Psalms and Gloria Patri in Introit Antiphons
  • Chere
    Posts: 3
    I am doing an assignment and need some insight on what to look for:

    1. How is a psalm assigned to an antiphon? i.e. if I am dealing with Signum Magnum Introit Antiphon from the Assumption of Our Lady, how was psalm 97 (98) assigned to it? Is the psalm related to the feast in some way? If yes, how? Where can I find such information?

    2. I found the 8 tones of the Gloria Patri of the Antiphons. Where can I find more information on their make up?

    Thank you loads for your help.
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 862
    Welcome to the forum!

    1. It's given by tradition. Usually, when the antiphon is taken from a psalm, the verse is also taken from the same psalm. But when the antiphon is taken from another book of Scripture, the assignment of a psalm is given by association with either the text of the antiphon or the feast.

    Psalm 98(97) was once assigned to Signum magnum probably because of its reminiscence of the Magnificat:

    Cantate Domino canticum novum,
    quia mirabilia fecit.
    Salvavit sibi dextera eius,
    et brachium sanctum eius.
    Notum fecit Dominus salutare suum,
    in conspectu gentium revelavit iustitiam suam.
    Recordatus est misericordiae suae
    et veritatis suae domui Israel.

    Doing research to the assigned psalm verses (and reading the psalm in its entirety!) can reveal some aspects of the liturgical sense of the medieval singers who composed the chants.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 901
    This book, The Chants of the Vatican Gradual by Dominic Johner, O.S.B., offers insight into the significance of some of the psalm verses for the introits (e.g. Epiphany (p. 80), and Pentecost (p. 221)).

    As smvanroode mentioned, more often then not the verse is simply the first verse of the psalm from which the introit text is taken (evidently a remnant of the practice whereby the entire psalm was sung with the introit as its antiphon).

    At other times, when the introit text is not taken from a psalm, the psalm verse will often be that traditionally associated with a feast (e.g. Ps. 72(71) for Epiphany, Ps. 47(46) for Ascension, Ps. 45(44) for Mary, Mother of God on Jan 1 and votive Masses of Our Lady) or season (Ps. 80(79) for the Second Sunday and Ps. 85(84) for the Third Sunday of Advent). Verses from these same psalms often appear in other chants or the responsorial psalms of the day or season.
  • Could you clarify what you mean by the make up of the 8 tones?

    The 8 tones correspond to the 8 modes in Gregorian chant. Each mode is a particular tonality that a chant will be in. By classifying the antiphons into modes, it is easy to issign melodies for psalm verses and the Gloria Patri to the antiphon. The melody for the Gloria Patri will generally be the same as that of the psalm verses (it will vary due to the number of lines of text in the psalm verses compared to the Gloria Patri, but they will be variations of the same melody). Does that help at all?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,848
    Are you looking at current practice, or pre-1969 practice? In general they share the same introit and psalm but the use was slightly different. Currently the psalm should be sung during the entrance procession, formerly (and still in churches labeling themselves as TLM) the introit would only be started when the priest had arrived at the foot of the altar, and only the introit, fewer verses, and the Gloria, would be needed. Johner is, of course, dealing with the old rubrics, and because it is now sung as a processional his "performance notes" might be different.
  • Hawkins,

    The Introit can be begun earlier if there's no Asperges me.
    Thanked by 1dad29
  • Chere
    Posts: 3
    Signum Magnum is neo-gregorian since it was written after the Assumption was defined as Dogma - 1950s. I know that the Gloria is in solemn tone 7. However, I found about the make-up of the antiphon i.e. why the use of thirds, where, why, how. Yet I found nothing related to the make-up of the Gloria.

    Thank you re: Magnificat and the similarity to psalm 97 (98). I will research the book by Johner.

    Basically I need to analyse the text and the music accompanying the text, the history etc.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,848
    If you have access to a Graduale Triplex, that tells you where the text comes from, and gives cross references to a couple of other pages with the same music. Then you can check what Johner says about the tune.
  • Chere
    Posts: 3
    Thank you all for your help! :)