Proper way to sing the Graduale Alleluia and Kyrie IX?
  • Jz00533
    Posts: 28
    What is the typical alteration between cantor/choir for a Gregorian Alleluia according to Extraordinary Form?

    Also, while singing Kyrie IX (Cum Jubilo), how do you alternate between one cantor/choir with the astericks as well as the double bars in mind? I am slightly confused on how this works.
  • We do:

    Cantor: sings the world "Alleluia"
    Choir: repeats the word Alleluia and continues to the end of the melisma.
    Cantor: sings the verse alone
    Choir: joins in at the asterisk (usually on the last word)
    Choir: re-sings the Alleluia

    Kyrie:
    we do men/women (choir 1, choir 2) alternating.
    Men: Kyrie eleison
    Women: Kyrie eleison
    Men: Kyrie eleison
    Women: Christe eleison
    Men: Christe eleison
    Women: Christe eleison
    Men: Kyrie eleison
    Women: Kyrie eleison
    Men: Kyrieeeee*
    Women: eeeeeeeee**
    Everyone: eeeeeee eleison

    At the last bit, it's "choir 1 * choir 2 ** both"
  • Jz00533
    Posts: 28
    Thanks!! When the choir repeats the alleluia the final time, is it the entire think until the end of the melisma?

    Also, how is this to be interpreted:
    When the Verse
    is finished, the cantor or cantors repeat the Alleluia, and the full choir sings only the closing neum.

    (Taken from the 1961 Liber Usualis).
  • Catherine -

    Ha! I especially like what you do on the 'eeeeeeeee...' sections. We do this at Walsingham on Mary days. Our congregation has it down to a 'T'. Seriously, this is difficult to do without lapsing into an awful nasal 'eeeeeeeeeee', or an equally bad aye-eeeee. It's best sung as a nicely rounded extended 'eh' sound with just a tad of 'ay' at the very very end.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,839
    Cantor or Cantors: sings the world "Alleluia" UP TO THE STAR
    Choir: repeats the word Alleluia and continues to the end of the melisma.
    Cantor or Cantors: sings the verse alone
    Choir: joins in at the asterisk (usually on the last word)
    Choir: re-sings the Alleluia,
    N.B. In some places they follow the instruction in the Liber (Advent 1) that the Cantor/s sing up to the star and the full choir comes in at the star.

    Kyrie:
    we do Cantors / Choir (congregation) alternating. Usually we have male Cantors.
    Cantors: Kyrie eleison
    Choir: Kyrie eleison
    Cantors: Kyrie eleison
    Choir: Christe eleison
    Cantors: Christe eleison
    Choir: Christe eleison
    Cantors: Kyrie eleison
    Choir: Kyrie eleison
    Cantor: Kyrieeeee* or Cantor 1
    Cantors: eeeeeeeee** or Cantor 2
    Choir: eeeeeee eleison
  • JZ - when we go back to sing the word Alleluia for the last time (after the verse) we all sing together straight through, from the A all the way to they end of the melisma.

    But see the N.B. in Tomjaw's post...
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Jz00533
    Posts: 28
    Thanks for all the help!

    What is the purpose of the asterisk after the first Kyrie if it is only to be sung by one choir/cantor? I’ve always wondered this.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,839
    Recordings may help, see here, http://www.gregorianbooks.com/propers.html

  • usually in the Liber Usualis the asterisk is used like this:

    Lalala if you are dividing the singing this is the part the cantor(s) is/are singing * now the rest of the choir joins in.

    Sometimes a cantor intones the first word to establish the tone, for instance.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 275
    In this age of unprecedented printing abilities, we do the following:

    Alleluia as described, except the people join in on the first repeat of the alleluia up to the *.

    Kyrie alternating choir/people, with men vs. women in choir chosen to taste. Congregation joins in for the final **.
  • N.B. In some places they follow the instruction in the Liber (Advent 1) that the Cantor/s sing up to the star and the full choir comes in at the star.

    That is not something the Liber made up, it is from the instructions in the Graduale that say "Finito versu, Cantor vel Cantores repetunt Alleluia et Chorus addit solum neuma."
  • I've often wondered if the Kyrie should not be sung either Cantor or Choir singing 'Kyrie/Christe' but 'eleison' being sung by everyone else. It's noticeable that this is often the same music (or substantially the same music albeit sometimes at a different pitch) whatever happens in the (possible) Cantor/Choir part which would suggest 'mass' participation. The same system could be applied to the 'Agnus Dei'. Does anyone do it that way and/or is there a tradition of it being done like this? I ask as someone merely interested in chant rather than someone obliged to do things in a certain manner.