Representing a horizontal episema in modern notation
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,423
    At the beginning of the Alma Redemptoris Mater, there is a held note that in chant notation is pointed with a horizontal episema. Would a tenuto be a good choice for representing this in modern notation? I am trying to avoid doubling the value.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,597
    Does this count as a tenuto? Whatever it is, it seems fairly standard. One might be able to import one's own bar using Musescore (which is what I use — I can only handle one text-based markdown system at a time!), but I personally just use the default tenuto, dots, and vertical markings when messing with Gregorian scores based on the Solesmes books needed in modern notation. If anyone has more expert advice, however, I'm also all ears.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • madorganist
    Posts: 819
    Yes, that's the standard representation in modern notation.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,514
    My first encounter with the tune was in Dufay's setting, so I understand the question even after seeing the unmarked version in Liber cantualis (p70); my LU has a dot (p278) and a dash for the in cantu simplici version (p282).
    Tenuto will indeed be understood as the equivalent, and thus probably doubled by those so trained unless there is explicit direction; for contexts like "Tu quae genuisti" a poco rall. might be safer.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,643
    I have given my parish the general instruction that a black note is regular/short (ie-keep flowing), a tenuto is lengthened (approx. 1.5) and a white note head is 'long' (ie-doubled). These are all "approximate" however, and not mathematical. Natural flow is to be observed. But in general, a tenuto marking works well and people understand it on the whole.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,597
    How do you represent psalm tones then if you use white note heads for something else?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,911
    How do you represent psalm tones then if you use white note heads for something else?

    Half-note heads for longs (white notes).
    Double whole notes for multiple syllables in psalm tones.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,514
    Richard Crocker's Gradual Psalms as well as The Plainsong Psalter use parentheses for the 'extra' psalm tone notes.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,643
    Double whole notes for multiple syllables in psalm tones.

    I also do this. I find it particularly helpful for multiple reasons:
    1.) it removes visual clutter
    2.) makes it immediately clear that you keep singing the same pitch until new notes appear on the stave
    3.) people's eyes instinctually gravitate back to the text because there's no music to keep an eye on, so the proclamation of the text tends to follow natural speech rhythm much better.

    In fact, I've even taken to adding long rectangular bars to indicate reciting tones, specifically. It's very clear and makes the chanted part distinct from the accompaniment if there is one.
    Thanked by 2francis CHGiffen