catholic hymnal. (Ie., On This Day, O Beautiful Mother, Amazing Grace, Gift of Finest Wheat, etc.) Certainly very close to nothing the big three have authored, although there might be five or six if you would care to mention them. And the texts have mostly been made PC, inclusive, multi-cultural, eocumenical and more.

    I think "The Book" is best, and we should devote our efforts to getting it back in circulation.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    Adam, why?


    You'll have to be more specific.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    You are welcome to use the Lilypond hymn collection that I started as a jumping off point. I can try to move it all to GitHub, but I don't know anything about it and am swamped with school right now.


    It looks like all your stuff is online already, so if it doesn't bother you I can just move things over myself.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    I believe the best model for a pew book is more like the LCM


    I agree. Except that book exists already.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    - Woudn't including chants duplicate material CMAA provides in the PBC?


    Some of it definitely would. But I don't see that as a problem.

    - How would this hymnal be different from Ostrowski's yet to be published hymn? St. Michael Hymnal? Adoremus Hymnal?



    The core material would be free and open source - it would be an online resource as well as (eventually, if there is enough support) a print resource. It would be forkable.

    Is this to be a small, stop-gap hymnal of some kind, or a comprehensive, ideal English language Catholic hymnal?


    I imagine a complete, comprehensive hymnal which could be used in either an OF or EF setting. Not a missal. Not a pew gradual. A hymnal with good English and Latin hymns with a built-in Kyriale.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,921
    I imagine a complete, comprehensive hymnal which could be used in either an OF or EF setting. Not a missal. Not a pew gradual. A hymnal with good English and Latin hymns with a built-in Kyriale.
    A very much needed resource indeed. I wish I had the time to help, as this is the one pew resource that is truly missing. Kudos, Adam.
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 261
    Adam Wood, you are crazy and I like it. If such a project actually takes place, I definitely want to take part.

    I offer and would enjoy
    - writing scripts (Python, Ruby, or similar) for automating score building
    - helping with final layout, etc in LaTeX
    - building lilypond templates
    - engraving SATB hymns with Lilypond (typing source code)
    - engraving chant with Gregorio (typing source code)

    (In this order of preference. I believe among the forum users there are quite a lot of people mighty with Gregorio, not so many skilled in LilyPond and just a few who can typeset in LaTeX or code, so I offer the rarer skills first.)
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,870
    I should think that Compressed MusicXML 3.0 (.mxl) format would be the preferred source code, rather than LilyPond, as it is rapidly becoming somewhat of a de facto standard, since so many music engraving programs now can import it and export it. CPDL is now encouraging contributors to include .mxl source code with their score submissions. While LilyPond is fairly popular, it by no means dominates the music engraving scene, and many long time users of Sibelius, Finale, MuseScore, NoteWorthy Composer, and other engraving programs might well be loathe to have to learn LilyPond in order to contribute or participate in such an endeavor.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    MusicXML is not a good document authoring language.
  • MusicXML is not a good document authoring language
    .

    Perhaps the idea was to author in something like MuseScore and export into MusicXML.

    That said, I (personally) prefer Lilypond, but probably that because I use LaTeX daily and am very conversant with it.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 261
    MusicXML seems to be great for purposes of archivation and interchange of musical information between different applications. The information I create today will most probably be readable years and hopefully decades later.

    However, for an open source hymnal project, other features are crucial. I would mention
    1. source readability and conciseness (when I fix an error in someone else's engraving, others should be able to see the extent and meaning of the change quickly even without compiling the score) and
    2. stability of output (what I see when engraving is what Adam will see when assembling the final product)
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    @igneus gets me.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,341
    Great to see all this interest! Rah!
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood


  • I would be glad to contribute in any way that I am competent to do so. I know nothing of these 'LilyPonds' and such. (A computerist I am not.) A committee with Noel and me on it, as someone mentioned above, should be very interesting. It's wonderful when he and I agree on something!
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    A lot of the needed contents have already been engraved in Lilypond and/or Gregorio, scattered across dozens of sites and code repositories. So much of the work will simply involve finding, collating, and refactoring into the appropriate format.

  • Very conversant in:

    Lilypond (esp. SATB hymnal-style engraving)
    Gregorio

    Also very busy.

    Would like to help in a minor way…or just look over someone's shoulder. Especially if that someone is expert in integrating the above two with LaTeX (which I'm starting to play with now).
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    Also very busy.


    Quite.

    What I'm hoping is that — as opposed to all the heroic, one-person projects we've been accustomed to — this will actually be something where lots of people can all contribute a bit.
  • I'd be interested in assisting with research related to texts and PD harmonizations.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • Pyrple (sic)
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    SATB music source will be written and engraved in Lilypond. Chant in GABC (Gregorio).

    I think it would be a good idea to have MusicXML as an output from a build process, but it is not a good score authoring language. It has to be something that can authored in source code, not a visual editor.

  • Purple
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    .
  • Did not read first post as carefully as I should have. Please ignore all comments I made above!
  • This is an excellent project and I cannot think of anyone in the group, including myself, that would be better than Adam to undertake and make it succeed. Seriously. Get behind this project to make it happen.
    Thanked by 1barreltone
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,188
    IF this crazy idea is actually going to happen, I would be willing to help.

    -Research relating to harmonizations and texts
    -Proofreading
    -Promotion
    -Inclusion of any of my own work in CC, if deemed worthy.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • I also meant to mention that in addition to engraving and any required LaTeX services, I'd be happy to provide some recordings of organ parts, if that's appropriate and my playing is deemed suitable. (Absolutely no offense taken if it is not...) Ditto for chant (I have decent recording facilities), but I cannot supply an SATB choir recording (unless I am supplied with a choir!).
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,223
    I may be able to help with Latin Hymns...
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • I would be willing to proofread both texts and music (being only a mediocre keyboardist, I don't automatically correct things!). I do have a number of hymns set in Sibelius that can be exported via xml, but that does not sound like it would be useful.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • I would love to be already using the hymnal this project will create! What can we do to get the project going? Can we set up the workflow we will be using, and create the necessary repositories so we can begin to contribute?
  • Um, is it going to have 'The head that once was crowned with thorns' to St Magnus in it? How about This Endrys Night?
  • This sounds like a great project. I would add promotion to the task list. These things are only as good as they are used.
  • MJO, if you build it, they will come!
  • It can be included in your version, and everyone else could leave it out! The beauty of open-source!

    I could put in Be Not Afraid, since it's a Catholic shoynmgn (song/hymn misnomer). Not that I'd want to, or be allowed to.
  • jabv
    Posts: 13
    I can help with some of the technical aspects (including writing code).
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 261
    Should I prepare some proposal of what the project structure could look like? Or is anyone already working on this / planning to do it?

    + Which two pieces (one chant engraved with Gregorio, one "modern" tune engraved with LilyPond) will definitely be included and can thus be used as examples?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    I am starting to work on this, but if you have a proposal or idea, feel free. I am super busy and may not have anything concrete for a little while.

    There's a bunch that seem like definite yeses. Off the top of my head --- Let All Mortal Flesh (PICARDY) and the Salve Regina (Simple).

    Important things about structure:
    music needs to be separate from texts (at least for hymns, maybe/maybe-not for chants), and that formatting should be separate from that --- like a single (or small handful) of templates, with collections of texts and collections of musics, and then some kind of build process that could look at a specially formatted Table of Contents file to construct the hymnal.
  • Does this project still exist?
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 261
    I don't think anything has ever been made public.

    I confess I didn't even prepare the proposal mentioned two comments (and three years) earlier.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 7,921
    I actually started working on a hymnal comparable to the 1940 but with Latin hymns and propers. I had amassed all the data (thousands of pages of digital files for hymns all in public domain) But I abandoned the cause once I came to the sorry conclusion that It would give credence to the Novus ordo (secolorum) And the controversial hermeneutic of continuity.
  • Thank you. I'm new here and still discovering resources. Just found PBEH. I keep thinking I've found all the resources in one place, and then finding more somewhere else. It's a bit overwhelming.