Cantus Varii Et Kyriale
  • I've been working on a book of ad libitum chants for a while now, and finally have a first draft mostly finished. I know it's filled with errors and inconsistencies, and some parts are still unfinished, but I thought I'd try to get some feedback anyway.

    How does the selection of chants look? Do some sections have too many (if that's even possible), not enough, or the wrong ones? If any of you know of good sources I've neglected or particular chants that I should include, I'd be grateful to hear.

    I'm also considering removing almost all Solesmes rythmic signs from the book, but I'm kind of on the fence about that.

    Admittedly, any collection of ad libitum chants is pretty subjective, so I might not follow all suggestions, but I'd be very happy to hear them anyway.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,097
    At a minimum, the content of Cantus Selecti would be useful (it has several repetitions, notably for Benediction, and I think you've included most of them, but I think that having one book would be useful, if you're actually going to put it in the pew or at least to the schola).

    Regarding the Solesmes signs: it would probably make the book a non-starter for the target audience. Yes, there are people who sing a sort of mensural chant and who never touch the Solesmes editions (Bruno de Labriolle, in France, for example) or people who do other things, like proportionalism (Patrick Williams has posted some really nice examples of this!). This isn't the place to rehash the arguments (my thanks to Patrick for his observations and to Dr. Weaver for his contributions as well) but the overwhelming majority of people using the TLM use the Solesmes signs in some way, even if they don't exactly follow the classical method (Dr. Weaver observed this on the Square Notes podcast; I have been in this situation, where the dots and episemata are the only guideposts, but the ictus is not used due to ignorance, except for one very important use, at the salicus!)

    In fact, I note that Fr. Weber does not like them (unsurprisingly, since Fr. Columba Kelly was an expert in semiology, and Fr Weber is also a monk of St Meinrad's) but adapted them for his English chant. So much for not using them in vernacular chant after all.

    Anyway, one might ask if removing the signs is easier than simply ignoring them, but then that leads to other questions related to the Vaticana edition…which is all to say that there are solutions for the few who might not be interested in the Solesmes signs, whereas it would be extremely tedious to add the signs back for the rest of us, particularly the full-time TLM places for whom the Solesmes signs are a part of the dealio.
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 981
    This booklet is compiled specifically for the EF. I would mention that on the cover.

    Another thing I would like to know: what does this booklet have that others don't? What makes it a must have?

    From a design point of view: I count three different fonts on the cover plus ornaments. It's a matter of taste, of course, but a bit too much for me. Also a personal taste, but I'm not a fan of Gothic fonts; on the cover maybe, but certainly not throughout the main text.
  • @MatthewRoth
    I have taken quite a lot from Cantus Selecti, but I didn't necessarily give it greater weight than older books by Solesmes (there are a couple from different years titled Cantus Varii). I found some of the chants to be more desirable than others, so I picked the ones I liked best (and could imagine actually using). For example, there are a couple dozen different tones for O Salutaris, but I think including all of them would have been excessive so I picked the eight that I liked best. I'd guess I included about 80% of the chants found in Cantus Selecti.

    Are there any chants in particular that you think I shouldn't have omitted? Or are you just suggesting the inclusion of everything from Cantus Selecti?

    I suppose Cantus Selecti is the main book of ad libitum chants on the market right now, although I don't know how many people actually use it. I imagine that most people just print out the individual chants that they want, and that most people would continue to do that even if my book was being available for people to buy.

    As far as the Solesmes signs go, I certainly see your point. That is really the main reason that I am so hesitant. On the other hand though, if I don't drop them (and I oppose them in principle), who will?
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,097
    — If I have time, I may be able to compare the index to CS and other books.
    — Yes, I do think that all of CS is a good baseline (our shared complaint notwithstanding), but you can't have it all.
    — I want a copy of CS, but having a book ready-to-go is nice, particularly since getting reprints in a sufficient volume is unreliable.
    — I get it, even though I'm pretty invested in the Solesmes signs myself, but I do think that the people interested in not using the signs will do so in their own way (or will make that known).
    — I agree about blackletter headings and titles, personally. I think that it's easier to simply use a larger version (using the LaTeX commands, for example) of the normalfont.
    — finally, I would suggest including Benedicamus Domino, even though that was abolished in 1962. There's too much interest in the pre-Pius XII rites to not include it at this point, even if people don't openly talk about their year-round practice like they did before the monster proprio came out. 1962-only people can just ignore it! And you never know which communities might one day do 1962 except for this part…

  • The selection of chants looks good.

    I think Matthew's suggestions are all good (and thank you for your kind words, Matthew). As for the rhythmic signs, why not print versions with and without, as Solesmes did in the years after the Vatican commission? One advantage of using LaTeX and Gregorio is that it's pretty easily done with \greprintsigns{all}{disable}, although some spacing may need to be tweaked.

    Of course the signs aren't as popular as they once were, as people take other approaches to chant. Still, retaining them as an option may make the book a little more useful, especially for congregational use with something like the Kyriale. Without rehearsal or at least long-term familiarity, there may just be too many open questions at phrase endings when a congregation reads through something like Credo III or Asperges.
  • @smvanroode
    This booklet is compiled specifically for the EF. I would mention that on the cover.

    Good suggestion. Thanks.

    At 460 pages, I don't know if I'd call it a "booklet", but here's what it has:

    It has a large number of ad libitum chants. As far as I know, if it existed as a real book, it would be the largest book of ad libitum chants.

    It has a good selection of chants in honor of the Saints throughout the year, and common chants which can be used in honor of the Saints who don't have ad libitum chants proper to them (such as Saint Monica). If you wanted to do sung Mass more frequently throughout the week, this could be useful.

    It has all seven Credos each printed on two adjacent pages only. Say goodbye to page turns during the Credo!

    It has crisp lines, no fuzzy quilismas. (reprints of older books often suffer from this problem)

    For most people, it would probably not be a must have. But if you want to do a lot of ad libitum chants, you could save on printer costs and not have so many loose papers to misplace.
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  • \greprintsigns{all}{disable}

    What?!? This Exists!?
  • Gregorio is a wonderful thing! You can actually get much more specific. The first argument can take values like vepisema, hepisema, or mora if you just want to get rid of particular signs.
  • Well, that settles it nicely then. Thank you Dr. Weaver.

    We'll have rhythmic signs for everyone who wants them now (which appears at the moment to simply be everybody), and if God ever wills for me to direct music at some parish, I will then produce copies without the rhythmic signs using the convenient little command (and perhaps some slight tweaking).
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • @MatthewRoth
    If you weren't aware, Cantus Selecti can be purchased here:

    including Benedicamus Domino

    I'm not familiar with this. Can you explain what practice you're referring to? I'm generally all for pre Pius XII myself, and this sounds interesting...

    The blackletter font is a more difficult point for me. I will mull over it further, as I have done for the past year. I have one friend who insists it would be better with red and black printing, but no blackletter font. I have some friends who like it how it is now (as do I). And I know several people on this forum have expressed preference for the use of normal font over blackletter. I'm just so attached to the blackletter font personally.

  • I'm glad it's helpful. I can't tell you how many hours of work knowing that command would have saved me if I'd learned it sooner.
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  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,735
    In your Kyriale section you have only set the Ite, if you look at the older Graduale they also have a Benedicamus for say Mass II etc.

    I notice the St Patrick section is empty... I know when I looked that the Analecta Hymnica was the only place with chants for St. Patrick.

    The Mysterium Ecclesiae would be a good hymn to add as it is for both Advent and the BVM. There are some rather good Ambrosian Hymns in the Vesperale.
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  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,097
    I know that Cantus Selecti is available, but it takes ages and ages to reprint and ship.

    Plus, I like killing two birds with one stone as it were. If we could print only an occasional Gregorian piece in addition to the prayers that my pastor uses, we would be in great shape. We don't have permanent things in the pews (in fact, we don't have pews with book racks at the moment), so while even a library cart is not an adequate solution at the moment (and we have no storage for a parish-sized order), this would be great.

    I currently put the Mass number and some details (Ky. mode VI or I, ad lib II, and so on) on the hymn board, so for Benediction, I could put something, which would be great.

    As I don't control things, there's no guarantee of purchasing anything, but there is a market, and having the complete Solesmes Kyriale (even without the Dumont Masses from the appendix) is really important. We do more than just the usual Asperges (no shame on those who do just that); I know some ambitious places do all three!

    Before John XXIII changed the rubrics: When the Te Deum is said in the office, the Gloria is said at Mass, and therefore the ending is Ite, missa est. A couple of votive Masses have an exceptional Gloria (the Angels always, BVM on Saturday, BVM in Advent by indult with the Rorate Mass…). But when the Te Deum isn't said, the Gloria isn't said, and therefore Benedicamus Domino is said (you'll notice too that in Lent, the collect of Vespers is the oratio super populum, because conventual Mass is traditionally said, on fasting days, after None; John XXIII moved all Masses to after Terce, and for consistency, Benedicamus is said even on ferias of the year, when Mass follows Sext, but nothing need follow Sext).
  • @tomjaw
    I left the Saint Patrick section empty because I was waiting for my friend to send me some (he is kind of obsessed with ad libitum chants, and Saint Patrick). He just sent me a bunch, including several from the Society of St. Bede (so I imagine you had a part in putting those hymns together).

    I haven't really looked at the Society of St. Bede, but I guess I should have. I see you've got tons of hymns, sequences, and whatnot. I'll probably consult the website a lot for my second run through.

    If I use chants from Society of St. Bede, do I need to provide any credit or attribution?

    I figured most of these chants are hundreds of years old anyway, but I know I should make sure I'm covered legally before publishing anything (it's surprising how many lawyers like chant!).

    Ideally I would like to keep the actual pages of the book as simple as possible, but I could always expand my "Sources" section.
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  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,735
    The Society of St. Bede, does not make any copyright claims on the website... Although I do realise that in some places we would be considered copyright holders.

    Most of the pieces are using music that is public domain and texts that are also public. So only the typesetting would be considered copyright. I do realise that some pieces the magnitude of the editorial input would be grounds to claim copyright.

    The aim of the society is for the Liturgical treasures of the Church that have been forgotten to return to use, so claiming any sort of copyright would be against our aims. Everyone so far that has commissioned, printed or used the materials have put a short thanks such as

    At least the newly produced music being uploaded should have details of where the text and the music has come from, for the older pieces we are producing new editions with that information.

    I hope that much more material that is partially completed will appear this year on the website...

    One other thing I think about is the melodies of the hymns, should we use the Roman melodies, the monastic, the Dominican or melodies from the ancient manuscripts in a hymn book? We have produced some hymns set to multiple melodies, but is that a good use of limited time?
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  • One other thing I think about is the melodies of the hymns, should we use the Roman melodies, the monastic, the Dominican or melodies from the ancient manuscripts in a hymn book? We have produced some hymns set to multiple melodies, but is that a good use of limited time?

    I'd say the answer is whichever is most beautiful and fitting to the meaning of the words and the idea the hymn is meant to express. Admittedly this is somewhat subjective, but still one must try. If there are multiple melodies which are extremely fitting and beautiful but different, perhaps it is worth including multiple (especially if it is a text you might sing frequently). If it's truly a tossup, but not worth including multiple, go Roman.
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  • Now that I think about it, only the Priest (or Deacon at Solemn Mass) would need the Benedicamus Domino, so is it really necessary to include it in a Kyriale? The choir and congregation would respond with the same Deo Gratias whether the Priest chants Ite or Benedicamus. Do any of you know of Priests who have a Kyriale up on the Altar with them? Our priest just used a little card with the different tones for the Ite printed out on it. He also has one for the Gloria and Credo. I imagine some more musically inclined Priests would just memorize the tones.
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  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,735
    The Kyriale would have the Benedicamus so we can give the notes to the priest etc., the Benedicamus has many more notes. I don't see it as a big problem for a Kyriale not to have them. I wanted to produce a Pre-1962 Kyriale, as we follow the older rubrics, so I put them in. In any case these Kyriale are mainly intended for congregations, rather than a schola that would need the Propers, and so would use a Graduale etc.

    The Missal Romanum has some of the chants notated, but not the full set. There are also sheets, and some priests use a small Kyriale. I have been working on a booklet with all the chants a priest would need to sing any of the chants needed. It is almost finished, just need to correct a few things!
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  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,097
    However, including the Benedicamus would be the standard convention (assuming that you include it), and it would be suitable for the organist if he or she is able to play based on the square notation. Plus the Ite is not taken from the Kyrie in the cases where Benedicamus Domino was previously given, so the relationship is obscured, and being able to have ONE resource used by both the DM (who may or may not be the organist) and the people, if not the schola or choir too (remember, it's not uncommon to have people who are in the choir but who are not singing propers at a given Mass, if ever — let us leave the politics of that aside…). So including the Ite with its response, then you'd do the same for Benedicamus Domino…

    I really, really don't like departing from what the Vatican edition or Solesmes did in cases like this. Also, the congregation should have the text (even without the translation) so that they figure out when the minister sings Ite and when he doesn't.
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  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,735
    Comments on the book
    Homo quidam, has two different settings I prefer the more complex one, rather than the one you set. Here The Parody Virgo Parens Christi also has a more melismatic ending.
    Also the Compline hymn for Corpus ChristiChristus Noster
    I think the Dominican melody for the Sacris Solemnis is better than the Roman.
    I would have set all the verses for the O Gloriosa Virginum
    I also do not see why we need the deformed versions of the hymns, having to sing them as part of the Office is bad enough.
    Some suggestions for additions...
    For Advent I would have added the Mysterium Ecclesiae and the Vox Clara I would also put the verses of the Vreni Emmanuel in O antiphon order. The Dominican melody of the Veni Redemptor is far better.
    For the Epiphany Illuminans Altissime
    Good bye to the Alleluia
    For Lent the Matins Hymn Ex More
    For Easter Chorus Novae and Hic est Dies
    Ascension Postquam hostem and Optatus votis omnium sorry these are the new words.

    Will continue this list later...
  • Thank you. I like most of these suggestions very much. Although I am very attached to the standard melody for Sacris Solemniis. Maybe I could include both.

    I think because of copyright I am going to have to sift through the book carefully (instead of just randomly pulling things from GregoBase, as I had been doing). That, combined with going back to school Monday, is going to slow down the project significantly.

    But I am very grateful for all the feedback.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • There are several things that I would like personally, but they have a fair chance of making the book less desirable to the majority of people. These are:

    - Making the book Latin only (besides the sources page)
    - Significant use of blackletter font (as in the draft above)
    - Only including pre-Urban VIII hymns
    - Removal of Solesmes rhythmic signs

    It's the battle of common practice and expectations versus what I see as the ideal.

    I'll also add that originally my target audience did not include people in the pews (although they certainly could use the book). That is why I included many matins responsories and more complicated chants as well as the hymns. It was more meant for the choir. I included a Kyriale because, as MatthewRoth pointed out, many in the choir do not sing the Propers, so this could have all the chants they need in one book, and it could be a supplementary book for those who do sing the Propers.
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  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,735
    My Kyriale is Latin only, as it is planned it will be published in Germany / Switzerland...

    For a Hymn book, aimed at a choir perhaps no translations are needed, they can be distracting. For a book for use by the congregation translations would be a very good idea, it is a shame that so few people know the beautiful texts that are being sung. Of course with translations they really should be all by one translator, in a book. Swapping between different translations would be incongruent (but possibly unavoidable).

    Qui procedis is missing the end (I know the setting in Solesmes books also does not contain all the stanzas)
    Profitentes Unitatem
    End of the Liturgical Year,

    For the saints I will really need to think, I suppose it is best to choose the saints first and then look for the Hymns! I do like the Ambrosian Hymns found in the 1939 Liber vesperalis Mediolanensis.
    I like how you have the Decus Morum, with its little jokes at the end of each verse. This style of hymn was quite popular, and this seems to be the only hymn of this style to remain in the Liturgical books.
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  • I certainly am not prepared to include translations for the chants, it's just a question of whether or not to use English for the titles and (mostly non-existent) instructions.

    the Decus Morum, with its little jokes at the end of each verse.

    I'm not sure what you're referring to, could you elaborate? Regrettably, I don't know much about several of the chants I've included. I've tried to make a rough translation of some for my own understanding, but mostly I just gave each one a sing through (or a few) on the piano or organ to judge what I think of them.
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  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,735
    Translations take up loads of space and cause lots of problems. I am still thinking about the Hymn books we want to produce... I think it is a good idea to follow the various Solesmes (Desclee) books and not include them.
    Latin instructions are very nice, but my Latin is not good enough to write them, so I only copy the instructions.

    The Office Hymns of the Latin Church, usually fit a metrical text to a melody. This text tells a story or gives instruction. Some hymn writers took this further and wrote rhyming texts an example of this is St. Thomas Aquinas. Others made acrostics so that the First letter of each verse spelt out a word, a similar device is with the Veni, Veni Emmanuel (I will be here tomorrow) see the last page of this

    The Decus Morum uses another device, notice the last line of the first verse (Christe Redemptor omnium) the second verse has Exsultet caelum laudibus, third, Aeterne Christi munera, forth Summae Deus clementiae, fifth Vexilla Regis prodeunt etc. they are all the first verses of other hymns.
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  • I see!
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  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,183
    About blackletter fonts:
    (1) the computer versions of these are generally unattractive
    (2) they proclaim "affectation", like a sign with fake "colonial" spellings of Ye Olde Soape Shoppe
    (3) they were already superceded by Roman fonts in missals as early as the 1600s, so why imitate a style from the 1400s?
    (4) If you want, you can make a personal edition with a font you like and print it via Lulu, so you don't have to use it in the edition you offer to the public.

    Before you offer anything for public use, get proofreaders: I think I saw an instance of "pronuntiation".

    Good luck with the project!
  • Is this the sort of visual you all want? (pdf attached)

    Not full illumination like here? I'm friends with an artist, although the red would increase printing prices.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,097
    Yes. 1,000x better.

    I take advantage of LetterSpacing in fontspec for all caps titles in case you don’t do that already . And “sæcula” is missing the “æ” and therefore the accent in the Benediction prayer, fyi.
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  • Elmar
    Posts: 504
    æ seems to be missing in 'normal' text everywhere when bearing an accent.
    Further, in some of the example chants it is typeset ae instead of æ, plus there are a few places where the a new word already begins below the end of the preceding neume, which looks a bit crowded to me.
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  • Yes, I've realized that the character for an accented æ is completely missing from this font, so LaTeX just left out all instances of that letter. I will fix that, and the consistency of ae versus æ (as well as a lot of other things) once I do my second pass.

    I am not sure if there is anything I can do about the alignment of words with neumes. What is the most egregious example you found? LaTeX is aligning the vowels with the first note of each neume. Perhaps there is a way to change it to align the center of the syllable, although I don't know if that would be a good thing or not.

    If anyone else has opinions about the font options it would be great to hear.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 504
    The alignment of vowels to the first note of the neume is fine and standard; it is a matter of neume spacing as far as I see.
    In your example file, in most of the melodies of 'Tant um ergo' the P of 'Præstet fides supplementum' is to the left of the pausa maior, in some cases even below the dot at the end of the preceding neume. Comparable for 'Laus et iubilatio' and 'Procedenti'.
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  • Hmmn, I see. Do you have a suggestion of how I might fix it? I can't think of anything except increasing the neume spacing across the board, which I don't think I want to do, because then the chants will take up more lines and not fit nicely on the pages the way I arranged them.

    Looking back at the previous draft, the same issue was there, but not quite as bad, because the Alegreya font is a bit more compact.

    Elmar, do you have an opinion on the fonts?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,183
    About the accented ae character: some of the fonts built-in with LaTeX are old and do not have the digraph or the accented digraph, but you can work around this by using the \fontspec package and providing your own font as a TTF or OTF file. That could be a commercially purchased font or a high-quality free font such as Gentium from

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  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,735
    I have been busy, my 15 year old son is now helping!

    Now you have plenty to choose from,
    Lots more to come, we are working on a couple more Hymns for SS Peter and Paul, then we have several for the Visitation to go up on the Feast (Tuesday).
  • Thanks for the great resources! The Saint Bede Society pdfs are super helpful.

    I am not giving up on the project altogether, but I am tabling it for the time being. It is apparent to me now just how many chants there are, and so it is very difficult to include only some and leave out others. There are so many resources and collections to draw from. I will try to circle back to this after I have done a few smaller projects first. I particularly want to make a collection of Christmas carols and chants before Christmas this year, that way we have a good book to go caroling with.

    I recently got this paperback reprint of Cantus Selecti from Amazon. It is very nice for a paperback, and a lot of chants for just $12.
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  • mmeladirectress
    Posts: 1,082
    The people on this forum are SO amazing.
    What riches!!