Graduale Novum Scan Request
  • Could someone provide me with a medium- or high-resolution scan of the Pentecost introit "Spiritus Domini" from the Novum? I have a new copy of this book on order, but I need this particular chant with the neumes for a presentation I'm preparing in the meantime. The image on the official website isn't clear enough.

  • You may try this from the site of one of the GN editors. The typesetting is not identical with that of GN, but – hopefully - the restituted melody is.
    Thanked by 1madorganist
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    I second the above. For the Laon notation, see
    Thanked by 1madorganist
  • I was just thinking about the Novum, but I didn't want to start a new post with my question if it had been addressed already, but I will willingly hijack this thread, since it fell into my lap.

    Is it correct to state that the Graduale Romanum is best considered, technically speaking, as a simple reordering of the pre-Vatican II Romanum, according to the Ordo Missae Cantu, while the Novum fulfills the request by Vatican II for a critical edition that updates the melodies based on updated scholarship? What is the relation of any alterations noted in the Triplex to any changes published in the Novum? Is there any likelihood, should we regain our right to chant as primary, that the Novum, or a popular, non-scholarly edition of it, would take the place of the Graduale Romanum?
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    I am not aware of any "alterations" in the Triplex, except perhaps to correct any typos or printing errors (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). But the Triplex and the Graduale Romanum on which is is based are basically reorderings of the pre-Vatican II chant books (with some additional material). The Novum begins to satisfy the call for a morely scholarly edition of the chant; however it is not in itself a performing edition. (People will no doubt challenge me on this, but while it is certainly possible to perform from the Novum, it is not and cannot be considered a performing edition).

    If you want information on what melodic "restitutions" have been made in the Novum, they are thoroughly indexed with references to the Zeitschrift "Beiträge zur Gregorianik.“
  • Which is ridiculous, because Solesmes said they were barely beginning to work on what already existed and that it would take at least another 50 years to work through that, just as it had, say between the Vatican edition of 1908 and the later Solesmes editions of the Graduale Romanum. That the Consilium moved on regardless and that the Vatican insists on newly composed chants, even though Solesmes dislikes this, speaks volumes to me.
  • By alterations, I meant alternates (manuscript discrepancies given here and there in the margins or wherever they could fit it; I can only find textual examples at the moment).

    Though the layout of the Novum is not designed for performance, would the music itself, if presented in a clear layout, be suitable for use, or is it not meant to replace the Romanum for use in Mass?
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    The layout of the Novum is very clear. It is designed to be read in three notations simultaneously, whereas the Triplex just has the manuscript notations added above and below the narrowly spaced staves of the Graduale Romanum. You could certainly give a pitch-only reading with an equalist rhythmic approach from the Novum. Or you could pencil in dots and episemata to give a Solesmes Method performance an updated melodic reading (but why would you want to?). But one could not simply perform the pitch and rhythm found in the Novum unless one had the chant memorized first or unless they were a real expert in the manuscript notation (of which I would venture to guess we might have 30 in the US) and had spent some time studying the individual chant first. Without opening that whole can of worms, suffice it to say that it would be like trying to follow a recipe book where "1 tsp" sometimes means one teaspoon and other times means two teaspoons, and you just need to know how to tell the difference.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,281
    a real expert in the manuscript notation (of which I would venture to guess we might have 30 in the US)

    Wow, that many?

    it would take at least another 50 years to work through that

    These people need a project manager with open source experience.
  • I would second Incantu's point that the Graduale Novum is not a performing edition, if by "performing edition" we mean an edition of the chants that conveys the fruits of semiological study, especially with regard to rhythm, for the singer not conversant with St. Gall or Laon notation. The Novum gives the singer a corrected melody, changing the pitch of certain notes here and there. But it makes little attempt to interpret the melody rhythmically, for example, by changing the notes shapes or note spacing relationships provided in the Vatican Edition or by marking up the melody with additional rhythmic signs.

    For our schola I attempt to provide that next step by editing my own performing edition for the singers. As an example, here is the Communio "Tollite hostias" for this coming Sunday, the 18th Sunday after Pentecost. The passage "adorate Dominum" illustrates how changing the note shapes can help singers intuit the rhythmic value without knowing anything about manuscript notation. On the fours syllables ado-RA-TE DO-MI-num the Vatican edition uses an identical clivis for each. While this notation does reflect the neumes of the St. Gall MS, the Laon MS gives a more rhythmically nuanced reading. Each of the four clivis figures is written in a different way, so that as you follow the melodic descent a gradual accelerando is suggested. Translating the Laon neumes into square notes, then, I have two virgas with episemas on RA, then a clivis with episema, followed by two puncta disjoined, and lastly a normal flowing clivis. To connect the dots, all the singer needs to know is the basic semiological principle that joined notes flow but unjoined notes take more time. Shaping the rate of flow of that accelerando is then just a matter of chironomy, but the singer will already see it coming, given the note shapes employed.