Liber Hymnarius
  • I have some questions about Liber Hymnarius, so I've started this topic.

    Regarding authorship of the hymns, the Index Alphabeticus at the end provides some information, but I haven't been able to interpret it correctly.

    1-)When a name is referred, is the person the author of both music and text or only one of those?

    2-)Similarly, when a date is referred, is it the date of the composition of the text, music or both?

    Also, I've read somewhere about Anselmo Lentini being the author of some of the hymns. His name is mentioned in small letters at the Index Alphabeticus:

    "Auctor vel origo hymnorum indicatur inter uncinos, secundum librum Te decet laus, auctore Anselmo Lentini"

    Though I haven't studied Latin, I read it as: "author or origin of the hymns is indicated in parentheses, according to the book Te decet laus, by Anselmo Lentini".

    3-)Is my translation correct?

    4-)What should be understood from "Novus" as to authorship?
  • Searching the forum I've come to "Singing the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin" - here I could understand better the Anselmo Lentini thing. Apparently he is the author of those hymns whose authorship is not referred to.

    Anyway, I keep the other questions. And even so I hope this topic may be useful.
  • Richard R.
    Posts: 723
    Authorship is indicated for the text; the melodies themselves are interchangeable, and only rarely specific to a given text. So "Novus" would indicate a newly composed (modern) text. That's my understanding, anyway.
  • Gilbert
    Posts: 106
    What all does the Liber Hymnarius contain? Does it contain the chant for all the hymns in the latin edition of the Liturgy of the Hours? Does it contain other things such as antiphons? Are all the rubrics/explanations in latin?
  • The full title is actually Liber Hymnarius cum Invitatoriis & Aliquibus Responsoriis; that is, while it is mostly devoted to the various hymns for the office, it does contain other parts of the office, including invitatories for Matins and some of the most beautiful florid responsories for solemn occassions. I believe these latter come mostly from the Liber Responsorialis of 1895.

    IIRC, the Liber Hymnarius was written for the monastic office, but as far as hymns go there is a lot of overlap with the Latin Roman office. I would not be surprised if all of the hymns in the Roman office could be found in the Liber Hymnarius, but I have never gone through the texts to find out...

    All of the prenotandae and directions throughout the book (rubrics, though they're not printed in red!) are in Latin.
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    The LH is the hymnal for the Roman Office--it's the only published part of the still incomplete, allegedly forthcoming Antiphonale Romanum--and does double duty as the hymnal for the monastic office.
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    IIRC, Peter Jeffrey translated the preface in an article called "The New Chant Books from Solesmes." Perhaps he will allow CMAA to publish that translation separately. Of course, there should be enough Latinists on this forum to take a solid whack at it.
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    Columba Kelly, OSB has a translation online of the preface (the important part of it anyway, the part Peter Jeffrey has also translated):

    http://sacredmusicproject.com/chant-instruction/solesmes-preface-liber-hymnarius/
  • Richard R.
    Posts: 723
    "it's the only published part of the still incomplete, allegedly forthcoming Antiphonale Romanum..."

    All quite published now, in three volumes.
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    Richard, surely you are referring to the recently completed three-volume Antiphonale Monasticum, which reflects the Benedictine monastic use rather than the secular Roman version?

    I'd be ecstatic if Antiphonale Romanum were finally published, but from what I've heard it's caught in a thicket of red tape somewhere between Solesmes and Rome.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,474
    Romanum it is, according to the title page; the Liber Hymnarius is labeled as "Tomus Alter" (Volume 2) in the work.
  • Gilbert
    Posts: 106
    Where can one attain this Antiphonale Romanum?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,474
    You can buy the LH from Solesmes or probably from various booksellers. So far, I think that one volume is all that's been done of the Antiphonale Romanum.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    The Liber Hymnarius seems ... (hate to say it) on the expensive side . . .
  • The Liber Hymnarius is an interesting book. To begin, it has a ton of neumes I've never seen before. Second, it has a bunch of chants which seem to have been composed quite recently. I would love to see an extended explanation of what the book is and what its status is in practice. It is not, as I thought, a book of Latin hymns (a la Pange Lingua and the like)
  • "The Liber Hymnarius seems ... (hate to say it) on the expensive side . . ."

    The LH is priced at $60 through GIA--$10 dollars more than the Graduale Romanum.

    I would encourage anyone who hasn't to pick up this book, or at least try to take a look at one when you can. The notation of the responsories, in particular, is of great value as it will no doubt be the same notation that will be used in the forthcoming revision of the Graduale Romanum, as mandated by Vat. II. This notation incorporates neumes such as the oriscus, the various forms of augmented and diminished liquescence, "initio debilis" neumes, etc. into the 4-line notation. There is no use of the ictus in the "classic" sense, although it is sometimes used, but with a different meaning.

    A very worthwhile study to prepare for the future!
  • So questions:

    1. What do those new neumes mean?
    2. Why do we need them?
    3. The Graduale Romanum as we currently have it from Solesmes is only temporary, I take it?
    4. Why are there new chants in the Liber Hymnalis?
    5. Who is the intended audience?

    I just find the book very strange and would like someone to give me the inside scoop on the what and why (and who) of the whole thing.
  • bgeorge:

    I'll take a stab at your questions. I imagine that there will be varying opinion and perspective on this.

    1. To reiterate what was said above, a English translation of the Liber Hymnarius preface can be found here. There is a brief narrative on the neume designs used in the book, although it does not look comprehensive. The "new" neume designs are further developments that Solesmes has made to incorporate the essential information from the early manuscripts into a notation for use in singing editions. At one point I thought that these developments were a very very recent phenomenon, but then I took a look at Dom Gajard's 1934 Antiphonale Monasticum which first introduces the oriscus design into the Solesmes Editions! Solesmes' work in developing the best notation for the singing of chant did not end in 1908--it still continues today! I imagine that there will be a comprehensive guide for the interpretation of these neume designs in a future preface akin to the classic Liber Usualis guide to singing. The best way to go for now is to read Gregorian Semiology which describes the ancient neumes found in the Graduale Triplex which the new designs are based off of.

    2. They just give us information for a more nuanced singing of the chant. Again, they are a development of the work done in the 1908 Graduale, not a new creation.

    3. It is the current typical edition. Sacrosanctum Concilium 117 states:
    "The typical edition of the books of Gregorian chant is to be completed; and a more critical edition is to be prepared of those books already published since the restoration by St. Pius X."

    As I understand, Solesmes has already completed this work, it is just yet to be promulgated. I'm not sure why this is, but it seems that the mandate of SC should be fulfilled eventually, perhaps very soon.

    4. Sorry, I'm not quite sure what you're asking with this question...

    5. The intended audience is any and every Catholic worldwide who seeks to sing the current Liturgy of the Hours in Latin. It is the official hymnal for the hours in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite--the normative and official book for the singing of the hymns, invitatories and responsories of the Divine Office.
  • 4. Restate: I mean to say, there seem to be many chants in the LH that are freshly composed, and I guess I'm wondering why that is. Were there no older chants for those texts? Are the texts themselves new? (I am unfamiliar with the OF Liturgy of the Hours except in a very cursory way.)

    Thank you for your answering of my questions! Very helpful.
  • I'm not an expert on this subject, but I remembered reading a comment from William Mahrt on a previous thread... I just found it and here it is:

    I have a particular reservation about the Liber Hymnarius: it contains Latin hymns by some of the great hymnodists, St. Ambrose, Venantius Fortunatus, etc., a few by each of them, and then over forty by a certain Benedictine, Fr. Lentini, the editor of the Liber Hymnarius. I submit that the traditional repertory of hymns should have been the source of practically all of the hymns, with less recourse to the editor for his own compositions.


    Here's the complete thread
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    If I'm not mistaken, none of the music in the Liber Hymnarius is "freshly composed"; many texts are novel, but the editors had no choice in this matter, the texts having been arranged already for the (text only) Liturgia Horarum by the liturgical reformers, chiefly Fr. Lentini OSB who was a monk not of Solesmes but Montecassino. I don't believe Lentini can properly be called "the editor of the Liber Hymnarius," since the significance of the LH is mainly musical, and the most influential figure in its creation was (again, if I'm not mistaken) Dom Jean Claire of Solesmes.

    In the cases of the best known traditional hymns, textual changes represent (for the most part) a return to tradition, jettisoning the very regrettable humanistic revisions to the hymns that took place under Pope Urban VIII. For this reason alone the Liber Hymnarius is invaluable--given the choice, I'm not sure why anyone would opt to sing the versions of these old hymns as they appear in the Liber Usualis rather than the Liber Hymnarius.

    The slight melodic revisions (e.g. Conditor Alme Siderum, Lucis Creator Optime) strike me as definite improvements.

    As regards the new notation, it strikes me as a development in continuity with the notation of the Vaticana. It is a good thing to be able to identify a salicus, for example, more clearly--in the Vaticana notation it's scarcely distinguishable from a scandicus. No one need fuss too much about the "torculus initio debilis" unless they wish--just sing it as a normal torculus. Anyone familiar with the old notation can sing from the LH without difficulty.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,289
    Robert,

    Are the texts in Liber Hymnarius paired with their most traditional melodies? Is there an authoritative source for finding out which melodies pair with which texts?
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    Kathy,

    I don't really know much about this...I don't know the answer to your second question. As to the first question, it probably depends on what you mean by "traditional" (most familiar? most ancient?)...but I think the answer would be "not always."

    We were discussing the Liber Hymnarius version of Pange Lingua Gloriosi, Corporis in another thread and I mentioned that at least in this case the text seems not to be paired with its original melody. In most other cases, I suspect that we have no way of knowing for certain what the "original melody" of ancient hymns was because the texts predate the development of musical notation. Probably the Liber Hymnarius melodies are reconstructions from the earliest sources the editors had available to them.
  • mahrt
    Posts: 514
    What is interesting about the two hymns, Venantius's Pange lingua gloriosi praelium, and Thomas's Pange lingua gloriosi corporis, is that the same melodies were used for both hymns; i.e., the melody that we sing to Thomas''s hymn is found before Thomas for Venantius's hymn. This actually points to something more interesting: the text of Thomas's hymn is an imitation of that of Venantius. venantius's hymn narrates the story and then turns to the praise of the cross; Thomas's hymn narrates the story and then turns to the praise of the Eucharist. I think is it quite evident that Thomas was thinking in terms of the same melody for both hymns.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • dvalerio
    Posts: 341
    Concerning the texts of the hymns (OF vs. EF), there are two good texts on-line I am aware of about the issue:
    1) Shorter text: the first three paragraphs of chapter 1 of Dobszay's book The Bugnini Liturgy and the reform of the reform.
    2) Longer, more complete text: Part 4 of the Compendium of the Reforms of the Roman Breviary, posted at www.newliturgicalmovement.org.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    My understanding is there often is not one "authoritative" tune for a Gregorian hymn. Even until the time of Pius XII (and after that with a few hymns that were used most often) the texts of hymns were sung to different TUNES depending on the SEASON (!) Sounds like those people really had flexible musical memories! In any event, even Mocquereau and Pothier often disagreed on the "traditional" tune of a given office hymn. Look, for instance, at PATER SUPERNI LUMINIS (16th century?) in Mocquereau's books as opposed to Pothier's Vatican Edition. Different tunes....radically different modes! I would like to know who was responsible for setting the office hymns composed by Leo XIII.
  • Does anyone have any sources on how to sing the multiple new neumes listed in this book on page xii? Is there a general (googleable) name for these kind of neumes?
  • @bgeorge77

    Your best bet will probably be to reference "Gregorian Semiology" which gives descriptions of these neume types. The notations used are the early staffless ones which the new designs are based off of.

    Here is Cardine's table of the neumes found in St. Gall with their specific names as found in Gregorian Semiology.
  • bgeorge77
    Posts: 190
    Wait... why doesn't the Liber Hymnarius have any settings for the Salve Regina? I thought the LOH kept the Salve as a Marian Antiphon? (REALLY REALLY not familiar with the LOH.)
  • BGP
    Posts: 213
    The Liber Hymnarius contains hymns and some responsories, but not all of the music required for the LOH. The Salve Regina is sung at the end of Compline (it is not a Hymn). Settings would be in the books which are more complete for the office [(preVatII- 1912 Antiphonale Romanum also contained in the Liber Usualis, 1934 Antiphonale Monasticum, Office books of particular orders like the Dominicans)(Post Vat.II the new Antiphonale Monasticum there isn't yet a new Antiphonale Romanum for the LOH)]
  • dvalerio
    Posts: 341
    > I thought the LOH kept the Salve as a Marian Antiphon?

    It does. The Marian Antiphon during Easter Time is Regina coeli; during the rest of the year you can pick any of the following: Alma Redemptoris Mater; Ave Regina coelorum; Salve Regina; Ave Maria; Sub tuum praesidium. Sometimes there is a rubric recommending (but not imposing) one of these antiphons (e.g. Ave Regina Coelorum on August 14-15). Nothing prevents you from keeping the distribution of Marian Antiphons from the EF office when praying the OF office.
  • bgeorge77
    Posts: 190
    Another question: On page 604 of the Liber Hymnalis, there is the Gloria Patri in eight tones, with rather elaborate settings. Does anyone know the provenance or history of these settings? Are these settings to be used ad libitum where the other more typical Gloria Patri settings might be used?
  • dvalerio
    Posts: 341
    > there is the Gloria Patri in eight tones, with rather elaborate settings

    Really? And are they not found anywhere else? (i.e. they are not the solemn tones from the LU, etc.) If so, can anyone post them here?
  • bgeorge77
    Posts: 190
    There are solemn Gloria Patri settings in the LU? I thought there were just the regular ones that follow the Introit/Communio psalm tones. What page?
  • Simon
    Posts: 127
    Gloria Patri settings in the eight tones is found in the back of most Antiphonaries (Monastic or Roman rite). Used to conclude Responsoriae Prolixae - the greater responds (mostly found in the Matins repertoire - a Gloria Patri concludes the third or final respond in each nocturn in matins and follows the same formula as the verse in the Respond) for major feast days (sung after the capitulum in vespers or lauds for example).
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    Is the index of the Liber Hymnarius available? I have various collections of chants, and it would be nice to know what is actually in the book.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 434
    I know this is a old post, but I have a question. In this instance the chant for Te Joseph Celebrent list Hieronymus Casanate in the index. Is he the author or composer? Some sources for the text point to Fr. Juan Escollar (d.1700).
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,289
    The names in the index refer to text authors.
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,016
    @Don9of11

    Hymns of the Roman Liturgy, Connelly gives the following
    Author. Probably the Spanish Carmelite Juan de la Concepcion of the seventeenth century.

    Have taken the pages on Hymns for St. Joseph here,
    https://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/18812/saint-joseph-any-liturgical-scholars-out-there#Item_2
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 434
    @tomjaw

    There's a lot of wiggle room in "probably." Despite that, this is good information. Do you know if Fr. Juan Escollar is the Spanish Carmelite referred to as Juan de la Concepcion? I'm guessing that Concepcion was a church. The Liber Hymnarius would seem to suggest maybe an earlier time frame, or very near the same time frame. I guess it's not really known who the author is.
  • Felicia
    Posts: 51
    @Don9of11,

    Yes, Juan [de] Escollar or Escolar (his name appears in different ways) was also known by his name as a religious, Juan de la Concepción. (In my studies I've encountered the existence of two other Spanish religious named "Juan de la Concepción" during the post-Tridentine centuries who were not the same person.) You're correct about the attributions of "Te Joseph Celebrent" to both Casanate and Escollar; Escollar seems to be the favored attribution.

    If you read French, there's an article, "L'office de Saint Joseph et le hymne Te Joseph Celebrent" by André Wilmart, S. J. in Revue grégorienne, v. 11. no. 1 (Jan.-Fev. 1926), p.1-12. Unfortunately, 1926 is just recent enough that HathiTrust does not allow full-text access to this volume yet. (I obtained the article through interlibrary loan, with a warning against further duplication or transmission. Sorry about that.)

    Anyhow, Wilmart says that Escollar composed an office for the feast of the Patronage of St. Joseph, which the Carmelites observed on the third Sunday after Easter, which in included the hymns Te Joseph Celebrent, Caelitum Joseph, and iste quem laeti.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 434
    Thank you Felicia, wonderful information.
    --edit--
    I wanted to add that in this month's edition of National Catholic Register is an article, according to Lynn Boughton adjunct professor at the Liturgical Institute at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, says "By the mid-900s the liturgical calander contained a feast day of St. Joseph on March 19."

    So it would seem the feast day goes back quite aways.
  • Felicia
    Posts: 51
    Interesting, Don, that's the first time I had heard that. I'd like to learn more.

    From what I had learned from my own reading is that various rites and religious orders had devotions to St. Joseph in early and medieval times, but that the present-day feast on March 19 was established by Pope Sixtus Vi in the late 15th century. The feast of the Patronage of St. Joseph referred to in the above paragraph was specific to the Carmelites (St. Teresa of Avila was a big promoter of St. Joseph) and, perhaps, was more observed in the Spanish empire than elsewhere.
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 434
    @Felicia,
    I searched for the NCR article on their website but I couldn't find it. I contacted the editors and accordingly it won't be posted until this Friday for the Feast of St. Joseph. So if you keep an eye on the NCR website you can read the full article.
    Thanked by 1Felicia
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 434
    Here is the article from NCR that I referred to in my previous post
    https://www.ncregister.com/features/st-joseph-and-the-sacrifice-of-the-mass