Word Painting in Gregorian Chant
  • MarkB
    Posts: 205
    I think many readers here will appreciate this article:
    https://onepeterfive.com/word-painting-gregorian-chant/

  • Many thanks for this.
    It is well written and beautifully done.
  • ARod77
    Posts: 5
    This article illustrates the incredible depth and beauty of Gregorian chant so well. Thank you for sharing it. Chant has always been so fascinating for me and it is painful to know that many Catholics do not appreciate it at all or know nothing about this treasure of the Church. If only we had the ability to put this kind of information directly into peoples' brains...
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,820
    This article is written from a temporal and linguistic perspective oriented toward the Novus Ordo. We elected to publish it as an introduction to a musical subject that may be more comprehensible to those of our readers less musically inclined from an English-language standpoint.
    I am so very glad the writing goes uphill from this introduction, which might be discouraging to some of the intended audience from an English-language standpoint.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • MarkB
    Posts: 205
    I had a hard time figuring out what that introduction meant, and I'm still not sure. Like you, I'm glad I delved into the article.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 169
    It really is interesting. Not unfamiliar to me, but really nicely explained and with great examples. I do think there is an enormous lack of general 'formation' and bridge building with regard to chant. That is, I know a number of people who aren't really sure how to relate to it, and yet are given no orientation. For instance, the schola is singing something...can I sing along? How about now? Wow, this one is not in my Missal, so I'll just mumble along...am I supposed to sing? Or just watch? It's kind of like a concert...what are they saying anyway? Why don't they sing hymns? I can sing along with hymns. That guy with the deep voice sings really well. Why does the conductor keep waving his arms in circles? (etc - I really had a guy come up to me after Mass once and ask "So, why does that one guy keep waving his hands? What's that for?" I explained it helped us sing together like one voice, so we knew how fast to sing. He was fascinated. It had never occurred to him.)

    If there is orientation, formation, and enthusiastic 'catechism' around chant, you are likely to get more buy-in from the congregation and the priest(s). This kind of article (above) is a great one for learning to appreciate how the chant is a beautiful prayer.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,701
    lack of general 'formation' and bridge building with regard to chant.


    Worst part of that is that most Catholic 'choir directors' haven't a clue about Chant, and can't be bothered with the rudiments of Latin, either.

    While the examples given in the 'word-painting' essay are nice, they are a LOT better in the original Latin, with the rhythm marks available. He certainly did a great job in pointing out "high" passages v. "low" passages, and the length afforded certain words (and their connection to the OTHER words with similar melodic figure in the same Chant). Good stuff.
  • Worst part of that is that most Catholic 'choir directors' haven't a clue about Chant, and can't be bothered with the rudiments of Latin, either.


    Present company, of course, excepted.
    Thanked by 2Elmar tomjaw
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,701
    But of course!