“default” melody for “Pange lingua ... córporis” in Liber hymnarius
  • Has anyone else noticed how interestingly ... similar, yet dissimilar, the Liber hymnarius’s first melody for “Pange lingua ... córporis” is from the one that appears in most of our hymnals?

    The basic outline of the melody is the same, but the mode is different.

    This “new” one seems to me to have a more “Gregorian” flavor than the one I’m more familiar with.
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    I'm curious about this too. I would like to know what the source for this melody is.

    The version we know and love was the most popular tune for Fortunatus' Pange...proelium around the time St. Thomas Aquinas wrote his text and was "sung all over Europe"--see p. 144f. of Hiley's _Western Plainchant_. Hiley also notes that "Because notation came so late to the hymn repetory it is impossible to know how old many melodies may be."

    Based on the musical excerpt Hiley gives on these pages, which is transcribed from a 13th century source, it's safe to say that when St. Thomas put pen to paper, the melody it would have been set to had attained a form virtually identical to the one we all know. So the decision of the editors of the LH to set the text to what sounds like a more ancient version of the same melody (with a more "ancient Mode III" feel) could be criticized as anachronistic.