Gregorian music in Finale software for transposing and accompaniment?
  • As choirmaster of a Gregorian choir (as we call it) and not a trained organist, nor being able to transpose by sight, I put all the music in the Finale program so I can transpose it to fit the choir.
    I feel many must have done this, but cannot find anything anywhere.
    Is anyone aware of a collection of Plain chant available as Finale files?
    Mostly I use the organ accompaniments by Flor Peeters which are probably too recent to be made public by me, although they are all online at ccwatershed.
    Any ideas about this?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,525
    Welcome to the forum!

    I'm not so sure that many have done this: you may be doing some useful work that hasn't been done before.
  • Gamba
    Posts: 118

    Thank you for your contributions to the Liturgy. If I may be so bold – I believe you will eventually find it possible to accompany the choir directly from the Graduale – from just the melody. Since the four-line chant notation does not indicate specific pitches, but only intervals in relation to Do/Ut or Fa, I personally find it easier to transpose the chant accompaniment to another key when playing from the Graduale, rather than from a written-out accompaniment (e.g. Peeters). Then I only have to read one line, rather than the four parts in an organ accompaniment.

    Perhaps you might find this a more effecient solution than the long and difficult work of inputting chants into Finale. You could practice this by playing over Peeters’ harmonization of a given chant, then playing that harmonization while looking only at the melody, noticing especially how the cadences are made in that mode. Then try it in another key, still watching the melody and thinking about the cadences. Then go on to another chant in the same way, perhaps in another mode, and get used to how that feels, and thus become accustomed to that style of harmony, and soon you’ll be good to go.
  • Thank you for your advice. As good as it is, I feel I need to be really sure to accompany the choir 100% safely. Having a ready score helps as I need to focus on the choir as well. I could well get used to playing from the melody itself and I wil certainly try. But for now this is my best solution. Again: I'm not just playing, but guiding (hardly conducting) the choir as well.

    Also, finding the right harmonies is quite difficult and very much open to discussion. I really like what Peeters has done and so does the choir. It uplifts their singing a lot.

    I'm convinced chant was often accompanied, even though the catholic church established it was not. But how it was accompanied, I don't think we know a lot about this. So finding my way in this, Peeters for now is an incredibly happy find and an excellent support for the choir.
    Thanked by 1roy2