Vietnamese music
  • I am looking for a source containing the music notation for the Ordinary of the Mass in Vietnamese - something similar to the congregational card the Zipoli Institute published as a worship aid when the new edition of the Spanish Misal Romano was implemented.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 700
    Based on the article linked to below, does what you're asking for even exist?

    The 2011 English translation of the Roman Missal incorporates revised, adapted, and newly composed chant melodies within the Order of Mass and with the special texts of certain celebrations, placing the notated versions in prominence before the printed texts, signifying that a lyrical liturgy is normative and preferred. If you open the Vietnamese Sách Lễ Rôma, the second edition of the Vietnamese Roman Missal (1983), you will not find one musical note. And if you open the third edition of the Vietnamese Order of Mass, promulgated for mandatory use on Easter, 2006, you will find that the translation is closer to the Latin, perhaps, but again not one note of music can be found.
  • There was (and still may be) a large Vietnamese population at Holy Rosary in Houston. I always enjoyed their masses because (as it should be) every thing was sung (without books or music!) a capella and without 'cantors' to native chant). It was quite beautiful - all the more so because it was done spontaneously from musical memory. Also, there isn't a word in their mass that is not sung - except for the homily. And a goodly number of our people? Give them music and so-called cantors and they still won't sing.

    Characteristic of this music is the frequent 'sliding' of a second or a third. While we would root out such singing in our western choirs, it is characteristic of oriental ones. Nor do they cultivate the refined Western vocal tradition - but in their own native music it makes sense.

    One might note that the Orthodox have a similar non-adversion to such sliding in their chant.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • MarkB
    Posts: 700
    If anyone or anyplace could help you with your request, it would be the Vietnamese Catholic Center in Orange County, CA:

  • Thank you all. I do have a Vietnamese hymnal from OCP but as you have pointed out there is no notation because the spoken language has a natural rhythm and a musical memory is the standard. We have a multilingual liturgy a few times a year and the first reading is usually in Vietnamese. So the thought was to have the choir learn and sing/chant the response in Vietnamese. We did have a Vietnamese choir member/parishioner help us learn the response initially but we need a refresher before each liturgy and that individual is not always available to assist us. I thought that seeing notation, if it was available, would help us to unify our pitch, rhythm, pronunciation, etc. so that we might eventually memorize the response.
  • I have played many Vietnamese wedding masses and am always blown away and touched deeply by the chanting of the ordinary by seemingly the entire congregation! The chants themselves are hauntingly beautiful! I have music for the Sanctus, Memorial Acc., and Agnus Dei. I assume you could find the ordinary in a missal- I doubt they would hold the missal chants hostage as does the ICEL. We have a congregation of Vietnamese sisters that frequent our parish- and one works here. I will reach out to her if she has any downloaded copies of the missal chants that I can send to you.