Solfege with Transposed Chants
  • madorganist
    Posts: 620
    For those of you who practice on solfege, do you find it preferable to use syllables corresponding to the mode or what's actually printed? For example, with the mode II gradual from last Sunday, Angelis suis, or the Requiem gradual, do you begin on sol and end on la, or begin on do and end on re? With Mass I, do you begin and end the mode IV Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei on ti or mi?
  • We use a movable Do. Whatever line the Do Clef is on, that’s Do. So to answer your question regarding the gradual from last Sunday, we begin on sol.
    Thanked by 2madorganist CHGiffen
  • We use the solfege associated with the clef, so for Angelis suis we would use SOL as the starting pitch. Similarly, if we are using solfege with polyphony, we would use the key signature as the DO (so a key of a minor and C major would both have a DO of C). We do a fair amount of chant alternated against polyphony, so over time the expectation is for choir members to use solfege to connect through the transitions.

    There may be an occasion where a transposition occurs between Gradual and Alleluia / Tract... where we read the DO clef as a FA clef or vice versa. An example might be if our ending pitch of the Gradual (DO clef) is SOL and we are transitioning to an Alleluia (in mode 2 FA clef, say) with a starting pitch of DO... in which case the DO of the new key might be the SOL of the old key. In that case, we may demonstrate the correspondence of the old modal scale to the new modal scale... but typically that is only long enough to demonstrate the transposition.
    Thanked by 1madorganist