two-part plain song
  • Hello,

    I'm new on this forum; it was suggested that I join and ask the following question. Perhaps you can offer some ideas. I am a jazz pianist/music college professor, and a Catholic convert since Easter Vigil 2014. I love sacred music and Gregorian chant; my parish does not, for the most part. I have found a fellow parishioner who would like to join me in quietly singing in front of the Blessed Sacrament. We will begin this Friday, by chanting the rosary in Gregorian chant form. Are there any two-part chants or other sacred music pieces that you know of that we might try? I love Palestrina, Allegri, all of the great composers of sacred music from around the early Renaissance era. But simple chants would also be wonderful. Thank you!

    Best wishes
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,481

    I think a great chant resource is the "Parish Book of Chant." The free pdf is here: but it is not expensive and great to have in book form. Pages 170-210 would be appropriate.

    You could also look for a two part version of the St. Gregory Hymnal. Here they have music listed according to use (i.e. Eucharistic hymns...)

    If you do a search of this forum threads like this one come up:

    Another option is to sing one of the Liturgy of the Hours for the day.

    What you are planning sounds wonderful.

  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,241
    Canticum Novum is a collection of 2-part music in Latin by Rev. Carlo Rossini
  • A lovely collection of short two-part motets would be the Cantiones Duarum Vocum by Orlandus Lassus. This is a set of twelve two-page-long motets for two equal voices. The texts are not eucharistic, but are scriptural. You will love them.

    Don't overlook 'All Praise to Thee, My God, This Night' set to Tallis' Canon (which is a canon or a round) at no. 165 in The Hymnal 1940. Any long metre text may be sung to this canon, including the following eucharistic ones: 'My God, Thy Table Now Is Spread', & 'O Saving Victim, Opening Wide'.
  • Thank you so much, canadash, Irishtenor, and M. Jackson Osborn, for your help!! I appreciate your thoughtful answers. I've also just discovered the website, My fellow parishioner and I are both sopranos, so the Cantiones Duarum Vocum may be very nice to try. Thanks again!
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,536
    If I were taking on a similar-voice project right now it would be certainly be the Magnus Liber Organi.
  • Good for you, a wonderful project! have a feeling that soon you will have more than two voices :-)

    in the meantime, you might check out and do a Multi-Category Search on sacred music, two part choral. let us know how you go!
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    If you aren't involved in a Sunday choir yet, you could get in touch with music director Richard Clark at St. Cecilia's, Michael Olbash at St. Adelaide (Peabody), or Jeremy Bruns at St. Paul in Cambridge.

    Welcome to the forum!
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,866
    I think it would be fine to do chant in unison.
    But if you're really looking for what the heading says, you might want to look here:

    A collection of polyphony for the confraternity of St Barbara at the Corbie Abbey. Amiens, Bibliothèque Centrale Louis Aragon, MS 162 D

    These are chant harmonizations, in 2 and 3 parts, in note-against-note style.

  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    The polyphony from Amiens looks really fun! Thanks for that.
    Thanked by 1Jeffrey Quick
  • Thank you, Richard, mmeladirectress, chonak, Jeffrey, Chaswjd, and Heath! Wow, what abundance! Just one question for mmeladirectress, or anyone who may have an answer: I am new to I did the search as you had suggested, mmeladirectress, clicked on Salve Regina, CPDL#02418, editor Abel Di Marco. When I clicked on the Website icon next to the title, which was the only icon available, I was brought to a page with the message, "this page can't be found." It seems that all of Abel Di Marco's posts bring me to that same page. CPDL Help suggestions were that I might need a software. Any thoughts? Thank you all so much again!
  • Hmmm... I've used Di Marco's site in the past, but I think something changed and not all links work.

    I found this bulletin board at CPDL which I think will be helpful...
    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,943
    Unfortunately, the entire contents of the Abel di Marco website have recently vanished without explanation. I brought this attention to the other administrators at CPDL, and we are attempting to contact Fr. di Marco about it, but it may take some time to get a resolution of this matter.

    Charles Giffen
    President, CPDL
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,062
    Some of Fr di Marco's pages are on the wayback machine, here. But without the organising info it's not easy to find stuff.
    If you try that route, you click on the title, it gives you a calendar with dates on which the wayback machine captured the page, and then you click on a highlighted date.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,943
    I'm aware of the wayback machine and the problem of utilizing it without adequate organising information. CPDL is hoping for a better solution that will make the Abel di Marco editions (approximately 500 or so) available for direct download.

    Thanked by 2a_f_hawkins tomjaw
  • Thank you, Incardination, CHGiffen, and a_f_hawkins, for your thoughtful replies. It looks like there's a mystery here. Thank you CHGiffen, for CPDL and all the work you're doing! As for my humble endeavor, I'll begin with the Parish Book of Chant, and go from there. Best wishes ~
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • If you decide to focus on chant, but want two parts, simple organum is nice to add at certain sections of many chant hymns. As mentioned above, the Parish Book of Chant is very nice. The Cantus Selecti and Cantus Varii books (available for download at our website) also have many nice options.