American Gradual 2020: Draft
  • Hi everyone,

    I’ve been working with Bruce Ford to typeset an update of The American Gradual (TAG), an adaptation of the chants from the 1974 Graduale Romanum to English. The translation intends to complement the 1979 Book of Common Prayer’s “Rite II”, which roughly compares to the language in the modern Roman Missal’s English translation and thus fits well with that ritual also.

    TAG’s original edition was issued in 5-line notation. While Bruce’s intent is eventually to issue such a version for this updated edition, the immediately forthcoming publication uses conventional 4-line chant notation. The work will be made available both in print and as a freely downloadable PDF.

    Before it goes to print, we’d like to invite as many as possible to look this edition over and offer feedback: typos, citation errors, formatting/layout quirks, etc.:

    https://americangradual.org/ag/introit_offertory_communion_2019_12_27T20_08_59Z.pdf

    I found the original TAG invaluable in my last position as parish music director, and I am excited to have been a part of this updated edition.

    Thank you in advance!
  • The engraving is truly elegant, and why not red staff lines? For those who download and print, 99% will be all black: what a pity. Also a great idea to put those most used, Introit, Offertory, Communion in one volume, and the less often used in another. Perhaps at some point a volume containing all of the texts could be of great use for those who prepare worship aids.
    Thanked by 1Felipe Gasper
  • It would be nice if the actual ℣ and ℟ characters could be used, instead of V. and R.

    Otherwise looks excellent. I previously shied away from TAG in favour of Palmer/Burgess mainly because of the five-line notation, so it'll be nice to have the option of either in four-line notation moving forwards.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,123
    I quickly turned to the Mandatum antiphons, which have disappeared. Happy to see Juxta vestibulum, though!

    The bar lines are welcome, though I still think a period between verses is warranted in Lent III's Passer invenit (which has "abd" for "and").

    My ringbinder AG has lots of extra Communion verses penciled in, and it would be nice to have some spares in the new one, even if unpointed. The numbering issues I've previously raised seem not to have been addressed.
  • Heath
    Posts: 861
    Well done!

    One comment: Do all that you can to keep an entire chant on the same page. For instance, on p. 7 (p. 25 of the PDF) I think you could just push the first line of "Dicite pusillanimes" onto the next page. Those page turns (or having to print out multiple pages for e-editions) can be a real annoyance. You may add 20-30 pages to the book, but well worth it in the long run.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,455
    We've been using this for a couple of months now. EXCELLENT. Thank you. It really fills a need!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,455
    Oh, if I may. Could you include page numbers? Sometimes I need to print single pages and this would be helpful.
    Thanked by 1Richard Mix
  • Hi all,

    Sorry, I didn’t have alerts on for this thread. Responses to follow.
  • @Roborgelmeister: We could make the downloadable PDF have red staff lines. Would that be advantageous?

    The graduals & alleluias will follow in another edition; however, bear in mind that there is no “alius cantus aptus” provision in GIRM for the interlectionary chants; thus, I believe that, absent a bishop’s explicit approval, it would be illicit to use English adaptations of those chants in the Mass.
  • @Schönbergian: Re ℣ and ℟: will do. Thank you for the suggestion!
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • @Heath: I would love to know a way to make Gregorio avoid page turns—at least for the cases where there’s only 1 staff after the page break. I’ll see what I can find.
  • @canadash: There are page numbers at the top outer corner of each page.
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • roemermt
    Posts: 1
    Is the clef on page 95 incorrect? It looks different than the 5 line staff version.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,229
    Hello Felipe! This is a great thing you are doing, I still have the old edition on my computer. I would just add my .02 about red staff lines. I would think that in printing, some users would only have a B&W printer, and the red lines may come out as grey, and may be hard to read. I suppose that could be tested.
    Thanked by 2chonak GerardH
  • marymezzomarymezzo
    Posts: 188
    Bumping this thread to learn the current status of the project.
  • davido
    Posts: 291
    yes, I am also wondering status
  • I can honestly say that there is no Schadenfreud here, but why does it always take an Anglican to do these sorts of things. Not a single Catholic chant scholar, of international stature or otherwise, has so much as thought seriously of taking on this desperately needed project. Our unbounded thanks to Bruce Ford - and to our Forum member Felipe Gaspar, who was instrumental in realising the chant notation edition. This will fill a need for those who would use an English adaptation of Graduale Romanum but have reservations about the Old Church English of the Palmer-Burgess version. The scholarship, dedication, and skill which brought The American Gradual to fruition are without peer. Such efforts are borne of a deep and abiding love of our liturgical heritage - and a compelling sense of duty to preserve it.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,628
    MJO: I happen to know of two people who are doing some adaptations: A seminarian in Boston who is adapting the Graduals and Alleluias of the "Chants Abgrégés", and I am currently adapting the melismatic Graduals to English. It is being done; it's just slow work.
  • Congratulations and bravo, Salieri.
    But is anyone engaged on the entire GR as Bruce Ford has done? I even on several occasions put this matter to a preeminent Catholic chant scholar (whom many others here knew and who shall out of respect remain anonymous) whom I respected highly and counted as a friend and it went in one ear and out the other.
    In fact, now that we have Palmer-Burgess and Bruce Ford, the work has been done. It's all already there - Introits, Graduals, Alleluias, Offertories, Communions - everything is now there for us.

    P.S. - I look forward to seeing your adaptations of the Graduals when you have completed them. They will surely be sensitively executed.
    Thanked by 2Salieri CHGiffen
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,628
    The problem is that the Graduale Propers are a moot point until ALL missalette, hand-Missal, and hymnal publishers are FORCED to include them in their publications. One of the problems in the non-Ordinariate world is the insistence by some priests that everything come from the missalette du jour, textually and/or musically. This is an hindrance to the restoration of music in the Roman Rite; the other is that the Money Changers (aka "Finance Council") are willing to cough-up money for just about everything except music, this makes the purchasing of books and even the printing of participation aids nigh impossible.

    Now, as far as the "problem" with setting the Missal antiphons, particularly in re. Fr. Weber's "Propers", this is a bit of a fallacy.

    Firstly, ALL of the Offertory Responsories in Fr. Weber's book are from the Gradual, since the Missal does not contain them.

    Second, in a quick perusal of the "Processional" published by the Society of St. Gregory (UK), which includes all of the antiphon texts for the Introit, Offertory, and Communion from both the Gradual AND Missal, about 98% of the Missal Entrance Chants ARE the Introits of the Graduale. This is true, also, of Weber's "Propers", Fr. Kelly's, et al.

    The greatest disparity is with Communion Antiphons. While many, particularly during the Seasons, are also from the Gradual, during Ordinary Time, many often are not. This is a two-edged sword. The problem of the Ordo Cantus Missae is that it redistributes the chants of the 1961 Gradual for the new calendar, a further problem is that the 1974 Gradual is a private publication of Solesmes, and so leaves out certain "Neo-Gregorian" pieces. The result of this is that, combined with the three-year Lectionary, the links that *used to* exist between the Communion and the Gospel do not exist, and in some years, certain Communions from the Gradual appear very odd and out of place within the context of the rest of the Sunday formulary. The more general Ordinary Time Communion Antiphons from the Missal, usually taken from Psalm 33(34) or 118(119), are then a welcome alternative---and if one is insistent that only texts from the Gradual be sung, one would substitute one of the Ad. Libitum Eucharistic Antiphons listed in the Gradual.

    What I think would complete a volume such as Weber's would be an addendum with the handful of Graduale chants which differ from those of the Missal.

    For what it's worth: I almost always use Weber; but if the Gradual lists a specific chant for a certain year of the Lectionary, I use Bartlett's "Simple English Propers", which only set the Graduale texts.
  • Thanks for the review, Salieri -
    I know too well what many if not most serious Catholic musicians are up against and I laud their talent, patience, dedication, and efforts, and share their suffering. Dealing with invincible ignorance and institutionalised mediorcity is not just frustrating - it is literally maddening. When, however, I write about these matters I have mostly in mind those (and they do exist here and there) who have sane pastors and are able at least to approach the glory that is inherent in the Roman rite, whether OF or EF. Not that I don't wish encouragement and enlightenment to those not so blessed - I address them as well, and pray for them every day. The ideal may indeed be 'out of reach' for many - but it mustn't be unthought of, much less thought unattainable.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,342
    Lulu is offering a 10% discount on printed books this week. The coupon code is LULUFAM10, valid through Oct. 16, 2020.
  • Thanks for the lulu link and coupon code. Just ordered.
  • One of the problems in the non-Ordinariate world is the insistence by some priests that everything come from the missalette du jour, textually and/or musically. This is an hindrance to the restoration of music in the Roman Rite;

    I've experienced this as well. Very frustrating. There's a reason I've increasingly turned to worship aids whenever possible the last 5 or so years.

    The problem of the Ordo Cantus Missae is that it redistributes the chants of the 1961 Gradual for the new calendar, a further problem is that the 1974 Gradual is a private publication of Solesmes, and so leaves out certain "Neo-Gregorian" pieces. The result of this is that, combined with the three-year Lectionary, the links that *used to* exist between the Communion and the Gospel do not exist, and in some years, certain Communions from the Gradual appear very odd and out of place within the context of the rest of the Sunday formulary.


    Bingo. The same is true for some of the other chants, such as a week ago when we had a (seemingly) odd chant about Job at offertory that had no apparent link to any of the readings or other chants. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) I also wonder why certain chants were chosen for certain weeks. Sometimes the follow the gradual, sometimes they don't. Then some modern editions prefer missal "chants" over graduale chants, and the whole thing makes for a confusing mess, especially if you reference more than one resource. Some editions only set year A or option i, and not the others, so if you're trying to genuinely follow the 3 year cycle it's quite difficult. Then there's the issue of the graduals themselves; heaven help you if you'd prefer to sing those (in english) rather than a responsorial psalm. It's a real headache and I don't like it.
    Thanked by 2Salieri rich_enough
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,628
    The Irony of the Job Offertory vis-a-vis the Ordo Cantus Missae:

    Job is the Offertory on Sunday OT XVII, because that whole Mass comes from 21st Sunday After Pentecost--there was no real link with the readings then either, but the 'tone' of the Mass was much more somber (cf. Gueranger Liturgical Year).

    Passages from Job are read as the Ferial Readings of Week 26, Year II, in the Lectionary, but OCM does not list the Job Offertory as an option at for those feriae.
    ----
    Now, as I prepare for this coming Sunday (I have been putting a "meditation" on the Propers in the Bulletin for the past few weeks), I decided to look for the Propers for OT. XXIX in the OCM: here are the sources:

    Introit: Ego clamavi: Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent, GR 1961.
    Gradual: Salvum fac populum: Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent, GR 1961.
    Alleluia: Lauda, anima: from OCM--restitution from ancient sources, not in 1961 GR.
    Offertory: Meditabor: Second Sunday of Lent, GR 1961.
    Communion: Domine, Dominus noster: Monday of the Second Week of Lent, GR 1961.

    Habemus Problem.
  • Heath
    Posts: 861
    Serviam, the Vir Erat has always been such a head-scratcher for me, too. (I never use it any more)

    From 11 years ago on this forum:
    https://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/2454/vir-erat/p1

    ...and scroll down about halfway down this thread for a fruitful(?) discussion on it:
    https://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/14913/a-sorrowful-swansong..../p1

    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • It really isn't necessary that the propers should compliment the day's lectionary. If they ever did it was a coincidence. As for Vir erat, I have always found it to be a most coulourful story and a joy to sing. For those who desire the return of the propers (and I've heard much less zeal about them on this Forum in recent times than as compared to a few years ago) their own thematic selves need to be accepted with or without relationship to the lectionary. In fact, there are those who choose hymns and anthems based on the propers rather that the lectionary.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 801
    A link between communion chant and gospel reading the old Graduale / lectionary did not happen except perhaps on feasts and Sundays outside of the post-Pentecost cycle (as well as Lenten weekdays), and most of these have been retained in the new Graduale. Others have been added - the Sundays of Lent being a prominent example (e.g. the 2nd Sunday of Lent, where the older communion chant (Intellige) has been replaced by one connected to the gospel (Visionem)).

    During Ordinary Time the new Graduale also chooses communions for certain years that match the gospel (e.g. 4th Sunday, Yr. A, from the Beatitudes). So I don't see any days where a link between reading and communion chant has been severed. And if this has happened, it seems it would be the result of changes in the lectionary, not the
    Graduale.
    Thanked by 1hilluminar
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 801
    @Salieri
    I'm not sure what the problem is with the Propers for OT XXIX.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,628
    Look for them in The Plainchant Gradual, or any collection of Propers for the "Interim Missal" of 1964.
  • The one unfortunate thing about The Plainchant Gradual is that it has no index of the various antiphons and responsories. This lack is particularly felt when trying to search out the correspondences between it and the revised OT year of GR. I keep thinking that I will compile such an index, but so far I have yet even to begin doing so.

    This, I think, would not be a problem with The American Gradual, since it follows the current GR.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,123
    Though the Proper of Time is pretty navigable already, for other chants I had to make start at the Plainchant Gradual index on CPDL. Help is always welcome!

    OT 29-32 are explained on their respective pages.