Composed Antiphons - How in the world?!
  • avscvltaavscvlta
    Posts: 39
    I'm pondering moving on from the Mundelein Psalter at some point in the future. Maybe in a year or two. I can handle all of the hymns, versicles, responsories, latin psalm tones, etc. The one thing that gives me pause is the antiphons. The through-the-year set of antiphons should be easy enough. But what about all of the seasonal and festal antiphons, plus the weekly Magnificat antiphons? I have no training, just self taught plus the internet. So any tips for how I would go about learning all of the Sunday vespers antiphons? My main question is: should I focus my energy on learning the specific set of antiphons, or more generally on learning how to sight read antiphons? Is it more about rehearsing over and over, or about developing the skill to perform after only a couple of run throughs?
  • FKulash
    Posts: 18
    Reading music is a very useful skill. Whatever time and effort you spend learning it will be time and effort well invested.
    Thanked by 1MatthewRoth
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,262
    My main question is: should I focus my energy on learning the specific set of antiphons, or more generally on learning how to sight read antiphons? Is it more about rehearsing over and over, or about developing the skill to perform after only a couple of run throughs?

    One leads to the other. Learning to sight-sing happens in the particular engagement with particular pieces of music. You're on a good road.

    That being said, anything you can do to boost your general musicality will speed up and enrich the process. Read scores while listening to music. Play the piano at your own level. Analyze the chants. Analyze familiar hymns, trying to think of them in terms of the do re mi scale. Playing a single note instrument like the violin is excellent ear training.
    Thanked by 2MatthewRoth CHGiffen
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,252
    Yes, solfège is important. Luckily, if you're in a real pinch or have a choir that can sing but might need some help, lots of antiphons are on Youtube, for the 1962/traditional rite. Now, be careful: the Benedictine antiphonale is not the same as the Roman, as the melodies are taken from different manuscripts, but the office of Vespers from the Liber Usualis is one of the easiest services to learn.

    But, really, work on soflège. I wish that I had a piano to push me along; it's not ideal, but it would help me out a lot…