• Greetings All,
    I was very taken aback when Queen Elizabeth II's coffin was carried into Westminster hall and the choir began chanting James O'Donnell's treatment of Psalm 139. It is positively stunning.

    It's an interesting idea to sing the Beatitudes to a nice Anglican Chant Formula. You should try it. You should also look up the tone I mentioned above. It is particularly lovely.
  • Very nice, Serviam. even though I would quibble with some of your pointing.
    Also (and this is not your fault), this is not Anglican chant, but a simplified version that has found a home in some books and some places.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomjaw
  • Quibbling with pointing is allowed. I take no offense at that. I am American, so for starters, I prefer the Gloria Patri different than J O’D set it in his setting.

    It’s still useful even if you’d have your group shift a few syllables.

    I think partly what I love about this formula is the tension of the first half, with the unexpected shift and resolution in the second half. It is musically rather interesting when you think about it. This pairs nicely with the whole bent of the beatitudes which is a constant juxtaposition between something bad (earthly sense) and the good that will come of it in eternity. Tension, resolution.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • lmassery
    Posts: 394
    Love this! But now I gotta find the psalm 139 pdf!
  • It’s being published in a collection of music for royal occasions, but unfortunately there is a strike going on with the royal mail, so the publisher has a banner on the site that orders aren’t shipping at the moment.
    Thanked by 1lmassery
  • And MJO— your comment gave me pause, and I’ve looked at it again, and realized that there are at least two inconsistencies that do need correcting (kingdom and inherit on the second stave). I’ll try and fix this Monday and repost.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,137
    Actually, on the second stave there are three inconsistencies (due to stressed syllables): "kingdom", "-herit", and "children" should be on the second note.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,742
    chord progressions cannot be copyrighted.

    You might not want to test that in court.
    Thanked by 1GerardH
  • Which Bible translation is your wording for Mt. 5:1-12a from? Is it in the public domain?
  • This is the current lectionary translation.
  • Well, while I believe that I'm still in the clear, I've decided to pull this PDF to err on the side of caution and not unwittingly cause scandal. If someone wants to discuss it further, you can PM me.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,137
    I've listened carefully to the original broadcast video of O'Donnell's setting of Psalm 149, and I'm sure that it is in the standard form of an Anglican Double Chant. I've transcribed what seems to be the chant, albeit perhaps with some minor errors for the inner parts.
  • I believe this to be the case as well. And if that is correct, it is literally "just" a set of sequential chords (I do not mean to imply there is no artistry in that; there is—clearly—as his setting is stunning). I'm tempted to write to him about it and see if he'd grant his blessing to having it applied this way. I'm also tempted to re-set it with the DR translation. At any rate, I think it positively immoral for our scriptures to require licensing to use in the liturgy, but that's a different discussion for another day.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,137
    It's worth pointing out that an Anglican chant such as O'Donnell's is not merely a sequential set of chords. There are (1) the top-voice melody and (2) the inner/lower parts with various issues of placement and voice leading. This placement and voice leading of the lower parts can have a great effect on the perception and musicality of the chant. Four-part writing for SATB singing Anglcan chant is a lot more complex and worthwhile than just strumming a sequence of chords on, say, a guitar.

  • Quite so.
  • There are literally hundreds of Anglican chants. Virtually every cathedral director of music has written at least one. Each cathedral has its own "chant book" for the whole cycle of Psalms performed every evening at choral evensong, with all of the chants (hopefully) chosen carefully to match the texts of the respective Psalms. The chant book for King's Cambridge has always been a closely guarded thing, but other chant books abound and multiply and I have never seen any chant copyrighted or brought to court. I myself have copies of Winchester and Wells Cathedral's books. No idea whether JO'D wrote this chant specifically for the funeral or whether it had long been in the Westminster Abbey chant book, matched to that particular Psalm.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores