Assembling an Antiphonale Romanum and copyright
  • Hi brothers in Christ.

    I just bought the Ordo Cantus Missae (1988) and the Ordo Cantus Officii (2015) with the intention of assembling a private edition of the Graduale Romanum and Antiphonale Romanum (yes, a full Antiphonale Romanum) for the Ordinary Form, in Spanish rubrics, and using GregorioTeX. I would get most of the chant engravings from GregoBase (https://gregobase.selapa.net/scores.php). My long-term idea is to request liturgical approbation from my bishop.

    My question is regarding the legality of compiling the Antiphonale Romanum. I know all of the GR chants are in the public domain, and so are most of the compositions for the Office, but I suspect some hymns or antiphons could have been composed recently and thus be protected under copyright. As a very scrupulous person, this question makes me doubt.

    Do you see any issue in compiling a fully updated Antiphonale Romanum and publishing it?
    Is GregoBase legal?
  • I assume that the Gregorian settings of the chants of the Graduale Romanum are in the public domain (at least, when you're not using the recently restituted settings from the Graduale Novum or the Liber Gradualis I). The rhythmic signs from Solesmes however might still be under copyright, but who wants those anyway? So, for chants in the public domain you're stuck with the chants from the editio vaticana, which transcriptions are, with our current knowledge of semiology, sometimes problematic.

    The chants of the Antiphonale Romanum are a lot more difficult to assess. According to the 2015 OCO, some have still to be lifted from the manuscripts, some have been composed by Solesmes. The results are partially published in, among other books, the Antiphonale Romanum I and II, or the Antiphonale Monasticum I, II and III. These are protected by copyright, I think. As are the settings from Antiphonae & Responsoria (Alberto Turco) or Salterio Corale (Praglia Abbey). It's complicated.

    Then come the texts. Of the hymns for example, many are protected by copyright (Libreria Editrice Vaticana), I presume.
  • Seems like producing a legal Antiphonale Romanum is somewhat complicated, to not say insane. Do you know any other practical way for chanting the Office, other than using simple tones or composing the music itself?
  • Would it be OK to produce an Antiphonale for my own private use? I read here: https://adoremus.org/2022/01/mission-impossible-antiphonale-romanum-i/ that the Notre Dame Seminary produced a private Vesperale for their own use following OCO 2015, but never published it because of copyright laws, and they are still using it to this day.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,088
    Copyright laws vary wildly from one country to another, despite attempts to harmonize them. I am told that even the theoretical basis of copyright varies, for example between France and the USA. However "publish" means to make public and what you do in private will not come to the attention of Authority; though again that varies, will showing your wife amount to publishing?
    Meanwhile - have you noticed this thread? - https://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/20256/oco.pdf#Item_14
  • CGM
    Posts: 569
    You might take a look at this project, recently published here:

    https://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/20256/oco.pdf

    Perhaps you could contact Joerg for assistance with your project.
  • Seems like producing a legal Antiphonale Romanum is somewhat complicated, to not say insane. Do you know any other practical way for chanting the Office, other than using simple tones or composing the music itself?


    Yes, buy yourself the Antiphonae & Responsoria (volumes I through V) or download oco.pdf from Joerg. But in both cased you still need the texts of the psalms, readings, preces and orations, so a Liturgia Horarum (volumes I through IV) would also be useful.

    Would it be OK to produce an Antiphonale for my own private use?


    For your own private use you can put together whatever compilation you want. Just don't publish it.