Hymn Tune Introits: An Annual Collection
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    A few years ago I took a writing sabbatical in Italy and England, with the express intention of working on two major projects: the translation of as many Latin hymns as possible, and the completion of an annual cycle of Long Meter Hymn Tune Introits.

    For those who are not familiar with the Hymn Tune Propers project, the idea is to provide a low-conflict, easy step towards singing the propers for congregations with limited musical resources. Congregations simply choose a Long Meter tune with which the parish is already familiar, and sing the text to that tune.

    This initial offering, by design, includes no musical notation. This is first of all useful to small congregations who do not yet have the musicianship to read music, even to the point of Rossini-ing the propers. Instead they can sing an adaptation of the sacred text without reading or practicing ahead of time.

    The text-only initial version also provides the highest degree of flexibility. Instead of tying the parish down to a particular melody, each congregation is free to choose any LM tune from among their own sung repertoire. This has the benefit of reducing resistance and "drama" when a parish is initially beginning to move away from "singing at the liturgy" and more towards "singing the liturgy" by employing the proper texts. The experience is that of singing a verse of a hymn, no more, no less. Well-informed suggestions are however made for each text.

    The collection of Introits in this format is available beginning today from WLP [edit: GIA]. It is my hope that this will be widely used as one more example of the excellent resources for "Singing the Mass."
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,611
    are there example pages?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    I don't see any, Francis.

    For background, here is an article I wrote ages ago about this, and some samples are included here (and on various places on both this Forum and on the Chant Cafe).
    Thanked by 1Salieri
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    Here is the cover design. image
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,611
    Is it just text or is it with music?
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    The text-only initial version also provides the highest degree of flexibility. Instead of tying the parish down to a particular melody, each congregation is free to choose any LM tune from among their own sung repertoire.
    Thanked by 2Kathy eft94530
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    The was a key point for me, for those parishes with "pushback" regarding chant. Additionally, if we consider all of the possibilities for singing the Propers, they generally all require musical training for their use. This collection can be used by "the other guys"--those who have never learned to read music. This is an underserved population.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen fp
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    Here is an experiment. Print out a Hymn Tune Introit, take to a priest who does not read music, ask him to sing one of the it to the tune of All People That on Earth Do Dwell or Creator of the Stars of Night.

    See if he doesn't smile...
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,611
    thanks for posting Kathy
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,336
    Thank you for doing this Kathy, but how do you see these used?
    do you envision them sung in alternation with a choir or cantor singing psalm verses?
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    Good question!

    1) Yes, this was the original idea. I was at Notre Dame in Paris, and this is exactly what they did. The people sang the antiphon, and the cantor chanted the verses. The whole thing went very smoothly, and the people had time to visually engage the procession between verses.

    There is a table of Psalms in the back of the book.

    2) Alternatively, I imagine that some parishes that have "not yet begun to chant" will use the kind of stacking technique that many use now with chanting, without a Psalm. That is, the opening hymn is not omitted (because that might seem offensive to some congregations).

    Instead, what could possibly happen is the opening hymn is a LM hymn to say, DUKE STREET or OLD 100TH. The organist gives a note, the choir sings the antiphon to that tune a capella in SATB.

    Then the organist gives a proper introduction, and the people sing the regular hymn found at the given # in the hymnal.

    3) Or the alternative "stacking" technique: The people finish singing the whole hymn to a rousing finale, close their books and put them away, Fr. is waiting at the foot of the altar, and the organist segues into a quiet registration. The cantor then sings the antiphon to the same or another tune as Fr. incenses the altar. In this second way, there is a nice opportunity for recollection, without taking away the opening hymn.

    ***

    The main point here is flexibility and compromise. Almost nothing is demanded of a congregation that they might not be willing to give. There is a common theme on this board in many threads: "I moved in the right direction, and everything exploded and I lost my DM job." What I'm aiming at is moving so close to the average congregation's comfort zone that they hardly have any reason to resist accepting their rightful patrimony, the opportunity to meditate on the Propers of the day.

    It's definitely a compromise, because Antiphons are not strophic by nature. But it's a step in the right direction that just might work, where other more chant-based techniques might be rejected, in some parishes.
  • What a fine book! Of course, it's not chant, but there is nothing that requires the propers to be chant, nor prose. We have a long history of polyphonic propers, so why not this? These are beautifully done and should be a grace to any liturgy. I would only add, as I've done before, that we need a complete set of propers for every Sunday and Solemnity, not just the now-fashionable introits and communions. Missing are the psalm, the alleluya verse, and the offertory antiphon. Still, this is a commendable addition to one's choices. What better way to get both strophic hymn form and propers under one cover for those who find it needful?!
    Thanked by 1fp
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    Thank you, Jackson!

    I agree that the Gradual and Offertory could be done well in this form. The Alleluia would be tougher.

    The Communios I have mixed feelings about. For one thing, they are much more diverse in length. One of the things that made this collection feasible is the relative nearness of the syllable counts of the Entrance Antiphons to the required 32. I could fit all of the ideas into the 4 lines, and usually did not have to add anything. The Communion Antiphons, on the other hand, can be very brief, or quite long, and it is harder to say that there would be one optimal meter. Further, since the Communio is being sung during the Communion of the people for the most part, I'm not sure there should be a written resource required for their singing. And there are many such available if need be.

    The Introit sets the stage for the entire Mass, and I feel fortunate to be one participant in the movement to make it available in some useful form to as many parishes as possible.

    Thank you again for your kind words!
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,611
    Kathy

    I am curious about how this model works on a practical level.
    How does one provide music with these texts for congregations?
    If one buys a single book, is a parish entitled to use texts in worship aids without usage fees?
    If usage fees are applied, what is the rate and how are they managed?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,744
    ... it is harder to say that there would be one optimal meter.-
    Why should there be one optimal meter for the other antiphons, or even the Introit? And why should it be Long Meter and not selected from a variety of other good meters? Traditional Catholic meters include, besides Long Meter, Common Meter (86.86 Iambic), Short meter (66.86 Iambic), 88.88 Trochaic, 87.87, 87.87.87, 87.87.D, 11.11.11.5, etc. Indeed, Kathy's first go at the Hymn Tune Introits for the Vigil Mass and the Mass During the Night of the Nativity were Short Meter texts, which I set to the hymn tune SWABIA and included, along with Long Meter revisions, in our collection of Hymn Tune Introits for Christmas through Baptism, q.v.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    Why should there be one optimal meter for the other antiphons, or even the Introit?

    Fair question.

    The reason has to do with the user-friendly character of the book as printed by WLP.

    For me, this is the most important characteristic of the book.

    I was in the library at CUA one day, and a priest who is a former classmate, who does not read music, stopped by when I was looking over one of the Advent Calendars of Hymn Tune Introits. I asked him to sing one of them to Creator of the Stars of Night. He readily did. This priest knows the Liturgy, wants to do the right thing--but does not have the musical background to do it.

    If this priest were looking at a page of these words interlined with music, he would turn away. Since there was no music, he could sing it. Does that make sense?

    With the annual collection, as printed, he can sing it. He can sing the whole book to Conditor Alme Siderum, or Deo Gratias, or Duke Street, or Jesu Dulcis Memoria, or Old Hundredth, or (heaven forfend) O Waly Waly.

    There are many musical settings of the Proper texts, but there are no words-only, single-meter collections besides this to my knowledge. It meets everybody who is a non-musician way more than halfway, so that there will be no excuses for ignoring these beautiful meditations that the Church sets before us Sunday after Sunday, to help us pray the Mass.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,400
    there are no words-only, single-meter collections besides this to my knowledge.
    http://www.wlp.jspaluch.com/2646.htm
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,744
    or (heaven forfend) O Waly Waly.
    Or "Hernando's Hideaway".

    But ... if the meter had been 87.87.87, you could have asked the priest to sing it to "Tantum ergo" ... which I kinda think he would know. Just sayin'.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    Lol.

    Richard, the key term here, in response to Chuck's note, is single-meter. That is one way in which Tietze's work is different from mine. A parish can use the exact same music through the whole year.

    Another difference is that I only did the antiphons, so that the Psalms may be sung with a responding sound: anti-phonally.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    Francis,

    A parish near me has Tietze's books in the hymnal racks just like any other hymnal or gradual.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,611
    Kathy

    Your short answer is then to purchase them for the pews?!
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    Yes.

    Please keep in mind that you're asking me to speculate about how someone else should use a liturgical resource in his/her own program, and that is something I cannot really say. I can make this available, let you know about it, and then you can work out whether it is something interesting to you.

    On a practical level, what I might do if I were a parish DM currently is use my discretionary budget to buy a desk copy, to keep in my office with my other desk copies.

    After looking it over carefully and thinking and praying about it, if I found it interesting and potentially useful for my own program, I would talk with my pastor and see if it seemed like a good idea to make a move to using a resource like this, either by giving copies to the choir so they can sing the antiphon, or pew copies, or some other arrangement that would work for our parish.

    I'm not sure what else I can say--and I appreciate your interest!
  • Kathy
    Will it be permissible to reproduce the words of your Ordinary Time introits, with acknowledgement, in parish worship aids? Will the publisher require a fee?
    Thanked by 2francis Kathy
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    .
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    For those (like me) who have a Friday school Mass, this might come in handy this Friday as a Long Meter Hymn Tune Introit.

    Please feel free to use it this year if useful for you:

    Lord, set me free from my distress.
    O look upon my lowliness.
    Lord, see my suffering today
    And take my sinfulness away.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    As the new liturgical year approaches, I thought I would send this up to be noticed by those who might be looking for a simple first transition towards using the proper texts of the Mass.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen a_f_hawkins
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,097
    Kathy, since this thread is quite old, every link is broken. It might be helpful to provide new links for those of us who haven’t discovered your work before.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    Oops! Thank you for the heads up! I should have checked.

    Fixed now.