Identifying Magnificat tone
  • tsoapm
    Posts: 77
    Hello,

    Our bishop is visiting, and a decision was made to sing Vespers (nice idea on paper): the rest of the choir has the tone for the Magnificat basically memorised, but all I have to go on is the attached and a recording of the rest of the choir.

    As you can see, the text has no useful pointing, just the asterisks, which are easy enough to work out anyway. From what I understand, the tone as written was done by ear by the maestro of another choir, not available for comment. I’m not sure whether it’s meant to be based around speech stresses or just the final syllables.

    Is it at all possible that someone can recognise the tone jotted out and point me in the direction of a more rationally annotated version? I know that the psalm tones I've seen in the past have accent markings above them, for example.

    Many thanks
  • The bottom section is 8G, should be with one sharp.

    SOL-LA-DO = Incipit; RE-DO = Mediant; DO-TI-DO-LA-SOL = Termination.

    In 2 sharps (as it appears to be written?), it will still work, it is just a transposition:

    DO-RE-FA = Incipit; SOL-FA = Mediant; FA-MI-FA-RE-DO = Termination.

    In Latin, you would have two options - the Simple tone or the Solemn tone. These are pp 212 and 218 respectively in the Liber Usualis that you can download from CMAA.

    Whichever tone you choose, the successive verses would typically have an incipit vs. starting on the dominant / reciting tone as is standard for the canticles.

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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 757
    The bottom section seems to be 8G from the Graduale Simplex, eg p301. In the GS version all verses are sung in the same way, (except for the Gloria Patri, the repeat at sicut erat omits the first note) NB it's one syllable per note all through.
  • tsoapm
    Posts: 77
    That’s great, thank you both. ☺ With any luck I can just mark the appropriate number of accents in the text then. Vediamo...
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 757
    The other question ¿speech stresses or just final syllables? you may be able to tell from the recording. FWIW, in English Paul F Ford uses speech stresses and adapts as seen in #363 of By Flowing Waters, but then English is more difficult with its abundance of final stressed syllables.
  • tsoapm
    Posts: 77
    Yes; the trouble is that Italian is always going to be a second language for me - I don't think I'm ever going to be able to feel my way through a psalm/canticle in Italian as intuitively as the rest of my choir. The terminations shouldn't be too much of a challenge though, as trochee endings are extreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeemely prevalent in Italian, with final stressed syllables essentially always marked even in normal prose.