• sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 73
    Hello,

    in my searches for musical answers concerning "new chants", by new I mean this: The form and modes still hold to the practices of the past, but newer melodies are applied to texts. What is the Churches position on this? I tried contacting friends, chant-enthusiasts, etc on the matter, but no clear answer. There are a plethora of databases of old works re-transcribed for easier reading, and all the chant one could ever want to sing in their lifetime, but what about more contemporary works? I have very rarely come across anything, but they do exist.

    Point and example are the included attachments of my own doing.

    If anyone has advice, or knows anything about the subject please enlighten me.

    Thanks


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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,974
    Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium :
    114. The treasure of sacred music is to be preserved and fostered with great care.
    117. The typical edition of the books of Gregorian chant is to be completed; and a more critical edition is to be prepared of those books already published since the restoration by St. Pius X.
    It is desirable also that an edition be prepared containing simpler melodies, for use in small churches.
    The Graduale Simplex, which contains these simpler melodies makes great emphasis that they are all chants from the 'authentic' tradition.
    GS 7. Proinde melodiæ authenticæ, quæ fini proposito re-sponderent, exquisitæ sunt e thesauro cantus gregoriani, ...

    GIRM 48 can plausibly be read, and was intended to be read, that there should be no attempt to displace the authentic ancient chants of GR, in Latin, by setting the new words.
    ... Si ad introitum non habetur cantus, antiphona in Missali proposita recitatur ...
    If there is no singing at the Entrance, the antiphon given in the Missal is recited

    I would not know whether that view is changing.
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 73
    Thanks you a_f_hawkins,
    but maybe my wording was not the best. More precisely that there is in no way I could want or wish to replace the musical treasures the Church has kept through her existence, to do so would imply that I am better than those before myself, but rather find certain texts where newer melodies can apply using the practices or norms of chant structure. For this reason I do not call these "Gregorian". The texts from such prayers remaining intact, no alteration.
    To me it seems more liberty is given to Polyphonic settings of such pieces, but I would like to hear more about the matter.

    Thanks.
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  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 545
    Unfortunately, the GS's lack of weekly Propers leaves a massive hole between seasonal antiphons and the full GR Propers, leaving English options or textual substitutions as the gray area.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 197
    I recently wrote a new chant melody for an old text that I found. Composers of every single generation have contributed to the art of the church. Writing a new melody does not mean that the old will never be used again. JPII specifically mentions that the more something approaches chant in its character the more it is fitting for the church... so I'd presume that writing chant is not totally out of bounds! We hold works from the 16th-18th centuries very dear, but they were "new" at one point.

    So in the end, I don't think it bad to write new chant in the slightest. It doesn't need to be universally adopted and promulgated, but it doesn't need to be spurned either.
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  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 197
    I'll also tag to my previous comment that I'm quite GLAD to see chant alive and well. One sings chant notation differently than modern notation too; there are subtleties to the notation that are utterly lacking in modern chant transcriptions. Using the old style for new melodies actually elevates the art in my view.

    I doubt anyone would really protest singing some of the works of Hugo of St. Victor's works; but they were composed much later than some other chant. What makes his chants substantially different than yours apart from their vintage?
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 73
    True. Let‘s say hymns, songs, prayers that are common: Salve Regina, S. Michael Archangele etc I have no I idea if those who are on this forum can see the attachments as examples. I‘m not necessarily creative when it comes to this type of music in the sense that there should be preservation of form; but at the same time I do not simple impose texts to already made melodies.
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 73
    Reply to ServiamScores,
    I personlly prefer the neums when chanting. Whenever I see chant that has been set to modern notation I think it loses its interpretation due to a "meterd" mentality. My personal take on chant is that it should be sung freely and interpretation and expression dictated by the text.
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  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,251
    For newly composed chant you might want to investigate the work of Fr Columba Kelley, O.S.B. at St Meinrad's Archabbey in Indiana. Also the works of Fr Samuel Weber.
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  • Impressive! What program did you use to notate these?
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  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 73
    I used Illuminare score editor, its good but very limited in its capabilities.
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  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,301
    The Salve Regina is lovely. Can you tell a little about the characteristics of mode VII that you sought to maintain in the melody of this new plainchant?

    The question arises because I haven't studied the modes much, and this piece uses triads several times in its melody, which makes me wonder if is staying within the modal world, or perhaps not.

    There is a little correction I should note: there is a typo on "clamamus".
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,251
    I have been blessed to sing the examples you have given.
    They are truly inspired.
    Many thanks for sharing your work with us.
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  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 73
    Well simply this from my understanding: for the mode VII, its beginning and finalis are "so", so a good major triad to keep in mind is: so, ti, re. This also has to do with the degrees of an acceptable finalis in counterpoint theory; "so" being the first degree of the finalis, "re" being the second, and "ti" being the third. The melody of a mode should be built around this structure however, there is nothing preventing everything in between the beginning and end to go where it will, but good chant should be memorable and structured so that the singer can easily pickup on the flow of the music. I strayed from the modal triad a little at the "Et Jesum" as a type of emphasis on His name, leaping back to general range of the mode. Generally good starting points for the phrases is either the first and second degrees of the triad described above. I hope that was a little helpful. Another thing is the authentic modes are generally higher in tonality than their plagal counterparts.

    Thanks for noticing the typo, I will correct this.
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 73
    Here is the corrected Salve Regina.
  • sdtalley this is some wonderful melody writing! Speaking from my own modest chant experience, you've stayed faithful to the spirit of the modes and the chant. I enjoyed these.
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 73
    @alexandermccune

    Thanks for the compliments, I‘ll have to look over some of my other chant works and submit them on another thread.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,251
    Please do!
    Soon!

    Have you done any English chant?
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 73
    @M. Jackson Osborn

    I have not done any English texts yet, but I will have to look into that soon.
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  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,301
    I moved this topic to the category of "New compositions".
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