john merbecke
  • trying to track down a copy of the creed by Merbecke
  • GerardH
    Posts: 163
    His original is on page 32 (56 of the pdf) of The Booke of Common Praier Noted
  • This may be found at p. 65 in The Kyrial as adapted by Canon Charles Winfred Douglas. Published originally in 1933 by H.W. Gray, copies are now available from Amazon for less than $20.
    This kyrial contains all the Gregorian ordinaries, including the Requiem and Merbecke, as adapted to Prayer Book English by Canon Douglas.

    Merbecke's creed
    is actually an adaptation of Credo III,
  • GerardH
    Posts: 163
    Merbecke's creed is actually and adaptation of Credo III

    Is there any source which indicates this? They seem quite different - modally for a start. In fact, the GR 1974 dates Credo III to the 17th century, the century after Merbecke's publication
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Well well, this may be one of those many times at which I have been mistaken. I have, however, seen this assertion in print in several sources. At any rate, we will assume that you are quite correct. Many thanks for calling me on this.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw GerardH
  • Problem solved! The Merbecke Credo is listed as Credo III (the third of three) in Canon Douglas's kyrial. It is not, as Gerard pointed out, the actual Credo III.
    Thanked by 3GerardH tomjaw CHGiffen
  • GerardH
    Posts: 163
    Reading through the introduction to the 1871 edition I linked above, the following assertion is made:

    It must be borne in mind that it contains no new compositions. All that Merbecke did was to adapt the ancient melodies of the Church to the English words of the Te Deum, Benedictus, &c., and apply the rules of ecclesiastical accent to the suffrages, &c.

    The only example then given is the Te Deum, supposedly drawn from an Ambrosian source. Other adaptations are quite evident - the Sanctus and Agnus Dei from the Communion When There Is A Buriall are clearly from Mass XVIII. But the source, if any, of the Creed seems to remain mystery for now.
  • It is interesting to note that the metrical notation Merbecke uses (typical of his time) puts more rapid neumes on what would presumably be more rapid or rushed-over (as in ordinary speech) syllables. We, today, would consider this sort of delivery untutored and sloppy.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,073
    Here is a 1971 opinion on sources :
    Kenneth Long states that " the ninefold Kyrie was a simplified version of the Kyrie from the ancient Mass for the Dead, • • • the Sanctus and Benedictus were derived from the Mode II setting of In Dominicis, whilst the Agnus Dei was adapted from an old Sarum melody". -- Long, The Music of the English Church, p. 29.
    The Gloria and Credo, on the other hand, are believed to be Merbecke's own compositions, although they do indeed "retain their ancient and familiar intonations", and "here and there are derived from, or are faintly reminiscent of, the Fourth Mode Mass In Festis Duplicibus" -- Long, p. 29.

    And an Anglican one on performance style :
    Archbishop Howard Clark further recorded:
    Thus he [Willan] taught us to sing Plain Chant, or at least to know something of what it is all about. • • • As he worked with us, I got a vision of Church music that is truly vulgar -- that is of the people, and which has none of that dehumanized respectability and painful correctness that some choirs seem to aim at.
  • The Long book is a must-have for any who are interested in the Anglican musical journey and traditions.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,229
    Does anyone know of any other music by Merbeck?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,399 has:
    Communion Service
    Missa Per Arma Iustitiae
    A virgin and Mother