Music for the Distribution of Ashes
  • I was considering what to sing for the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday this year and tried my hand at a simple (though non-formulaic) setting of the first antiphon given in the Graduale. It is Immutemur and the translation is from the Gregorian Missal.

    Download it here

    I haven't dabbled too much in writing through-composed antiphons, but I must say that it was nice to take off the straight jacket that I wear in the preparation of the Simple English Propers! I'm relatively happy with this setting. It retains a very simple character, yet is able to flow freely based upon the character of the text. Feel free to use it on Ash Wednesday if you'd like.
  • Thinking further, it might be better to use Psalm 51 (50) with this antiphon. Here's an updated version.
  • lastly, the pointing of the psalm verses (since someone asked) only indicates the final accent, between pipes, e.g. you are |God|. This is just out of laziness, sorry. The final accent coincides with the last note in the psalm tone. Flexes have no change in pitch, just a pause and continuation on the reciting pitch... except for the final climacus... where the final accent coincides with the first note of the climacus. Hmmm... maybe this isn't going to be very useful to people, sorry!
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,021
    I prefer the typographical use of the "pipes" to represent the bar-lines in the music. This is common in pointing Anglican chant. But is also what Rev. Rossini provided in his Psalm tone Propers.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,072
    Steve: +1. It works the way Adam has done it, but my poor former Anglican soul makes many mistakes whilst trying to remember it is not Anglican chant!

    Adam: nice work. Yes, I think Ps 51/50 is a better fit.

    I had planned the Byrd Miserere, but ran out of time in rehearsal: Good Friday will be coming soon anyway!
  • Re: pipes

    The reason for this is actually technological. I pointed an entire psalter using pipes to indicate final accents and then software takes it from there to convert these to bold, and the software scripts can also add preparatory syllables in italics. My software people use this, but alas I am stuck with manual work for the moment. So I just copied and pasted this in for the time. I would never publish anything using this convention! The italic and bold convention seems to be quite useful though.