mode of Sanctus & Agnus Dei XVIII?
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Well, it's "Chant Mass" time… the same ol' "Jubilate Deo" collection for another penitential season. Grr. But I digress…

    I noticed this evening that there's no mode indication for the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei in Mass XVIII… not in my Gregorian Missal, and not in the Parish Book of Chant. So, what modes are they? I'm sure I could hazard a guess, but I figure the more important question is, why there isn't any indication there in the first place?
  • The Sanctus appears, at first, to be Mode II, and the Agnus Dei Mode VII or VIII.

    I would argue that the ranges of neither of them put them in a mode.

    why there isn't any indication there in the first place?

    There's really no need. The music came first, then later the designation of mode. Since there are no verses to attach to them, and the ranges are so small (the Agnus Dei has 4 pitches) that there's not enough information to assign a mode.

    All speculation on my part, so it's worth pretty much nothing.
    Thanked by 1Mark M.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,476
    music came as inspiration, mode as assignation.
    Thanked by 2Mark M. Gavin
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Thanks again, gentlemen.

    On a related topic: I've already aired my gripes about the ubiquity of the "Jubilate Deo" collection, here and elsewhere. That said, do I remember correctly that among others in the Kyriale, supposedly Sanctus XVIII is one of the most "congruent" with the Preface? And maybe one of the most ancient?
  • I would say because it's the easiest.
  • BenBen
    Posts: 3,114
    Agreed. It seems like the simplest versions of each chant were just compiled into one volume.
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    Yes, and there must be a secret anti-chant rules for radicals somewhere that says XVIII must be accompanied by inexpert too-loud organ accompaniment with parallel open fifths and an obligatory closing picardy third.

    Is it impossible to compose more good, simplex Mass ordinaries? I'd like one in each mode, in both ranges.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,476

    i am game

    but i owe the forum a te deum first

    what is your honest assessment of the proulx?
  • jgirodjgirod
    Posts: 45
    These are good examples for a small course on modality.

    According to R.F. Dom André Mocquereau (the Musical Number, volume 1, part 2) and to Daniel Saulnier (the Gregorian modes, part 1, chapter 2): the notion of a mode can evolve with places and times. For gregorian chant, a mode can be described by:

    — the range of notes it uses and the intervals between them; actually all chant uses the diatonic scale, so this does not change a lot from one melody to the other, only the "ambitus" (extent) changes: Sanctus: do, ti, la, sol, mi. Agnus: ti, la sol, fa.

    — the role and importance of some of these degrees; in the Sanctus, we find most recitatives on the ti, finales alternatively on ti and sol, except the last incise, which is a recitative on la with the same note as finale. In the Agnus Dei, there are small recitatives on la, and the sol is the finale. I will come back to this below

    — typical phrases; here I don't think we find clear ones, except the last hosanna, which is typical of both the archaic mode of re and of the 2nd mode.

    — the "ethos", that is the mood a mode conveys. This is more subjective. I find that the Sanctus, up to that last Hosanna (non-inclusive) gives a feeling of simplicity and solidity (by the use of nearly only full steps), the last hosanna being peaceful. The Agnus Dei has even more simplicity, but is a little rough, the ti gives the impression of insistence.

    If we try to match one of the 8 modes, we will find for the Sanctus (only the very end of the melody counts), la is equivalent to re for the minor third: la-ti-do = step/half-step and the melody extends both above and below, so mode 2. For the Agnus Dei, we find mode 8 because of both the major third above sol and the whole step below and because the melody does not reach the high re (so: not mode 7).

    However, this does not take two things into account. One is the existence (and persistence) of archaic modes using the same note as dominant and finale, and of intermediate modes (bipolar) with a different dominant and finale, resulting from the first stage of an evolution, but not matching the ultimate "classical" 8 modes. The other one is the possibility to find phrases in different successive modes in a given piece.

    to be continued
  • jgirodjgirod
    Posts: 45
    In the Sanctus, up to and excluding the last hosanna, the ti is clearly the dominant. Only mode 3 has such a dominant, but has finale mi. Sol and ti are used as finales, but sol in the middle of sentences — it plays the same role as the flex in psalmody — and ti at the true end of sentences. Same finale and dominant mean archaic mode. It is the mode of mi, transposed here to ti. Ususally, the half step above the mi/ti gives a very melodic and somewhat obsessive feeling (e.g. alleluia Opportebat, although it is classified at 4th mode), but this is not the case here. The archaic mode of mi is that of the litany in the old roman chant, we can find a remanence of it in Kyrie XV, XVI and XVIII, in alternance with phrases in the bi-polar mode with dominant re and finale ti (deuterus with third).

    The last hosanna features a change of mode: here it is the archaic mode of re (transposed to la), more specific of the Milanese (ambrosian) liturgy, characterized by a melody mostly going from re to either do or mi and back in a very symmetrical way. This mode is very calm, without any passion. Example: the ad libitum tone for Jeremiah's prophecy on Holy Saturday's matins (EF).

    The Agnus Dei has sol for finale and its dominant is la. It is therefore one of these bipolar modes that did not give birth to a repertoire and are therefore not included in the classical 8 modes. This is also the mode of the solemn tone of prayers and of the monastic optional tone of the "Deus in adjutorium" on sundays lauds and vespers.

    That's all, folks.