Sources for "Sequentia" chants
  • Happy feast of the Holy Transfriguration,

    I am in love with "Sequence" chants. I would like to know if anyone can recommend to me some medieval facsimilies that have been adapted into modern notation or square notes so that I can sing from them and adapt them into the english language for parish church use. I have access to many university libraries and have seen something like them in one but havent had time go back and look closely. Some old gradual or sacramentaries perhaps we know of...?

    Particular I am after the "Ave Mundi Spes Maria" ''In Honorem Beatae Mariae V.'' (12th c)
    with complete verses.

    "Most sequences were abolished from the Catholic service
    the Council of Trent (1545-63), and only four were retained
    laudes, at Easter; Veni Sancte Spiritus, on Whitsunday; Lauda
    Aquinas, for the festival of Corpus Christi; and the Dies
    Stabat Mater, was added in to the liturgy in 1727."

    Also why in the world were they abolished, was it a reaction to protestants? they remind me of byzantine chant and could easily enrich the liturgies of today more easily than the propers of the mass I think as they are closer to hymns in nature and more catchy and eays to sing with.

  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,021
    Hi Chris.

    I, too, am a fan of Sequentiae. It is amazing that there were (are) over 5,000 of them - almost all hidden away in ancient texts. They were the first use of hymnody during the Mass, and the only use thereof that was ever sanctioned. They grew out of lengthy tropes to the Alleluia verses Propers - and that is why they were positioned AFTER said verse. (There is another thread here about the placement of the Sequence in Mass - I am a proponent of this tradition rather than the modern one.)

    For virtually all of the texts (including local variations) check into "Analecta Hymnica".

    For the music, you'll need to research original documents, especially on microfilm. I did so in the humanities section of the Catholic University of America many years ago. So of that may be available digitally on the inter-net now.

    For modern notation, you might look at The English Hymnal, both the circa 1936 and current versions. Anglicans' communications with Rome were no better on the abolition of the Sequence than with anything else! An alternative would be to find a traditional hymn-tune of the same meter. At least you could do something with the text you have until such time as you find a good, authentic source for the chant melody.
  • I seem to recall that several years ago, Laszlo Dobszay prepared a book of sequences that I thought was going to include music. Unfortunately, I dropped the ball on ordering it from him when it came out. Does anyone know if it's still available? Or how to contact him?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,943
    I believe Trent in general shortened the mass. Perhaps it was considered too long. Of course, in this country a mass longer than one hour seems to set everyone off.
  • k9mjm
    Posts: 4
    Look in a pre-Trent Graduale Romanum. There is a pretty good scan of one from 1494 on Google Books.
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 259
    And then of course, the reform of Vatican II put the sequence before the Alleluia. But it’s time to get off that soap box.
  • GerardH
    Posts: 417
    15 years
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,386
    " pre-Trent Graduale Romanum. There is a pretty good scan of one from 1494 on Google Books "
    ¿I can't find this, anyone locate it? Google books just tells me of libraries I could borrow it from.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,715
    @a_f_hawkins Is this one of the Harvard / Hathi trust books that can only be accessed from the U.S. I use the TOR browser to find such things, but a VPN will work as well.
    Thanked by 1a_f_hawkins
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,057
    I presume you've checked Gregobase.
    Some of the texts in the Analecta Hymnica indicate tunes they are to be sung to, like for example Victimae Paschali.
    This is a particularly rich repertoire to find music for a church's patron saint, if it was a saint venerated during the Age of the Sequence.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,057
    Do you have any interest in polyphonic Sequences?
    This is an interesting print:
    Johann Knöfel, Cantus Choralis (Nuremberg 1575)
    What's odd is that the composer was a Lutheran who was trying to maintain the use of the Proper in the Lutheran liturgy. And being Lutheran, he was slightly out of the loop re Sequence settings, which were suppressed from the Tridentine liturgy at about this time. So he set them, along with other Proper bits (some of which I've edited at cpdl). Ms. is digitized at Bayerischer Staatsbibliothek, if you're curious.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen tomjaw
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,771
    Knöfel, Johann doesn't yet have an IMSLP page, but I found a shortcut to BSB on CPDL. Cantus Choralis is pretty tame compared to Choralis Constantinus II, but has missae plenae with sequences for Rorate, Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost and Trinity.