Polyphony for men's voices
  • Our seminary could seriously use some good three- and four-part music for men's choir. We have been doing SATB stuff with the treble parts down an octave, which usually produces a confused, muddy sound. Any suggestions for websites, anthologies, or individual pieces we could use?
  • Heath
    Posts: 933

    Can't recommend Kevin Allen's Motecta Trium Vocum enough. (www.ccwatershed.org)

    I've had success adapting SATB stuff by lowering it a step, if possible, having high tenors sing the alto part in the pitch that it's written, and dropping the soprano line down an octave. Some adaptation may be required, but it works fairly well, in general.

    Nice collection by Ravanello on this site in the "chant books" section, called Secunda Anthologia Vocalis. Tons of 3-pt stuff, most of it usable.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,150
    How what is the range of your highest men's voices? If they range up to C above middle C, then you can probably sing any number of works that are scored for ATBarB or ATB. There are plenty of these available at CPDL.
  • gregpgregp
    Posts: 632
    I second Heath's motion, and will also state that having videos with the individual parts available online makes it a lot easier to have people learn and practice their parts when they're not at rehearsal.
  • Here's a Kyrie for TBB choir.

    I completely agree that the Ravenello collection is superb. I have used many things from it, with much success.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Dear mlabelle,

    I am glad you are enjoying the Oreste Ravanello collection of 3-part Motets. It has some real gems in it.

    This Ravanello book was my first "collaboration" with CMAA. I was able to bring this book to the attention of Jeff Tucker (on 8/12/2007 and 8/17/2007) who, in his usual fashion immediately purchased it, payed to have it scanned, posted it online, and the rest is history.


    If you care to hear an audio sample of how they sound, here is a recording I made with some of my college buddies in 2003: AVE MARIA by Oreste Ravanello.


    I also highly recommend Motecta Trium Vocum, not just because of the free training videos, but mainly because I think the pieces are INCREDIBLY inspired. In particular, "Domine Non Sum Dignus," "Desidero Mi Jesu" and many others.


    Looking back in 2007, I also find this E-mail:


    I see that you are a fan of "Ravanello". Are you familiar
    with G-1628 from the Gregorian Institute of America (GIA)?
    It is a "Choral Anthology of Offertories and Motets for the
    Church Year" - copyright 1965. It's in English, and I have
    no idea if it's still in print.

    It includes 21 selections and at least some of them if not
    all are 3-equal voice transcriptions of Ravanello's 3-equal
    voice transcriptions. The arrangements and translations are
    by Vernon L. Meyer, and an organ accompaniment (mostly k/b
    reduction) by Rev. John C. Selner, S.S. is provided.

    I have used the English verses alternating with the Latin
    verses. This approach provides a sung translation of the
    Latin and also extends the length of the "mini-motets".

    If this anthology is not available and you need more
    information, please let me know.

    Bill Stoops
  • Heath
    Posts: 933
    I'd be curious to see this collection from GIA . . . no sign of it on their site.
  • Same here: I'd love to see this anthology.
  • That's a rare one... WorldCat is only showing St. Johns University in Minnesota, and the British Library (lots of luck there!)
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,150
    At CPDL:

    Sacred, TTB, Latin, a cappella (11 works):
    Ave Maria (Andrea Maria Ottavini)
    Cantate Domino (Michel-Richard de Lalande)
    Conditor alme siderum (Guillaume Dufay)
    Congaudeant catholici (Anonymous)
    In natali Domini (Anonymous)
    Mater patris et filia (Antoine Brumel)
    Nobis est natus (Anonymous)
    Relegentur ab area (Anonymous)
    Sanctus (Magister Andreas)
    Si iniquitates observaveris (Samuel Wesley)
    Tota pulchra es (John Plummer)

    Sacred, TTB, Latin, a cappella (37 works):
    A solis ortus cardine a 3 (Gilles Binchois)
    Adoramus te (Oreste Ravanello)
    Adoramus te, Christe (Giovanni Battista Martini)
    Adoramus te, Christe (Orlando di Lasso)
    Adoro Te devote (Mariano Garau)
    Amor potest - Ad amorem (Anonymous)
    Angelus ad pastores ait (Claudio Monteverdi)
    Anima Christi (Auguste Chérion)
    Anima mea liquefacta est (Guillaume Dufay)
    Ave Maria (Claudio Monteverdi)
    Beata viscera - Corsican chant (Anonymous)
    Christe qui lux es et dies (Michael Praetorius)
    Christus factus est (Giovanni Matteo Asola)
    Dixi confitebor (Orlando di Lasso)
    Eripe me (Orlando di Lasso)
    Gabriel angelus (Mathias)
    Gloria (Guillaume Dufay)
    Gloria laus (Guilio Bas)
    Gustate et videte (Giovanni Matteo Asola)
    Hodie apparuit in Israel (Orlando di Lasso)
    Huic ut - Huic ut (Anonymous)
    In monte Oliveti (Giovanni Battista Martini)
    In quacumque die (Orlando di Lasso)
    Longe mi Jesu (Claudio Monteverdi)
    Mass for Three Voices (Antonio Lotti)
    Miserere - Corsican chant (Anonymous)
    Missa I in A Minor (Antonio Lotti)
    Missa tribus vocibus (Christoph Dalitz)
    Nihil tibi (Francesco Soriano)
    O felix anima (Giacomo Carissimi)
    Panis angelicus (Lorenzo Donati)
    Plange quasi virgo (Oreste Ravanello)
    Sophia Nasci Fertur - O Quam Pulchra Racio - Magi Videntes Stellam (Anonymous)
    Tantum ergo (Giuseppe Tartini)
    Tristis est anima mea (Giovanni Battista Martini)
    Veni Emanuel (anonymus) (Christoph Dalitz)
    Verbum caro (Orlando di Lasso)

    Sacred, ATB, Latin, a cappella (45 works):
    A solis ortus cardine a 3 (Gilles Binchois)
    Aetas Carmen Melodiae (Anonymous)
    Alma Redemptoris Mater (Guillaume Dufay)
    Attende Domine (Tyler Rusco)
    Audi, benigne Conditor (Guillaume Dufay)
    Ave Regina (Leonel Power)
    Ave Regina celorum (Anonymous)
    Ave Regina coelorum (Guillaume Dufay)
    Beati omnes qui timent Dominum (Jacotin)
    Benedictus qui venit (Philippe Rogier)
    Conditor alme siderum (Hymnus) (Anonymous)
    Domine Deus, Agnus Dei (Cristóbal de Morales)
    Ecce panis (Velthur Tognoni)
    Haec dies (Thomas Morley)
    In monte Oliveti (Mariano Garau)
    In natali Domini (Anonymous)
    Lamentations of Jeremiah (Antoine de Févin)
    Liber generationis Jesu Christi (Josquin des Prez)
    Magnificat 3ii Toni (Gilles Binchois)
    Magnificat Quinti Toni (Guillaume Dufay)
    Mass for Three Voices (Antonio Lotti)
    Mass for Three Voices (William Byrd)
    Memento salutis auctor (William Byrd)
    Missa 'Grüne Linden' (Anonymous)
    Missa Fons bonitatis (Anonymous)
    Missa Nos amis (Johannes Tinctoris)
    Missa Salve Regina (Christoph Dalitz)
    Missa sine nomine (Barbingant)
    Missa tribus vocibus (Christoph Dalitz)
    Nobis est natus (Anonymous)
    Nowell sing we (Anonymous)
    O quam glorifica (Anonymous)
    Panis angelicus a 3 (Claudio Casciolini)
    Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Johannem (William Byrd)
    Proles de caelo (Guillaume Dufay)
    Puer natus est (Cristóbal de Morales)
    Quam pulchra es (John Dunstable)
    Quem terra, pontus, aethera (William Byrd)
    Quem terra, pontus, sidera (Juan Montes)
    Salve festa dies III (Anonymous)
    Sancta Maria (John Dunstable)
    Sederunt in terra (Elzear Genet)
    Similabo eum (Anonymous)
    Stella caeli (John Thorne)
    Tota pulchra es (John Plummer)

    There is some overlap due to transposed editions of the same work, but this gives you an idea as to what is available in 3-part Sacred, Latin, a cappella choral music at www.CPDL.org.

    The above results were obtained by using the Multi-Category Search feature at CPDL.
  • WGS
    Posts: 297
    Jeffrey T.,

    I'll send you a copy of this GIA Anthology, and you can do with it as you will. By the way, there are 21 offertories or motets in the collection. (I wonder who used copy #12. I see a few pencil marks that seem to relate to our organist.)

  • Currently working on Domine non sum dignus by Kevin Allen. Wondering why the word is 'verbum' rather than 'verbo' in mm. 12 and 17. I have to say that I like the sound of having the cadence on 'verbum', but the missal and original scriptural quote is 'verbo'. Assuming this is just a typo, but wondering if anyone else has any insight.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,464
    I have a very large library of male choir pieces, a lot of which I have fiddled around with (arranged)
    I don't have a list, but tell me what you are looking for - try to be specific and I can tell you what I have...
    You can email me at