Anglican plainchant for Te Deum
  • I am looking closely at a Ravenscroft Te Deum, which is a beautiful piece, and I noticed that the tenor line features the description: "TENOR or Playnsong."

    This prompted me to wonder what the Anglican plainsong version of the Te Deum sounds like. Does anyone out there have a copy that he or she could attach for me? I don't have a large collection of non-Catholic hymnals, and the English Hymnal doesn't have it.
  • It is in the Hymnal 1940. I don't have mine accessible. Perhaps someone can scan it and send to you.
  • I rather doubt that the 1940 settings of Te Deum to psalm tones VIII and VII (see nos. 621 & 622) are the same as in the Ravenscroft. I don't have his setting handy, but would venture that he uses the normal plainchant tune as a cf. You could easily determine from examination of the 'tenor' whether he does use the Te Deum melody or something else. Perhaps you would share your observations here.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,993
    I just typeset the Te Deum Laudamus from Hymnal 1940, with the "A" Anglican Chants (Monk & Croft). This is the one I sang through my graduate school years and two years of post-doctoral work at All Saints' in Princeton, NJ.

    Edit: I don't have the Hymnal 1940 plainsong version (although I'm looking at in my well worn copy), and the setting is totally different from the Ravenscroft metrical setting, which I'm also attaching.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • Thanks for the attachment - I shall study it
    As you can see, there are several settings of Te Deum in the 1940, and as you said, the Monk-Croft chants are almost universallly the ones used. However, if you turn to nos. 621 & 622, you will see Te Deum set to psalm tones VIII & VII --- or, are these pages missing in your well-worn book?
  • Ah, I see now.
    The Ravenscroft is a verse setting of TD, and the tenor 'playnsong' seems not to be plainsong at all but a metrical tune which I cannot otherwise identify by name. What do you think?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,993
    Oh, they're there, too. I just don't have them engraved. The Mode VIII, 1 and VII, 3 tones are completely standard Psalm tones, and may be found many places, such as in the Liber Usualis (pp. 116-117 of the 1961 edition). Anglicans have always had a healthy respect for Gregorian chant.
  • I wonder if this is what the professor was looking for?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfSl9or0j3s&list=UUQc7EtwGKdVPAcPG_pOWfeg&feature=plcp

    This is based on the melody from the Lutheran "The Brotherhood Prayerbook", but it is 90% the same as the Latin Catholic source melody.
    Thanked by 1mgearthman
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,993
    These Mode III chants are also seemingly unrelated to the Ravenscroft Psalter setting.
  • An interesting medieval survival in the Swedish Lutheran Church: the Royal Family gathers for a formal Te Deum to celebrate the birth of a princess. Check the bishop's mitre at 5:11!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYRryjoIWqE
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,242
    Ah, I see now.
    The Ravenscroft is a verse setting of TD, and the tenor 'playnsong' seems not to be plainsong at all but a metrical tune which I cannot otherwise identify by name. What do you think?

    I know this is an old thread, but: All of the Tunes in Ravenscroft's "Whole Booke of Psaumes" are labeled as "TENOR or Playnsong", including such well-known tunes as OLD HUNDREDTH, which is certainly not what we would call plainsong/chant, either Roman, Sarum or Otherwise.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • How nice to see that the royal Swedes (whose subjects are said to be one of the world's most godless and atheistic nations) continue to sing Te Deums at such events. Te Deum has historically been sung in response to military victories, royal births, and such, in addition to truly Godly events such as thank offerings for deliverance from sickness, plague, or any perceived divine favours. We sing a solemn Te Deum after high mass at Walsingham on numerous occasions of thanksgiving and important anniversaries in the cathedral's life, such as patronal feast, anniversary of erection, anniversary of ordinariate, and so forth. In the early days of the parish we even sang a Te Deum to greet the births of each new-born babe.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,993
    "TENOR or Playnsong", including such well-known tunes as OLD HUNDREDTH, which is certainly not what we would call plainsong/chant, either Roman, Sarum or Otherwise.
    That phrase is simply an antiquated way of indicating "Melody in the Tenor" voice. It has nothing to do with "plainsong" as we know it ... except, possibly (or even probably), that the melody in the Tenor is a stand-alone melody that might (could) have been sung by itself, without harmonization.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,242
    the Tenor is a stand-alone melody that might (could) have been sung by itself, without harmonization.

    From my understanding, the old psalm tunes were invariably sung unison without accompaniment in parish churches during the early years of the English Reformation (and the French Reformation--from whom the English borrowed many such tunes); All of the Faburdens and other partsettings of these tunes were intended to be sung at home as part of private family devotions and recreation.
  • To confirm and elaborate on Salieri's point just above, it has come to my understanding that in German lands, where alternatim practice continued with congregational hymnody, after the organ's verse the congregation's verse would be sung a capella by the congregation, or, ditto, after an organ chorale prelude.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Speaking of Te Deums -
    for a breathtaking near period-perfect performance of Charpentier's Te Deum google Charpentier Te Deum Parlement de Musique Versailles...
    and work at it until you get the complete performance instead of the two-minute smidgen.
    The treble and alto are sung by a superb choeur des enfants consisting of young boys and girls, the tenor and bass by men.
    The performance, in the chapelle royale at Versailles, is excellently done right where it might have been performed originally, and is eloquent in its period splendour.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CGM
    Posts: 425
    is this the performance you were referring to? (The Te Deum starts at 48:40.)
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Many thanks -
    Yes, it is.

    I'm amazed at how a youtube item is transferred to a blue word on one of our forum's threads.
    Just how is this done?
  • I'm amazed at how a youtube item is transferred to a blue word on one of our forum's threads. Just how is this done?


    On YouTube's desktop site, go to the page for the video you want to link to. Click the "Share" link, immediately below the red "Subscribe" button.

    Below all the social media icons will be a text box containing the link you want. The link is generated automatically by YouTube. It assumes you want playback to start from the beginning.

    If you don't want playback to start at the beginning, check the "Start at:" check box. In the text box to the left, type the time at which you want playback to begin in the format mm:ss. Highlight the link & copy it to the clipboard. For the Te Deum, starting at 48:40, the link looks like this:
    https://youtu.be/TpCjk2yOSLE?t=48m40s

    In the forum "Reply" box, when you have typed the word(s) you want to become the link (in blue), highlight it. Then click the "Link" button, at the top of the reply box, second from right (with the chain icon). You'll get some code with the text you highhighted appearing twice, the first time in quotes. It will look like this:
    <a href="Link display text">Link display text</a>

    By pasting from the clipboard, replace the quoted text with the link you copied from the YouTube page. Now, it should iook like this:
    <a href="https://youtu.be/TpCjk2yOSLE?t=48m40s">Link display text</a>

    When you post (or preview) your post, the link will look and function like this:
    Link display text

    Hope this helps.

    Edit: It sounds harder than it really is.

    dB
  • As an aside, the Very Useful (hymn search) Engine www.hymnary.org has the entire The Hymnal 1940 scanned (the original version, no Supplements). (Why Thomas the Tank Engine crept in there...it was 'very useful' that did it, I am certain!)