Music for the Chartres pilgrimage…
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,524
    M. Gérard de Rosny composed much of the music used on the Pentecost pilgimage from Paris to Chartres, including "Chartres sonne, Chartres t'appelle" and the Ave Maria used by the pilgrims. Not all of this music is used; most pilgrims used the Gloria Patri of the ton royal in mode VI instead. He passed into eternal life several years ago, and his website is now dead. While I was able to recover some PDFs via the Internet Archive, they were the originals from the 1980s, perfectly legible, but perhaps in use of some correction with modern notation software. Most notably, the text is all-uppercase. Included are the Ave Maria and "Chartres sonne, Chartres t'appelle," which are the most useful for all pilgrims, especially newcomers and those coming from the English-speaking world.

    Additionally, the pilgrims don't actually sing his melody, but instead, they have modified it, presumably having learned it by ear. I have done my best to transcribe it, though without the harmonizations. The notation is wonky, and I have left some quarter notes that are really somewhere between an eighth note and a quarter note as sung by pilgrims, particularly in the last phrase, because the actual pitches do not change. Nevertheless, having notes that match the actual pitch relationship and which correspond with the text as sung seems helpful. Voici…

    I have also set the Gloria Patri to modern notation without harmonization or polyphony, since both verses are sung to the "chant" melody.
  • JonathanKKJonathanKK
    Posts: 534
    I really doubt your modified Ave Maria is notated correctly??? Way too much of it is off beat.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,524
    This is out of my wheelhouse a little bit (and the multiple ??? are a little aggressive, no? I’d appreciate an offer to help, but I’m not really in the mood to have my parade totally rained on. Until today, I’m not aware that any of this existed at all — certainly not in one place with a modern, legible score. And I thought that it might be of service, having realized how much of a pain it is to coordinate “new” music at such events and that I hated feeling left out too).

    But it’s as correct as I could do without totally starting over from the original score (thus my comment about note length…). I didn’t even realize that people deviated from the original until I found the music. I had assumed for several years that they at one point learned from a common source. They did. But they changed it along the way.

    And I don’t know where they get the harmonies. The original? But I’ve only ever sung the melody.

    Have you ever been on the pilgrimage…?

    Unfortunately, there are very few videos on YouTube (some are from very sketch accounts, one is of very poor quality), and none AFAICT feature the trad way to do the rosary: Gregorian Pater Noster, sung Ave, i.e. this melody, ton royal for the Gloria Patri.

    This is the best that I can do (again, a sketch, very spammy type of account, no idea who is singing and so on…) I disagree a little bit with “peccatoribus”: she follows the original more than I have experienced. YMMV, I guess.

  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,292
    That Ave Maria recording is a bit off from what I am used to, it sounds very flat without the flourishes of the version commonly sung. N.B. I have been on the Pilgrimage 10 or 12 times!

    I presume that M. Gérard de Rosny was the choir director that we would sing with. I am sure that if you get in touch with N.D. Chrétienté direct or perhaps via Michael Matt at the Remnant they would be able to help. Also our friends in Paris may be able to help.

    I suspect that the accompaniments were ad lib by the Chartres Cathedral organist, they did seem to vary!
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,524
    I’ve prayed the rosary a few dozen times with French groups, on retreats and even before Sunday Mass. They sing in parts without accompaniment.

    No, I know exactly the response that I’m going to get from the Frogs: “what are you talking about?” I love France and the French, but they don’t seem to be aware that the melody has taken on a life of its own, nor that foreign pilgrims and newcomers might meed it. My copy of the book doesn’t even have music for “Chez nous, soyez Reine”… It’s why I did this myself.


    Yes, the original is flatter, and the singer sometimes follows it. Or put it another way, there are places where the melody ascends in the same way, but one syllable later, giving the impression of being flatter. The original sounds nice in its own right! It’s just that no one follows it.