Psalm 45: The Queen Stands at Your Right Hand (Astitit Regina)
  • Greetings all,
    I thought I'd share with you my new edition of Psalm 45, "The Queen stands at Your right hand, arrayed in Gold" in case it is of use to anyone. This is once again in keeping with my recent theme of basing all my psalm settings on ancient chants that treat the same text. In this case, I really had to do some digging; there's nothing on gregobase that references the refrain, however I could find a spate of medieval manuscripts which dealt with this text. I finally settled on this one: http://www.e-codices.unifr.ch/en/sbe/0611/214v (Antiphonarium pro Ecclesia insidlensi, c. 1300-1314) as the source of my inspiration since it was an early book, but late enough that I could actually read the notation.

    I took the incipit, "Astitit" and combined it with "vari(eta)te" at the end, so the overall arch of the antiphon is respected in terms of both its notable opening and its final cadence. I did, however, change how the notes were grouped to make it flow more easily in English. I have to be careful that my settings don't get too florid otherwise the congregation won't sing them.

    The first half of the verse is inspired by the formula for "regina a dextris" and the second half of the verse is "tuis" (it should be noted that the medieval scribe was very sloppy here, and I did compare the notation of this manuscript to others. It seems he offset repeated notes halfway between the lines and spaces making it really neither one nor the other.)

    Since I'm currently battling a sinus infection (pray for me, I had a fever for 7 days), I couldn't sing it in my demo video, so it's organ only, but you can hear a rendition of it done on the organ here: https://youtu.be/-VAeMha7ZIU.

    Since it is conceived of as chant-like (and hence the verses sound formulaic), I essentially wrote it for melody plus accompaniment, but knowing full well that members of my choir will want to sing it SATB, I notated it in a way that it could be adapted as well.

    Cheers,
    James

    PS--just in case anyone is curious, I created this score in Dorico 3.5. Everything seen here, including the picture, was done in Dorico. The only thing I adjusted outside of Dorico was to nudge the two short barlines halfway through the verses over a few pixels since currently Dorico defaults to having them right aligned which I don't like.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,378
    Interesting: does the left edge centering of reciting underlay need hidden notes, as with Sibelius?
  • Nope! You can select the entire string of lyrics and “left align”.

    When inputting further notes, there should be a few quarter rests in the ATB at “your right” etc. but one of my absolute favorite features of dorico is an option to “remove rests”, so I select the whole measure, press that command, and any superfluous rests disappear. It makes doing this type of chant work realllllly easy.
    Thanked by 1Richard Mix
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 350
    Nice. I might have preferred to have 3 notes (GAG) on “stands”, and only the F# on “at”. That would have deemphasized the preposition, and emphasized “your”, and given a pleasing rhythm.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • sdtalley3sdtalley3
    Posts: 216
    I think it’s definitely good stuff!
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Gamba, initially I was trying to think of the congregation and make it as easy as possible (simple, regular groups of two) but I think you’re right. I will change it. This is also in keeping with the original neume grouping which is a bonus. Now that you’ve mentioned it and I've pondered it more, "stands" as three beats would become symmetrical with “at your right” (three beats) so it would have its own regularity too.
    Thanked by 1Gamba
  • Here's the update.

    There are two versions attached where the notation of the refrain is slightly different. One is the accompaniment if you're doing melody only, another is more friendly for the choir to read SATB.
    Thanked by 1Gamba
  • And here's a new practice track (SATB, human sung) of the corrected version:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpMcBi_B4W0

    Link to my blog about it: https://www.psallitedomino.com/blog/the-queen-stands-astitit-regina
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • This is very fine! Thank you!
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Carol
    Posts: 695
    This is so beautiful! I am also jealous of your diction!
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Thanks so much, we used it at our Monastery yesterday. Turned out beautiful.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • How wonderful! I’m so pleased you chose to use it and that it went well.
    Thanked by 1monasteryliturgist