When in the course of pointing psalm text...
  • Just curious as I’ve never really seen it properly explained.

    Psalm tones are for the verses. But does one just improvise or “simple tone” (or more appropriately termed-compose) the melody for the repeated response? Or is it to be taken from a smaller “chunk” (for lack of a better term) of the psalm tones?


    PS. My practice has been to use the tones for verses (typically Meinrad) and compose the repeated response melody fittingly.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,298
    That sounds like a good practice, though various composers take their own approaches. The variety of psalm settings offered on the Chabanel Psalms website, for example, shows some of the range of styles that can be brought to the task.
  • You mention improvising a simple tone for the responsory.
    Such improvising is a preferable thing to do, unless one has written or composed it.
    However, it is the cantor's verses that should be more elaborate than the people's responsory. If you are able to 'improvise' or compose, it is the verses which should receive the greater benefit of your talents, each verse having its own distinct at least semi-elaborate melody. Psalm tones, whether Gregorian, Meinrad, or other, are not intended for the soloists of responsorial chant. They are not solo chant. They are, historically, intended for congregations of monks or others to sing the entire psalmody of the office together, in unison.

    This is an interesting subject, one which we have had varied discussions about before.
    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,974
    . the cantor's verses . should be more elaborate than the people's responsory
    Certainly seems logical, but rarely seen. Fr Weber's fourth setting for the Propers is about the only example I know. Definitely not a property of GR, or even of GS.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,106
    Other possible examples are the so-called "Advent Prose" or the Sibylline "Juizio forte". Here's one previous discussion and a follow up with examples of elaborate cantor verses .
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Thanks for mentioning the Advent Prose.
    It and the Lenten Prose, while they are not psalmody, are responsorial forms and are excellent examples of what form, at a minimum, responsorial psalmody of the mass should take.