Which book should we be singing out of?
  • Dear CMAA friends,
    In my parish we sing normally out of the Graduale Novum.
    On Sunday, one of the members of the Schola got a bit upset about how different the melodies for the Palm Sunday procession were compared to the Liber Usualis. He suggested we ditch the GN.

    Could somebody please explain to me:
    Which book should we be singing out of?
    According to my research, the GN is the editio typica for the chant of the Church as of 2017. Is that correct? (My source is the German wikipedia article about the GN).

    Is the GN designed for the Forma Ordinaria or Forma Extraordinaria? The Graduale on Sunday was according to the GN "Christus factus est" for example. How can I check that I am singing the correct chants in the EF if the GN is not correct? Just have a Missal handy?

    Thanks for your assistance,
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,912
    Unless I am mistaken, and if I am someone else on this forum more learned than I will surely correct me, so rest assured, the right answer is coming! I don't believe that the GN applies to the EF. I think that for the EF, you should continue using the GR as usual. It also depends on what edition you use: for example, the GR 1974 was designed for the OF, not the EF, so the calendar in there is different.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,725
    A few questions,
    In the EF are we allowed to sing palm tone versions of the Propers?
    In the EF are we allowed to sing polyphonic settings of the Propers (Issac etc.)?
    In the Divine Office can we sing settings of the Office hymns i.e. polyphonic or use another melody not given in the L.U.?
    In the EF can we sing from the Ratisbonne (or other) editions?

    The answer to the above is Yes, Yes, Yes, and if you must.

    For the E.F. you should be using the texts of the Propers as found in the G.R. 1962
    N.B. The version in the L.U. will usually be identical, as long as you have a post 1957 L.U. The versions of the texts found in the M.R. (1962) and in hand missals (EF) have small differences.

    The melodies found in the chant books of 1962 etc., were produced after much research. This research has continued and other editions with differences in the melodies have been produced.

    It is not a problem to use the newly researched melodies as long as the text is the same as in the G.R.. For our chant days / weekends we regularly use some of these melodies at the E.F. Masses that take place during these weekends. We don't have the N.O. mass at these days / weekends.

    I do not have any of the modern research copies to check, but they may have been written for use at the N.O. Mass. In that case you will have to use the index to find the correct chant for the E.F.

    This website will indicate the Propers that are to be used in the E.F.

    N.B. We have noticed that polyphonic settings do not always have exactly the same text as in the G.R. but we sing them anyway!
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 542
    I have never before heard it claimed that the Graduale Novum is an "Editio typica", and I very much doubt that is true.

    Does the book itself say this?

    Or is there a decree somewhere to that effect?

    Because, it is not the case that every book published by the Vatican publishers (of whatever time period) is automatically a typical edition; some are, and some aren't, and those that are are usually clearly marked as such.

    [Correct me if I am wrong here, but I have been rather interested in typical editions, and in some cases, the lack thereof, of late, and this is what I have been observing.]
  • According to the Ordo Cantus Missae of 1985, the Vatican Edition (1908) remains the official chant book for the Mass. However the GN seems to have received official acceptance, so there shouldn't be a problem so long as your local ecclesiastical authority is cool with it. Actually you can probably use whatever book you want and still not have to go to confession afterwards.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,725
    @ JonathanKK It is all very well trying to explain the difference between an "Editio Typica" (Approved for Liturgical use) and a book with an Imprimatur etc. But you will get blank looks...

    When the Vatican could not be bothered to create approved books in say 1957 or 1962 or anytime since it could show that they don't care either.

    Is a photocopy approved? a Facsimile? what about GABC code outputted to pdf? the world has changed and Rome has yet to catch up...
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,397
    The GN situation in 2014 is summed up by Richard Llewellyn in this article. As @JonathanKK says the situation is not always clear, the GS 1967 was not an editio typica for reasons Bugnini describes in his opus, but the next edition was annotated as editio typica altera!
    Thanked by 1chonak
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 542
    Note well, there is also the distinction between the terms "Editio typica" and "Editio juxta typicam".

    The "Editio typica" is the official paradigm-version of a given book, if you will, and is a particular edition put out, usually by the Vatican's printers, to which all the others must agree.

    An "Editio juxta typicam", on the other hand, is a derivative edition, which has been certified as being in accordance with the typical edition.

    This distinction is particularly relevant when doing research, as an Editio typica will ipso facto be the definitive edition to consult.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,176
    FWIW, the subtitle of the Graduale Novum is "Editio magis critica juxta SC 117": that is, "A more critical edition, as called for by Sacrosanctum Concilium 117".
    Thanked by 1bhcordova
  • joerg
    Posts: 137
    Calling the GN an Editio Typica is clearly a misunderstanding by the author of this WP article. The GN has been prepared by some of the most distinguished scholars in the field but in no way does it claim any official status.
  • VilyanorVilyanor
    Posts: 388
    The Ordo Cantus Missae specifies the chants to be used for the OF, but it doesn't specify that the Vatican Edition, which is now known to be inaccurate, must be used as opposed to another edition. In the interest of upholding the authentic musical tradition and patrimony of the Church, using the edition that is closest to that authentic patrimony is certainly within the limits of the law. Still, until the Vatican publishes an official edition following the GN, the versions found in the Vatican Edition can be used too.

    On the other hand, using a superseded edition that is known to be inaccurate, such as the italian edition going around before Solesmes' original work would not meet the requirements of law.

  • Vilyanor - Dom Pothier, Dom Mocquereau and even Pope Pius X understood at the time that the 1908 Vatican Edition did not restore the most ancient melodies in many cases. Dom Mocquereau resisted this decision and as a result the restoration work under Dom Pothier was completed without him. The Vatican Edition is not "now known to be inaccuarte." It has always been known to be inaccurate. For some this is an offense; for others a feature.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Vilyanor
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 542
    The Ordo Cantus Missae is entirely based around the 1908 Editio typica of the Graduale Romanum, and it explicitly says as much.

    The whole point of it being an "ordo" is that it gives the correct order and assignment for the already existing chants.

    Yes, you could apply this order to other editions; but I am not finding that this issue is addressed in this document.

    Rather, it seems to me, if you are going to speak about which editions of chant are permissible, I think you have to go elsewhere for this information.

    By the way, the Ordo Cantus Missae has detailed provisions for the retention (if desired) of the neo-Gregorian melodies found in the 1908 Graduale, which Solesmes' 1974 Graduale passes over with footnote that "in this private edition, these melodies are omitted".
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,167
    Force of law?? Since the OF rubrics make no more than a token attempt to regulate the music at Mass, and since the choices they present are almost open-ended, what possible legal objection can there be to any chant edition at all?
    Thanked by 2Steve Collins tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,725
    The Vatican Edition is not "now known to be inaccuarte." It has always been known to be inaccurate. For some this is an offense; for others a feature.

    It may be an inaccurate restoration of the most ancient melodies, but is it desirable to use the most ancient melodies? and today's most ancient melodies mayn't be tomorrow's if a older manuscript is found.

    Also are the oldest manuscripts typical or exceptional? The manuscripts that have survived are they the typical use of that time?

    And is it more accurate to sing the melodies that have been 'carefully improved' by use over centuries...

    I notice that different scholas sing the chant differently while using the L.U. / G.R. so why not use more scholarly editions... or more recent 'potentially' improved editions.
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  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,912
    It seems like we have to define what we mean by accurate. Accurate as compared to what? Are the oldest chants always the most accurate? Again, accurate as compared to what? Do we really have a source that is definitive for the chants of the Mass, to which all other chant editions must be compared to determine accuracy? If so, such a tome would be very valuable indeed and would have to be guarded diligently. Do we trust that the editions the Church prefers are definitive, as in when she declares an Editio Typica? Some on this thread have suggested that there are problems with the 1908 edition. What was wrong with it, specifically? Please cite sources.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,725
    Some on this thread have suggested that there are problems with the 1908 edition. What was wrong with it, specifically? Please cite sources.

    If you compare the squiggles (what was the technical term?) from the Laon and St Gall manuscripts to the Neumes in say the L.U. you will notice some inconsistencies...
    Taking the Communion for Low Sunday (EF) Mitte magnum tuam, in 'cognosce' and 'fidelis' there appear to be neumes missing in the L.U. / G.R. compared to the manuscript.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,912
    Fascinating. What makes the Laon and St Gall manuscripts authoritative? I'm not familiar with them.
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 542
    Another thing to consider-

    In preparing an edition, no one is really concerned 100% with historicity.

    Rather, exceptions are always made for the sake of consistency.

    Thus, in an edition which is oriented towards semiology, a neo-gregorian piece may be altered in order to better accord with the style of the other pieces in the edition. Never mind that a certain chant was newly composed by some person at Solesmes in the late 1800's / early 1900's; it must be altered here and there to accord with the findings of the latest 20th-21st century research on medieval manuscripts!

    And vice versa, too, I'm sure.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,397
    ClergetKubisz: These manuscripts are among the oldest with any performace guide to the chant. e.g (from the library's description)
    The so-called Cantatorium of St. Gall, the earliest complete extant musical manuscript in the world with neume notation. It contains the solo chants of the Mass and constitutes one of the main sources for the reconstruction of Gregorian chant. Written and provided with fine neumes in the monastery of St. Gall between 922 and 926. Bound in a wooden box with an ivory panel on the front cover, most likely Byzantine c. 500, depicting scenes from the fight of Dionysos against the Indians. The ivory panel was once the possession of Charlemagne.
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,912
    That sounds like a book I'd love to have a copy of!