Use of duplex or triplex scores for Mass
  • JonLaird
    Posts: 224
    Who is currently using either the Graduale Novum, the editions on Gregor und Taube, or the Graduale Triplex on a regular basis for Mass?
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  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,497
    Closest I've gotten is The American Gradual's mode 3 &4 ti's.
  • Chrism
    Posts: 830
    Tried it. Now I think the idea that there is some orthopractical interpretation of these ancient neumes is a bunch of hooey. Because of that, they are perfect for our postmodern world, mixing subjectivism and traditionalism (into something hopefully workable and aesthetic). Like some forms of psychological warfare or ideology, the sheer gibberish of it all shocks and confuses the choir out of their autoplay mode. Because in crisis we look to authority for guidance, in such a state the choir is more likely to pay attention to the director, who is free to interpret any squiggle like a Rorschach blot without allowing an "akshully" from some neume nerd, because all interpretations are arguably valid. So net-net, it's a stress on the choir, but can produce better sound, if the director is good enough.
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  • Jehan_Boutte
    Posts: 236
    I know a French Schola Cantorum which sings for a weekly TLM, using the Graduale Triplex.
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  • JonLaird
    Posts: 224
    Interesting assessment, Chrism. I'm not sure that it holds up. Suppose in what you wrote, we replace "ancient neumes" with "square notes," and given the controversy surrounding interpretation even of square notes, I expect it should apply. What do you think?
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,839
    I'm more with Chrism here re "orthopractical interpretation", even of square notes.
    There's an orthopraxis of convenience, where everybody interprets the chant pretty much the same way, and where the Church has assigned a text. And that text is not the Sankt Gallen or Laon neumes. So even if it gives more beautiful results (debatable), it's not what the Church asks of us.And it may be the same kind of antiquarianism that took the chant away from most people for 50 years. "Was it Gregorian Chant when the Apostles sang at the Last Supper?"

    Look at the last years of The Caecilia, and the folks measuring manure with a micrometer, going back and forth arguing arcane points of chant even while The Meteor entered the atmosphere. The pursuit of Urheit was also a value of Vatican II.

    I'm not saying there's no value in looking at diastematic neumes to "shock the choir out of autoplay mode" as Chrism put it. But Medicaean Chant would do the same thing, and has a far better claim that the Triplex to being "the chant of the Church."
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  • I think it is another symptom of our text-centred, literalistic musical approach of the last few decades. The freedom of chant and subtleties of its interpretation cannot be re-created by sweating over the exact notation given in the manuscripts—trying to re-enact a certain interpretation is simply fallacious.
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  • JonLaird
    Posts: 224
    Is using St. Gall and Laon neumes always a case of antiquarianism and rigidity?
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,034
    Antiquarianism : yes, they're antique.

    Rigidity : only if the user insists on a single orthopraxis and anything else is wrong -- especially in cases more Rorschach than rastrum.
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  • JonLaird
    Posts: 224
    Perhaps it is possible to use something antique without being antiquarian.

    At any rate, I heartily welcome replies from dogmatists, rigid people, antiquarians, and anyone else who uses these resources on a regular basis.
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,034
    I have sung at Mass from the Triplex a few times. Including times when I couldn’t find my regular dog eared gradual but the nice crisp triplex was just there to hand... but more often on purpose.

    I don't know the melodies well enough to sing from the chicken tracks adiastemic neumes alone. Nothing like. Well unless it's a requiem. So I experience them as elaborate, and rather useful, performance notes. Like performing from an annotated urtext.

    Which is rather ironic, of course.
  • The way that certain authorities attempt to discern an exact performance instruction for what are intentionally vague symbols is both dogmatic and inextricably linked to 20th-century musical thought on the dominance of the score taken to an extreme.
  • I guess I spent two weeks at Saint Meinrad some years ago studying a bunch of hooey with Fr Columba Kelly OSB, but I still find the Laon markings especially useful for emphasizing (the t or tenere mark) or moving lightly through (the e, which is really c, or celeriter mark) particular notes. I don't have to sing for Mass, though, and it would be a huge challenge for a parish schola to do all the markings. Fr Columba's overarching theme was that the chant should convey the text; he spent much of his career setting English texts to chants that work for English, with important adaptations from what would be done in the Latin. That's the message I got out of learning the Triplex markings, not that the chant must always be done with them.
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,034
    Father Columba #osb #rip #ftw
  • madorganist
    Posts: 815
    1. The Graduale Triplex is the 1908 Vatican edition arranged for the novus ordo.
    2. The two volumes of the Graduale Novum are also Vatican editions, although lacking official recognition of all their content.
    3. The Catholic Church ("Rome") has the authority to regulate liturgical music praxis, not musicological scholarship.
    4. The Vatican edition was an imperfect restoration imposed on the Catholic Church by Rome and was not something that developed organically over the centuries.
    5. When the Vatican edition was promulgated, it was intended to suppress the Medicaean editions, not the ancient manuscripts; the motu proprio of 1904 (not to be confused with TLS) even stated that other editions could be tolerated if "the variations introduced prove themselves to come from the authority of other good Gregorian codices."
    6. The Solesmes rhythmic markings are not part of the Vatican edition and no one is required to observe them.

    Probable opinions:
    7. The ancient manuscripts have greater authority than Dom Mocquereau.
    8. There are few if any in the Church hierarchy who really care whether or how Gregorian chant is sung nowadays.
    9. Neumes that clearly differentiate long and short values cannot reasonably be considered "intentionally vague," as someone here put it.

    As I understand it, antiquarianism with regard to the liturgy refers to a preference for older forms simply because of their antiquity, not necessarily because they're better suited per se, usually to the exclusion of forms that developed organically. A solid argument could be made the Vatican edition itself was a manifestation of antiquarianism, and that the Medicaean edition represented organic development. Indeed, we know there was considerable opposition to the restored editions.

    Claiming that "the Church has assigned a text [i.e., a performing edition]. And that text is not the Sankt Gallen or Laon neumes" is a lazy way out of the debate. The Church also called for a more critical edition of the chant books to be prepared...almost six decades ago. I remain baffled as to how any musician interested in historically informed performance practice could be content with uncorrected ca. 115-year-old editions.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,839
    Is it lazy, though? Or is it a rejection of the terms?
    Musicology is good. Its insights should be used by every choir director, insofar as conditions allow. And if the Church saw fit to give us a shiny new edition of the chant, printed in editions we could afford, and suitable for the Vetus Ordo, that would be good, and I would use it.
    But liturgy is not musicology.
    Chant, like Bach, is pretty much indestructible. It's been used and abused throughout all ages. I've seen the blood on my choir loft floor so I know. And the chant is not one thing. There's no Platonic Ideal Chant out there. Of the pre-Tridentine dialects of chant, which one was "correct"? Is Medicaean chant "chant", or not? Did we have 300 years when chant was forgotten?
    We had 60 years of trying to get chant back into its rightful place. Then it was disappeared.

    What I'm saying, badly, is that most people find chant intimidating enough, without dealing with the Triplex. For those who feel comfortable with it, fine. But what's important is getting more parishes singing chant.
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  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,002
    Dangerous Opinion:

    All editions of the chants are good and useful.

    In my time as DM, I have used the Solesmes edition, the Triplex, Gregor und Taube, the Sarum Gradual, the Cistercian Gradual, the Medicaea, Amiens, and Paris. Along with DuMont.
  • Mocqueroea "A STUDY OF GREGORIAN RYTHMN " is about the neumes condensed into
    a few rules about groups of 2's and 3's , which is enough for the choir, especially a large
    group . The Triplex probably best serves the director. It will give the director insight into volume, rhythm and tempo. Kelley said the neumes are for the directors hand motions.
    I would never discus neumes with my choir, though I use them . On the other side : We did spend a year learning about the ictus , and that helped the choir learn how to register chant (which was new to them) into some kind of organized system. But when we moved away from that ictus it was quite liberating. Most of the choir knew the ictus system wasn't true-like Easter bunny .
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,540
    The Triplex probably best serves the director

    Agreed. And that's even assuming the director knows what they are looking at.

    I would never put the triplex in front of my choir apart from showing them a sample page one time to explain some of the musical choices and discuss chant scholarship as a mini history lesson. Precious few people actually know enough to make heads or tails of those symbols, so for the overwhelming majority they just clutter the page. Ultimately, the triplex is just the gradual with pictographic critical commentary. It's a work of scholarship rather than practical singing document. (And what is even more disappointing, is at least my copy is a crappy scan of the original—it's the real book, not some knockoff, but the reprints are not very high quality—so every page is fuzzy.)
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,540
    I should also mention that the Graduale Novum is the same way. They clearly printed a version, someone wrote in the symbols by hand, and then they scanned the annotated edition and printed the scan. They did not layer in vector graphics of the ancient symbols over freshly rendered vector scores. I think it's rather criminal considering how expensive they are.
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