Introits for Congregation and Cantor/Choir
  • You mean include the "and" in the text below but don't sing it? (I did just get permission from the monks to make modifications to the text but had previously assumed that I needed to follow it all exactly.)
  • I guess it depends on how you're presenting it. If it is an antiphon that will bookend the whole text, then yes, it doesn't make sense to sing the 'and'. If you are going to be chanting and then the congregation joins in mid-way through, then keep the and. But as presented with just the antiphon music showing, it is awkward to start with 'and' since the rest of the phrase stands by itself. In this case you are hardly abusing the text by omitting it since you are keeping it verbatim and providing its context.
  • It's both. If followed as written (but other verses/repetitions of the refrain can be added), the Vigil Mass of the Nativity would go:

    Cantor: (And) Tomorrow you will see his glory.
    Congregation: (And) Tomorrow you will see his glory.
    Cantor: Today, you will know that the Lord is coming to save us. (or ;)
    Congregation: (And) Tomorrow you will see his glory.
    Cantor: The earth is the Lord's.....
    Cantor: Glory to the Father...
    Congregation: (And) Tomorrow you will see his glory.
  • If I take out the "and" and change the semicolon to a period, would you suggest doing that in what I type underneath as well? It's part of the antiphon, so I don't really want to remove it, but I also don't want to confuse people.
  • I thought for a few seconds at one point of having the verse that the cantor sings be "Tody, you will know that the Lord is coming to save us; and" but that really didn't work well because having the last note of the verse end on a long note helps the congregation know to come in, and having the cantor throw in an "and" as a pick-up note just as the congregation is coming back in just throws everything off.
  • Oy. What a pickle. Perhaps you should keep the and. My own inclination would be to drop the and in the antiphon itself and then place it in brackets in the longer text below. That way it is present but it doesn't make it awkward to sing either as a pickup or as a cantor tag (which I agree would be very awkward). [and] might be a happy compromise. Grammatically speaking, and could be omitted completely anyway, since there is a semicolon. It doesn't change the meaning at all.
  • I was looking through drafts, and unless I'm missing something, this happens 3 times: the case above, where if I really wanted to, I could use the first line as the refrain, "Today, you will know that the Lord is coming to save us." The only real reason to use "[and] Tomorrow you will see his glory." as the refrain is to make it sound more Christmas-y (see his glory) rather than Advent-y (coming to save us) since a ton of people are coming to the Vigil Mass to celebrate Christmas and to fulfil their obligation for the solemnity the night before.

    The other 2 are complicated in their own ways:

    The second is an option for the 3rd Sunday of Lent (and the Vigil of Pentecost, though I recommend using the alleluias as the refrain when it appears at the Vigil of Pentecost). "When I vindicate my holiness through you, I will gather you from all lands, and I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you will be cleansed from all your filthiness; (begin refrain here) and I will give you a new Spirit." This is similar to the first example, but I can't really use the beginning phrase as a refrain.

    On the 10th Sunday (year B) and the 28th Sunday, the antiphon is, as translated, "O Lord, if you were to take into account our iniquities, who would withstand the test? But forgiveness abides with you, O God of Israel." I have set "But forgiveness abides with you, O God of Israel." as the refrain. It's there in the Latin like that too, without a capitalized "but:" "...Domine quis sustinebit? quia apud te propitiatio est,..." In this case, the "but" is written as part of a sentence in the translation but is not grammatically correct, and I don't see using the beginning of the antiphon as the refrain for congregation. I think if I was going to put the "but" in brackets, I might leave it uncapitalized, as in the Graduale.

    I really can't guarantee that I didn't miss any in my quick pass over my drafts, but that's all I'm seeing where there's an odd conjunction that might want to be left out. There are a few more that are ends of sentences, usually after a semicolon, but they work out fine.
  • JMJones
    Posts: 55
    Based on suggestions from here, here's the latest draft I've been working together, and I would appreciate your feedback. The main change is that I have added an option of the same setting with gregorian notation. Much of the feedback that I received was about notation and how to set chant into modern notation, so I am proposing this solution, but I have some questions.

    1) Is this a worthwhile solution? I kind of like the way that I have stemmed and combined noteheads in the modern notation version because for someone not terribly familiar with chant, I think it's helpful for seeing the accents in the words. If you place a small relative emphasis on the first of each combination of 8th notes, that helps an inexperienced chanter disrupt the idea of regular meter to encourage more free-flowing rhythms of chant. Also, after working with far too many singers who want to make every quarter-head stemless note a full beat at a plodding pace, I think that the 8th note "beat" helps to encourage a more swiftly moving chant.

    However... I also hear and understand the many comments here about the drawbacks to this form of notation and how for somebody more familiar with chant, the fact that I have barred together multiple words and used a greater combination of rhythms than would normally be used in the modern notation of chant can be jarring. So, I added the gregorian option for those who would be more comfortable with chant notation rather than trying to do something in the middle for both.

    Do you think that having the gregorian notation will scare less experienced chanters away? Or do you think that it's OK since it doesn't show up on the first page that they see and is just an option to use it or the modern notation?

    2) How does it look? Obviously gregorian notation looks rather different than modern notation, and I am using 2 different programs to produce the different settings. I have spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to match fonts, sizes of text, thickness of staff lines, line lengths, not to mention losing several weeks on trying to get the multiple programs that I'm working with to work together to combine files. The way I have it now, the staff on the gregorian notation is a little larger than that of the modern notation, while the note heads are similarly sized but a bit smaller. Do you think it's OK as it is, or would it look better would it be better to better match staff size while leaving the note heads on the gregorian very small or to match notehead size with a much larger staff on the gregorian? Does it look sufficiently like they are of a similar style while being 2 different forms of notation, or does it look tacky and spliced together?

    3) Do the 2 forms of notation work together? Due to feedback from here, I've taken out most of the dotted quarter notes except to denote a tristropha and the ends of certain phrases. When compared with the gregorian notation, do the places I have left them in make sense? Do any of you have the ability to hand the gregorian to a singer and the modern notation to an organist to have them test it out together and let me know how it goes?

    Thanked by 2marymezzo RedPop4
  • I personally love the Gregorian notation and would reach for it every time. Tricky as it may be at first, anyone can learn it (I started my choir on Fr. Weber 1.5 years ago and now we can even do a few florid chants in Latin including the Ecce advenit for tomorrow). The two side by side is fine. The tricky bit with square not notation is the fact that there are only 4 staff lines, so the two different types don’t scale the same as you’ve discovered. I wouldn’t fret too much if they aren’t perfectly matched. I wholeheartedly support you in the (not insignificant) endeavor to offer the chant too.

    As a matter of fact, this is a great teaching tool of choirs, as presented. For a while, when I began teaching chant to my choir, I provided simplified stemless transcriptions of the square notes above and the traditional notation on the bottom. This really helped members of the choir connect the dots and learn the neume shapes. So from the pedagogical perspective alone, I think the effort is worth it.

    Ps- you’re missing a dot on “holy spirIT” in the chant version.
  • drjones
    Posts: 4
    Joining in late, but here are a couple of random comments.

    * One reason not to simply use the Meinrad introits and communios is the quest for a free/libre/open-source resource.

    * I improvise to some degree on the accompaniments. Since the cantor -- the author -- can easily carry the chanted line herself, I'm chording when the cantor is singing alone (verses, first time through the introit), usually playing the bass clef chords with adding treble clef notes. I double this line when the congregation is invited to sing as well.

    P.S. I'm the accompanist the author married :-)
    Thanked by 1RedPop4
  • JMJones
    Posts: 55
    ServiamScores, I fixed "Spir-IT," and here's the new version. I haven't figured out how to replace it on my previous post, so I'm just posting it again.

    The issue with matching the different types of notation was more the fact that gregorian notation does not fill the space between the lines of the staff, so gregorian neums are comparatively smaller on a similarly-sized staff. If it looks fine now with the text fonts and sizes matched and similarly-sized noteheads on a differently sized staff, just take my word for it that I tried out many things that looked a lot worse. I actually initially tried to make the 4-line staff and the 5-line staff be overall the same height, and the neums were just too tiny.

    I agree that with a bit of practice, gregorian notation is much easier and more comfortable, but I also know people who have been scared off from far easier chant because they don't know how to read gregorian notation, and if it is to be accompanied (which I think is helpful for the congregation), the keyboardist needs notes. Hopefully this will be a bridge, and singers who start out using the modern notation may eventually find their way into reading gregorian notation.
    Thanked by 1marymezzo
  • JMJones
    Posts: 55
    drjones, a couple additional differences between this and the Meinrad ones are the use of the texts from the Graduale Romanum instead of the Roman Missal and the fact that the refrains used are part of the proper itself, not just related to the proper.

    Can you tell us more about what sort of notes you add to the treble when you are improvising?
  • JMJones
    Posts: 55
    And if anybody has an ideas on a title, I'm on the lookout!

    Congregational Introits
    Responsorial Introits
    Introits for Congregation
    Introits for Congregation and Cantor or Choir
    St. Paul VI Introits
    St. John Paul II Introits

    I'm not sure any of these are quite sticking...
  • Jehan_Boutte
    Posts: 157
    Introits for Congregation is a good title in my opinion.
  • Another thought occurred to me regarding formatting:

    I would perhaps consider indenting verses so they are easier to find. In the most recent example it is difficult to find where verse two starts. An indent would clearly show where the breaks in the music are. At the bare minimum I’d put the verse numbers in a box or something.

    It’s also not necessary (at least I don’t believe it is) to have D.S. and segno signs. If you do decide to keep them, I think D.C. is technically more appropriate, rather than segnos, but most published responsorial psalm collections omit these markings all together as it is patently obvious what the structure is.
  • drjones
    Posts: 4
    Agreed, the licensing isn't the only difference. The other two differences cited are important as well. The licensing difference does address an unanswered point from near the beginning of the thread, I believe.

    Regarding how I play the introits, my current take is to simply extend the chord into the right hand with an appropriate note, usually below the note that the cantor is singing. I believe it makes for a fuller sound, but you could argue that it just gives my right hand something to do :-)

    As for titles, I do like St. Paul VI if emphasizing the fact that the work helps bring chant to the vernacular. Introits for Congregation is a great functional title. My personal style, of course, would call for picking a Celtic saint...
    Thanked by 1marymezzo
  • JMJones
    Posts: 55
    More fiddling... option 4 or option 5?
    Title: St. Paul VI Introits for Congregation?
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 322
    Please no more “St. X” titles...it always smells to me like a false appeal to authority.

    -St. X didn’t give their imprimatur for what people name after them.

    -St. X (except in very few cases) didn’t even write anything about a hymnal or new collection of English chants.

    -St. X is not even the sum total of all that my Very Special And Holy Hymnal/Choir/Organ wishes to achieve. We need Cecilia and Gregory and Dunstan and Bernard...

    And it’s not like you’re going to entomb a relic of St. X in your book or consecrate it on St. X’s feast day.
  • JMJones
    Posts: 55
    Gamba, I will have to consider those points that you make. I would see it more in the vein of choosing a patron saint for the work.
  • drjones
    Posts: 4
    I still favor the unindented version. It looks like there is some space between the last line of the first verse and the first line of the second verse; a little more might be better.
  • RedPop4
    Posts: 26
    Wonderful work.
  • I still favor the indents. I think it’s asking for trouble in the heat of the moment to have a bunch of staves that look alike and expect the organist to jump around without any visual cues or aids.

    Think of this scenario:
    You’re the organist and conductor. You look up to give a cue to the choir when to cut off the refrain after verse 1. You have one hand on the organ, one in the air as you make eye contact with a singer to help them cut off correctly whilst making a motion with your floating hand. Then you have to look down to start verse two and also feverishly glance at your directing hand as you place it back down on the manual.

    You’ll be awfully glad for that indent.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen sdtalley3
  • I agree with Serviam on indenting. It makes it much easier to find the next verse. I'm always in favor of doing too much to idiot proof my music. While I generally am not an idiot (I do have my moments though), people make strange mistakes in the heat of the moment. Everything I can do to minimize that possibility, I will do. For example, there are postlude pieces I could play from memory, but I won't simply to minimize the chance of a mistake.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • JMJones
    Posts: 55
    As a cantor who sings while holding a baby and managing multiple other children (and sometimes lose track of which "qui tollis pecata mundi" I just sang), I certainly am in favor of trying to idiot proof my music.

    Though there's a Douglas Adams quote that comes to mind...
    “A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”

    How's this for a next attempt? I did not indent verse 1 because it is still part of the antiphon (and matching indents with the refrain is tricky when I put a mode in there... not impossible but tricky). I've indented vs. 2 (Psalm verse) marked with a versicle symbol and the doxology (which is part of vs. 2 as written but could be pulled out and used separately) with a cross. Helpful or too busy?
    Thanked by 2EMH ServiamScores
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,273
    I can't imagine any good coming of the organist reading from the ten-line score and a singer reading from the 4-line, even if they were in agreement that an episema represents the same duration as a dotted punctum.

    One of my regular gripes about Responsorials is that the initial repetition should not require rehearsal. Your Respond strongly suggests a minum pulse with the temptation to shorten or lengthen the last note.
  • Am I going crazy, or is the Gregorian notation for the psalm tone a tone too low?
  • WGS
    Posts: 261
    I have not read all this or even tried to analyze any of it, but surely the change of clef for the chant is confusing.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,601
    It's clear that the clef C3 for the chant verse should be C4 - evidently a typo? Mode VIII doesn't end on ti - it ends on sol.
    Thanked by 1sdtalley3
  • JMJones
    Posts: 55
    The typo that caused the clef change has been fixed. Thank you!

    Richard, I have the same concern and wonder how well it would work out in reality. My organist (husband) usually plays off of the Bragers Kyriale for organ accompaniment while I sing front the chant, and we've had to do a bit of practice together on those to figure out exactly how the gregorian and modern notation fit together. Any system that uses cross-over between gregorian and modern notation is going to be imperfect. We tried out me reading off the Gregorian notation and him reading off the modern notation last week, and it worked well for us, but we're probably too familiar with these to be good candidates for determining if musicians in general will find them easy enough to work with. If anybody had an organist and singer to try them, I'm really interested to hear your feedback.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • JMJones
    Posts: 55
    Version 8. Perhaps a final version on the formatting (unless I manage to remove stems on the verses of the Simple Version).
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,273
    There's a good case for putting Götterdämmerung into piano-vocal score, but in principle it's always better for everyone to be on the same page. This only partly lessens ambiguity:
    (,) Un(G)to(H) you(j) have(J) I(I) lift(H)ed(H) up(F) my(H) soul.(h/g.) (::) (,) Un(G)to(H)

    or

    Un(g)to(h) you(jj) …

    Having 3 versions in one binding or even on the same opening, as with the progressive options in Weber's The Proper of the Mass, seems to be inviting potential confusion.

    Your version 3 has a typo "awating you", and with the numbering of verses would come out at the early Mass as "Let me not be for none of those who ... O shoot!"
  • JMJones
    Posts: 55
    Richard, I haven't found Weber's different versions to be confusing. My concern is more how to make clear that the first and second are the same thing in different notation while the 3rd is a simple version. I think it's more of an editing issue than a need to exclude them. I could consider putting the gregorian first, calling the 2nd an organ accompaniment/modern notation, and the 3rd a simple version. Do you think that would make things more clear?

    I considered making "you" a bistropha, but I know some singers who rebeat the bistropha twice (and the tristropha 3 times) and some who hold the note. My concern is that this is more likely to confuse the congregation, so I have converted all bistrophae to either you(j_) or you(j.) in my refrains.

    Thank you for catching the typo in the Simple version.

    Another great point on the way the text lines up on the Simple Version. Do you think either of these versions fix the problem?
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,050
    I think that having the Gregorian first of the three may solve the possibility of confusion.

    That, or just have all of the Gregorian introits in a row at either the beginning or end, as an appendix.

    - as an added note, I keep looking at your verse for Advent I and thinking that "ways" should really be only on Do.
    While we may all have our own ideas of how to set the English translation to various psalm tones, I just feel like jumping on a "long A" vowel is really odd.
    That, and we must remember that setting the English needs to still emphasize the same Latin word, and not just the general syllable in a line.

    And just my own preference, but I think there should be more distance between the treble and bass staves.
  • JMJones
    Posts: 55
    I'll need to mess with the spacing a bit more if I go this direction, but here it is with the Gregorian first. Does this make it more clear?

    CCooze, I'll think about changing "ways." I've set it to mostly match the psalm tones of the Gregorian Chants, which has the movement... but it's not English, so maybe this is a necessary change. Anyone else want to weigh in?
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,050
    I think that order makes more sense. It gives the schola their chant, and then "helps the organist, if the director wants accompaniment" (and is less-conspicuously a crutch for those who need it).
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,273
    I can't say it's ever happened that a choir has opened Weber's book to the appropriate Sunday and started singing three versions at the same time, but I can't predict it never will.

    The line extensions simply make one wonder whether to wait for a harmony change on "be"; it's also a standard convention to use numerals to show only the beginnings of verses. This I would consider legible:
  • JMJones
    Posts: 55
    OK, I finally figured out today how to enclose notes in parentheses. I'll count it toward my goal of learning something new every day. Is this more clear?
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,273
    Numbering the second system of the verse is still distracting (as I said, it conventionally denotes the start of a verse), and a missing double p in disappoint.
  • JMJones
    Posts: 55
    Fixed typos, removed numbering of second system of verses, updated spacing.

    The next thing that I am considering is the fact that each Introit is now 3 pages, and for anyone using the modern/keyboard notation (especially the organist whose hands are otherwise occupied, it would be really helpful to have those first 2 pages lie open without having to turn the page back and forth to see the refrain. Here's my brainstorm on how to handle this so far, but I'd appreciate feedback.

    1) Leave a blank or effectively blank page for each Introit. This could take the form where I put "First Sunday of Advent" on a right-side page; turn the page to have the gregorian and modern notation on the next 2 pages; turn the page to find the Simple Version on the left and "Second Sunday of Advent" on the right." My main concern with this issue is the bulk, weight, and expense of adding so many extra pages to the book.

    2) Switch the order back and forth. The first Sunday in Advent is Gregorian->Modern->Simple; the Second Sunday in Advent is Simple->Gregorian->Modern. This would put both Simple versions on the open-face pages and leave the Gregorian/Modern notation versions on the other open-face pages... and could also be quite confusing.

    3) Move the Simple versions to another section of the book. This could mean that I go through the entire liturgical year twice, once for the gregorian/modern and once for the simple versions, or I could do it season by season. I don't know if this would make Richard's concerns about people singing the wrong version better or worse to have it separated so it's not on the same page, but if you do happen to sing the wrong version, you're in the whole wrong section of the book. I would probably need to make notes at the bottom of the page guiding people to the other version just in case it was needed.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,050
    Maybe the first/filler page for each Sunday could be a copy of the Latin Gregorian with translation below?
    Not only does it provide context, but for any choirs that like to do the "repeated" antiphon with the Latin to "normalize" the Gregorian antiphons, this may be helpful.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,273
    Can't help noticing the refrain is identical in the simple version …
  • JMJones
    Posts: 55
    CCooze, I've attached a couple of concept ideas based on your suggestion. Given that the original chants are available in a lot of other forms, I'm not sure it's necessary or worth the extra effort, but I did find freely available gabc files online for all the chants that I can modify for my needs that makes it not impossible...

    Richard, yes, that is part of the point. A parish can publish the refrain for the congregation in a handout or get the congregation book, and the cantor can pick which set of verses to use. They could also use some verses from one version and some from the other, for example if one of the antiphons in a procession is too difficult, the simple version for that antiphon could be used.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,273
    My point was merely that no page will need to be turned if the user is fully awake.
  • JMJones
    Posts: 55
    ...if the user is fully awake.

    ...which is obviously not me today...

    That is a good point. Some of the Introits have shorter antiphons and/or Psalm verses, which could potentially lead to putting more of it on the first page, but I think I could decide to purposely avoid this and just adjust spacing.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,050
    Maybe I'm just (I really am) old-fashioned, but I'm not sure the graphics on the Gregorian page are necessary. I am happy to see the chant, though.