"Keeping it moving" in Gregorian composition ... stepwise motion ... thoughts?
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592

    As has been recently reported on the Chant Café, on Sunday I wrote a "Gloria" using the new ICEL translation of the Roman Missal.

    Why did I write it? Well ... to speak truth, I came home from Mass so upset about the "Sing-songy" Gloria they use at one of the big Churches where I live. I was so angry, I sat down and wrote out my own attempt ... I hope that "anger" does not come through!!!! Click here to view score & video for this Gloria

    IN ANY EVENT, I have a question.

    My intent was to keep the piece moving at all costs because so many of our Catholics (alas!) do not have super-long attention spans.

    I attempted to do this by stepwise motion that literally crosses right over barlines:

    View Examples of what I mean (click here)

    I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on this technique. Thanks!

    P.S. I realize that this might create 'registration' problems when singing antiphonally . . . do you agree??
  • So many Glorias die out in the middle. My first reaction to hearing your Gloria a couple of days ago was, "Wow, even the middle stuff was good."
  • I think this is where the ictus comes in handy, and the rules that go with it. From my understanding, if the first note of a phrase is NOT accented, then it performs as a pick-up to the next, and should have a one-beat rest preceding it. It always seems to me that, while triple and duple combinations are freely exchanged during a phrase, most phrases want to start out duple. But that might also depend on the placement of the first accent within the phrase. Another test would be the personal comfort zone test - sing it through the way it feels best, i.e. most fluid. Did you subconsciously and a rest?
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Thank you for these comments!

    (even the whispered ones!)

    I forgot to mention: one of the great features about these settings is that the priest can intone the Gloria.
  • Let the priest intone the Gloria? What a CATHOLIC idea!
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    This was the norm in the 1962 Missal, and is still encouraged in the Ordinary Form.

    This method of intoning the Gloria is a VERY good way to remind the people that the Mass is not an entertainment show or campfire sing-along: it is the priest leading the people in prayers of adoration.
  • Maureen
    Posts: 675
    This isn't a Gregorian thing, but it's a composition question.

    I saw somebody recorded a "Neverending" Bach canon in a sort of semi-Shepard Tone way, and it sounded very nice. And since the cherubim are forever singing the Sanctus, it might be suitable for this sort of forever effect, I think. So are there any Glorias or Sanctuses that use the Shepard Tone illusion?