St. Jean de Brebeuf hymnal and original chant melodies?
  • ldknutson
    Posts: 14
    We just received our copy of the new hymnal, many thanks to JO for this great achievement! It is a treasure for sure. Just wondering, and I may be missing something completely obvious, but why are the original Latin chant melodies of the hymns not included, except for Pange Lingua? The Latin text is provided with explanation of metered tunes to choose from, but what of the original melody? Is it presumed that congregations/singers already know these, or that there be another pew missal that it be coupled with? Is it a discrepancy in the original melodies themselves, the current debacle over notation, etc? Interested to learn more on this.

    My favorite aspect of the hymnal is the Stations of the Cross at the end! VERY USEFUL! Will promote.

    +AMDG
  • There are some instructions in the beginning of the book and in #6 it addresses this exact point. It says that these are chants that are already so widely available in many other books that it’s not aiming to reproduce what can very easily be found in other publications. The Brébeuf Hymnal is focused on metrical english hymns that the congregation will be able to sing well and contains hymns that are not widely available elsewhere. Here is a quote from the book:

    “For parishes wishing to incorporate Latin, as mandated by the Second Vatican Council (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, §36), we include many Latin hymns. They can be sung to metrical tunes or plainsong settings. Some believe plainsong hymnody is better performed by the choir alone, since large congregations often lack the requisite fluidity. When this is done, the congregation should utilize the “Assistance in comprehension,” printed opposite the Latin. Plainsong settings do not belong in our book, since they are abundant in the Liber Usualis, Cantus Selecti, Parish Book of Chant, Liber Hymnarius, Cantus Varii, Liber Antiphonarius, and so on.”

    Hope that helps!
  • Gamba
    Posts: 105
    I want to get excited about SJBH, but I just can’t. Why does anyone need eight or so different metric melodies cribbed from assorted other hymns, paired with each translation, and yet no plainchant setting is provided?

    The way so many previous hymnals (A&M, EH/NEH, 1940, 1982, LBW) dealt with this was more than adequate – picking one solid and beautiful translation, then printing a version with the plainchant melody, and then another on the neighboring page with one well-chosen “modern” tune. For anyone who truly needed to pair another tune with the text, it could be done by simply finding a tune with the matching meter. So many more hymns or chants could have been fit into the SJBH on the pages now occupied by reprinting the same common-meter tunes over and over again with different texts, without a care for the associations congregations eventually make between tune and text.

    How many books is a parish supposed to buy? SJBH, plus both the Lumen Christi Missal and Hymnal for readings and plainchant hymns? SJBH plus PBC plus disposable or permanent missalette?

  • I’m happy to have a copy for reference. It makes an excellent academic reference. I wouldn’t be happy to have it in the pews, personally. I also am interested in how the soft-touch finish on the cover will hold up over time. It looked a mess after my using the book for just a few min.

    Neat book, though.

    Marc
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • RMSawicki
    Posts: 40
    And Gamba....

    "Regent Square" as a tune for the Pange Lingua?

    Seriously?

    I am trying to carefully study and analyze this hymnal with the hope that I will see the wisdom behind some of these decisions.

    Gaudete in Domino Semper!
  • I've always been a fan of WESTMINSTER ABBEY for Tantum Ergo... At a nice, stately clip.

    Although in its original form, as a jubilant "Hallelujah" tag, it is perhaps most effective.
  • Gamba - I do not believe these hymns can be found in other hymnals. Some perhaps, but many are not. We sang some of these at past Sacred Music Symposiums and the melodies are absolutely sublime. Don’t think you’re going to find these in other hymnals. I simply cannot emphasize enough how inspired these melodies are.

    And Gregorian plainchant isn’t really for congregational singing anyway so there is no need for congregations to necessarily have them. However, the chant hymns that can be handled well by congregations such as Pange Lingua are, I believe, in this hymnal.

    I think you can safely trust the scholarship behind this hymnal. It’s solid. Even if you aren’t sure why some things are the way they are I can guarantee you the committee of musical experts behind it is not only solidly Catholic, they are incredibly knowledgeable about Catholic hymnody. :)
  • Gregorian plainchant isn’t really for congregational singing anyway


    ?


  • Gamba
    Posts: 105
    Don’t think you’re going to find these in other hymnals. I simply cannot emphasize enough how inspired these melodies are.


    I was a proofreader for the hymnal. I know whereof I speak.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,959
    Gregorian plainchant isn’t really for congregational singing anyway

    ?

    Adding my own ... ?
    Or perhaps ... ??
    (to the sentence in red, especially in the context of Gregorian-plainchant hymns)
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • Sure, some florid Propers might not be exceptionally suited for congregational participation, but the genre as a whole?

    If Gregorian Ordinaries aren't for congregational singing, with their straightforward syllabic lines, then what music possibly could be?
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Liam
  • Clarification: melismatic plainchant. It doesn’t flow well in congregational singing.

    If you proof read and have looked carefully at it, I’m sure you’ll agree the scholarship is excellent.
  • Gamba
    Posts: 105
    In places.
  • Clarification: melismatic plainchant. It doesn’t flow well in congregational singing.


    Calling Julie Coll.…… or Stimson.....Or Jackson, for that matter.

    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • MarkB
    Posts: 114
    A melismatic Kyrie sung by the entire congregation is definitely within the ability of virtually every parish and sounds exquisite. Take Kyrie Orbis Factor, for example. Many people love it when they hear it sung, and to be part of a large assembly singing it together is a transcendent experience.

    What is lacking in many places is the will to do it.
    Thanked by 3Liam Salieri kevinf
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,222
    Yes, indeed.

    My congregation sing several melismatic chants: Kyries VIII, XI, XVII A & B, Sancti VIII & XVII, and the Alleluia and its jubilus of "Alleluia: Dies sanctificatus", and they sing them quite well.

    My biggest qualm about this is (and perhaps this should be on the other thread): how long will this hymnal even stay in print before it goes the way of the Vatican II Hymnal, etc., and a completely new book comes out?
    Thanked by 1ncicero
  • ncicero
    Posts: 8
    My biggest qualm about this is (and perhaps this should be on the other thread): how long will this hymnal even stay in print before it goes the way of the Vatican II Hymnal, etc., and a completely new book comes out?


    My thoughts exactly. I'd like to know who the entire editorial committee was as well- I can't find it anywhere in the book and that seems a little fishy to me. From my understanding, the VII Hymnal was Jeff Ostrowski's work alone, and IMO was part of the reason for its demise- it wasn't run by enough diverse opinions before being released. I'm hoping the case is different here, but some of the quirky things in the SJB hymnal seem to be very J.O. in nature as well. Not that that's a bad thing. I just think a project like this would be much better received and mainstreamed if it had more input from more people.