Divine Office Hymnal has arrived!
  • Our copies have arrived. I haven't looked at the accompaniment yet but on first glance I'm pleased with this volume.
    The metrical version is on the left and the chant version on the right.
    The text flows well and is "elevated".
    It is printed on a cream paper with a nice size print. (Gone are the day when I could read 5 point easily!)
    It is nicely bound but I suspect for a religious community who would use it daily it won't hold up well although it seems sturdily bound.
    Having sung some of the hymns of the privileged seasons to metrical tones I can see they were tying to keep the melody choices accessible while in my head I'm singing them from the Summit Choirbook...and those are often melodies most people never heard of.
    My community will be using this hymnal so in a few months I hope to have a more "seasoned" review.
  • I would like to know: Is the Gregorian chant Hymn in Sqaure Note Notation or Modern?
  • davido
    Posts: 895
    The entire hymnal is in modern notation, both plainsong and chorale tunes.
  • Thats unfortunate. Definitely not getting it then. Our Sisters have big issues being able to read modern notation. If its in chant they can do it perfect, anything else is to confusing for unexperienced singers.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • davido
    Posts: 895
    I would think that communities like yours would be the main target of this Divine Office Hymnal project. How ironic (and Vatican II like) that the hymnal’s “inclusiveness” (modern notation) leaves it unused by the very people for whom it was meant.
  • The problem with these things: I think if they would actually ask a variety of communities opinions rather than just one or two- they might have a better understanding of the needs of religious. Diocesan priests will never understand - even if they are well meaning.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw ServiamScores
  • davido
    Posts: 895
    Hopefully the USCCB sees the problem here and allows the hymnal to also be released in square notes

  • I grew up with chant notation and have been doing it for 45 years. It is easier than modern but it is easy enough to adjust. After a few weeks the chants should be memorized anyway and the music is just a nudge.
  • It is a well bound volume, attractive and reasonably priced. But I too am dissapointed that the chant settings were not set in square notes.

    I think the choice of setting the chant settings in modern notation will almost certainly not achieve its goal. Although it was intended to reach the widest demographic, I think it will in fact result in reaching a smaller demographic. In my experience, most people who are interested in plainchant do not like reading chant in modern notation and most people who are attached to modern notation aren't all that interested in chant. The choice to exclusively use modern notation effectively alienates the bulk of people in both groups.

    I probably won't be ordering more copies and will just stick to Fr. Weber's Hymnal for the Divine Office or the Dominican Hymnarium instead.
  • drforjc
    Posts: 38
    releblanc: half the hymnal uses traditional hymn melodies; it is not exclusively plainchant melodies.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,778
    In my experience, most people who are interested in plainchant do not like reading chant in modern notation and most people who are attached to modern notation aren't all that interested in chant.
    On the one hand, I'm inclined to agree, but simultaneously, I feel it must be acknowledged that there has to be an entry point for people who do not read square note notation. Whenever I have new choir members join (and these are people who are particularly interested in music, mind) I have to spend the first few months of their tenure offering stemless transcriptions of what we are chanting, because there is always a period of acclimation. The stemless transcribed notation can be a lot less threatening to people who are not ideologically opposed, per se, but who also aren't on the chant bandwagon yet. People who have a basic-level understanding of how to scan music notes can be intimidated into not even trying with square note notation.

    I say all of this, thinking that transcriptions are a mean to an end, and not an end unto themselves (apart from, perhaps, written out organ accompaniments).

    I think it is also fair to say that not all transcriptions are the same as others. I am not passing any judgement on this hymnal as I do not yet have a copy to do so, but there are many ways of transcribing, and some are much more faithful to the original than others. I will retain neume groupings as best I can, and indicate quilismas (actually change the notehead type to be the squiggle, rather than just place one above) and even liquescents with cue-sized notes, wherever possible. Contrast such an approach with the "everything is an equal-looking stemmed eighth note" with a solesmes marking or two at cadences. One method will land you much closer to the original than the other. If the transcription retains the details (insofar as such a thing is possible) I'm usually not that bothered, even if I would prefer the square note version.
    Thanked by 2hilluminar DavidOLGC
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 892
    I contacted GIA to inquire about reprints for programs and was told that OneLicense doesn't cover this hymnal. What's the point? A parish who might want to sing Sunday vespers isn't going to buy this hymnal to only use it for one hymn a week. And for a community who does pray the office regularly, there's no guarantee that this collection will remain unchanged for any length of time. If these text and tune pairings are going to be "official", then fine, but if not, then why bother? If one were to want to make a different pairing of tune and text, then how to go about doing this legally when one can't secure reprint permission? Pay to pray just doesn't work.
  • That sounds like there’s been some sort of miscommunication. I’ll inquire.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Would the chant tunes change when they are the ones from the Liber Hymnarius?

    Here at the monastery we have been using this hymnal for the Office. When we don't know the chant tune or we find it pitched too low, etc., we use the metrical. It provides an option for various types of groups that might be praying the office.
    There are parishes that pray the Office before Mass. This hymnal would be a welcome change from Morning Has Broken...(Somebody FIX IT!)

    This hymnal is to help us PRAY the Prayer of the Church. It's not a pedantic exercise into the history and theology of one element of the Divine Office. I don't mean to sound so severe but I do find the ongoing strain of negativity disheartening.
  • I contacted GIA to inquire about reprints for programs and was told that OneLicense doesn't cover this hymnal. What's the point?


    USCCB/ICEL has the copyrights here and GIA is just distributing, so doesn’t that sound right that OneLicense wouldn’t be involved here? Wouldn’t any reprint permission already be covered by ICEL’s existing publication policies?

    As far as setting this in chant notation, it seems to me there would have been some obstacles with the engraving. The best way — notating every verse one after another — would have extended past the page and then you couldn’t have done the facing pages with the metrical. Multiple text lines under one chant (like Weber) is a bad look with the wide spacing and you lose the benefit of the tight chant contours which negates using the neumes in the first place. A separate, specific book seems like the best option for those who would want chant notation, but who knows if that’s something they would even consider at this point. I hope so.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    I imagine the largest expected consumer of this resource is the diocesan priest. That's not necessarily the preferred consumer, but realistically the expected consumer. That's a lot of copies, 25k or so in the US alone, but only one for most parishes.

    That's reason enough not to make it available on OneLicense, which a pastor could consult online like a breviary app.

    Similarly, the person most affected by the Roman Missal translation, by far, is the priest. Consider how little changed in the texts spoken or sung by the congregation. Then take a look at the changes in the collects. They changed in form, vocabulary, and theological style.

  • Wouldn’t any reprint permission already be covered by ICEL’s existing publication policies?

    I have to wonder if that's what they meant by not covered by OL. I confirmed that GIA is working right now on getting the hymn graphic files loaded into OL, so I expect that the conversation was with someone who was not fully informed. I wouldn't be surprised if reporting is added as a feature once that is done.

    It's not a pedantic exercise into the history and theology of one element of the Divine Office.

    Very well said. It certainly wasn't intended to be an academic tome.

    The best way — notating every verse one after another — would have extended past the page and then you couldn’t have done the facing pages with the metrical.

    While reasonable people might disagree with your use of the word best, this is how the source material was provided by ICEL, and it was more than double the page count of the edition as published. Putting the hymns on facing pages was my suggestion—as was presenting the plainsong hymns with all stanzas under them, and I think both make the edition easier to navigate and use. Others (in this thread) disagree, and thankfully are welcome to prepare their own editions in their local situations where needs might suggest using something else. ICEL's initial suggestion was that both plainsong AND metrical hymns be written out in full... one verse after another. That would have been even longer yet, if not two volumes—especially considering how many hymns have a multitude of stanzas. Weight and paper costs would have been a major detriment to adoption in that case.

  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    Adoremus did a fine interview on the Hymnal with Alexis Kutarna, Principal of the Ordinariate's Cathedral High School.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen LauraKaz
  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 336
    Maybe some real musicians can help me here.

    What up with the melody of Jesu Dulcis Memoria in DOH#203? The last part of the third line seems totally unlike the tune I am familiar with.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,731
    @fcb
    Is this the melody in the Liber Hymnarius, or the melody in the Liber Usualis. Older books have other melodies. I think the Dominican melodies are best.
  • I love the Dominican melody for the Jesu Dulcis Memoria! The full hymn has something like forty verses, so in the chant collection I'm working on, I have the "normal" five verses with the "normal" melody (the one from the LU), and then the verses of the sub-hymn Jesu Decus Angelicum to the Dominican melody (attached below), which I heard in a Youtube video and then tracked down. The "Christmas" chant melody from Christe (Jesu) Redemptor Omnium is used in some books.

    I'm not sure what's in the Divine Office Hymnal since I don't have one, but you could always check Gregobase for different versions of the hymn, or post a picture from your book (if that is legal, which I don't know).
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,731
    @OMagnumMysterium
    Beautiful type setting, Our choir is still singing from this scan,(pg 306 in book not pdf) although is has the 3 Hymns joined so we can sing lots of verses.
  • fcbfcb
    Posts: 336
    Here’s a photo ( we’ll see if the copyright demons come for me).
    2701 x 3601 - 2M
  • looks pretty similar to the standard tone (in the LU), just that one bit is different like you were talking about, and they added a passing tone with eighth notes.

    I guess you'd have to ask the book's editors, but it is interesting the way they adjusted it.

    I think if one is going to put a chant hymn into modern notation (to be sung in a metered way), it might be worth looking into the mensuralist research (by Patrick Williams, and others). That way, you could theoretically copy long and short notes from an older tradition. All equal notes to a steady beat seems very tedious and unmusical to me.
  • That was how ICEL presented it for inclusion, so the question would need to go to them (and probably the retiring director in particular). There were a few things they submitted that were *sooooo* different than how we sing them in the US that I changed them to match our usage. There were a few (like this) that I mentioned in passing to those I work for, but didn’t push to change them. Like it was said, just a passing tone. If the organist played what you’re used to, everyone would sing it without even realizing they weren’t matching what is on the page.

    As to your concern over copyright demons, it’s held entirely by ICEL, so I doubt it would be an issue. Their policies for non-commercial use are pretty generous. The missal and its prayers have certainly been seen online a ton, and I’ve not heard mention of it ever being a problem.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Does anyone know of approved gif, tiff, png, or pdf excerpt files of the Hymnal for parishes to use who desire to publicly pray the Divine Office; especially Vespers?

    The hymns are listed on OneLicense, but there are no accompanying files to download...
  • They will be there eventually.
    Thanked by 1Bombarde16
  • Thank you, Mark.

    Edit: I stand corrected on them being available via OneLicense.... I haven't checked to see if all of the hymns are there, but I can say with confidence that the hymns for Advent are indeed available!