1963 Grail Psalter, pointed for singing
  • Is there a version of the OLD Grail psalms available online that is already pointed? http://www.athanasius.com/ has the text, but no pointing. Private messages are fine, here. :)
    Thanked by 1ScottKChicago
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,073
    The psalms of the daily Office are online at Universalis, and there is an option for displaying the Gelineau pointing for which they were written. http://universalis.com/calendar.htm
    The Psalter is still in copyright, so probably not online, at least not advertised.
  • How many here frequently, once in while, or never use the Gelinaeau chant? I recall that it was quite an innovation (as was the Grail Psalter) many years ago and that I enjoyed them very much. Since then I have come to find them tiring relics of the pre- and post-Vatican II years. They seem to lack that 'something' by which the Gregorian tones and Anglican chant never become 'old'. Others may have different thoughts... ?
    Thanked by 1rich_enough
  • Felicia
    Posts: 18
    My parish used the Gelineau psalms in the Worship, 3rd ed. hymnal in the 1990's until about 2010. I like them because they have some interesting modal harmonies, and I can sing most of them (except for Ps. 23) with my limited vocal range. (I'm an organist and accompanist, not a cantor.) However, the texts are pointed so that certain stressed syllables fall on the strong beats of the tone. Some of our cantors had difficulty with this rhythmic component.
    Thanked by 1ScottKChicago
  • A post script thought - a hundred years from now Gelineau chant will probably be 'discovered' and thought to be a priceless treasure of late XXth century liturgical music.
  • An Episcopal monk at St Gregory's Abbey in Michigan told me that the "Jelly Roll" tones were used in the Abbey Church when they switched from Latin. But they wore out rather swiftly, as the stress patterns take on a rather thumpy tedium. You almost want to pound the pew in time with the stressed syllables. OK for one psalm on a Sunday morning, but not for a community chanting 150 psalms a week. So they developed their own simplified Gregorian-style psalm tones. I'm sure there's a way to sing Gelineau without thumping, though.
  • Scott -
    Were you at St Gregory's Abbey in Three Rivers? I spent some time there in the early sixties and very seriously considered staying there. Everything was in Latin at that time. I'm not sure when they turned to English.. At the time I was there it was only a priory. There was wondrous snow and ice everywhere. (I would certainly share your monk's estimation of Gelineau chant. It's Anglican thump writ irritatingly large - except in the case of Anglican thump, it's done by people who don't know any better, whereas in the case of Gelineau chant it's done on purpose!)
    Thanked by 1ScottKChicago
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,073
    Gelineau was writing for French, a language with less strongly marked stress than English. I wonder whether they have endured better there.
    Ainslie in his 1969 Simple Gradual for Sundays and Feastdays achieved pointing for three different systems together. Attached is from the Organ/Choir edition, I have never seen what the congregation was given.
    {added} I should have said also that the organ accompaniments for the psalms are on a seperate sheet.
  • M. Jackson Osborn,
    Prior Anthony Damron wrote in St Gregory's Summer 1974 Abbey Letter,
    "At Compline on March 12th, St. Gregory's Day, 1967, we turned to English. And in leaving that intricately worked-out system, we entered a kind of void. Gelineau psalmody had made its appearance, and for a few years we used that exclusively. But English is of its nature a heavily accented language, and to add the regular rhythms of the sung Gelineau psalter (no matter how "correctly" we tried to sing it) was to exaggerate the strong syllables sometimes to the point of ugliness." (Singing God's Praises: The First 60 Years, St Gregory's Abbey, Three Rivers, Michigan 1998...highly recommended compilation of articles; this and a later compilation are sold on their website.)
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Felicia
    Posts: 18
    @a. f. hawkins
    I've heard a couple of Gelineau psalms sung in French on Radio Esperance during its Morning prayer (which is late at night in the Central Time zone).

    https://radio-esperance.fr/

    On a side note, this station plays a version of the Angelus sung by a children's choir accompanied by harp and oboe.
    Thanked by 1a_f_hawkins
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,630
    IMO, the Modal Psalm Tones from St. Meinrad's work far better with English than the Gelineau tones.
    Thanked by 1ScottKChicago
  • I've studied Gelineau psalmody extensively and still don't understand how they're meant to be seen in the same vein as other tones when they're essentially metrical (in which case, why not just write them out as such?)
  • davido
    Posts: 291
    Gelineau always seems like it requires an inordinate amount of practice time for the result, which is a mid twentieth century harmonic palette that I never cared for anyway.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,073
    The translators of the French Bible de Jérusalem set themselves the goal of matching the poetic structure of the Hebrew psalms, which is based on Hebrew tonic rhythm. And the Grail63 psalms have the same intention. As Dom Gregory Murray points out in his section of the Introduction to the 1966 paperback edition, "the rhythmic pattern of each line of the Hebrew has been reproduced in the translation". The Gelineau tones are designed to match that, they are thus neither 'in the same vein as other tones', nor intended to look like other metrical music.
    Murray suggests that to get your head round them, just look at the childrens song Three blind mice.
  • Perhaps the most important success factor in replicating Hebrew poetic structure would be to use the Hebrew language. I've never completely understood porting Hebrew rhythmic patterns over to French or English. It's like trying to reproduce the beauty of a Shakespearean sonnet in Hungarian while sticking to the English poetic meter. You're constantly having to compromise.
  • I've found most of the 1963 psalms, on this very strange website: www.hymnsandchants.com

    I've never been able to sing the Gelineau tones. I usually stick with St. Meinrad's.
    Thanked by 1ScottKChicago
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,073
    ScottKChicago - the structure of a Hebrew verb is, I am told, so different from that of an English verb, or indeed a Latin verb, that any translation involves a complete re-expression of the thought.
    Thanked by 1ScottKChicago
  • Every act of translation is an act of violence. There's no way to accurately convey something that was written in another language.
    Thanked by 1ScottKChicago
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,630
    True, but let it be said that the violence of translations varies from the linguistic equivalent of a bad haircut (Septuagint---which could be argued isn't a translation, as Tradition has always maintained its status as Inspired---Gallican Psalter, Coverdale...) to complete disfigurement (New American Bible).
  • Translation is almost of the essence of the propagation of the Christian faith. I cannot see it as violence.

    Instead, I think of all the spiritual seeds and waterings that have grown and flourished in our history as a result of translation. Beginning with almah / parthenos and יהוה‎ / Dominus .