Seasonal Offertory Psalms - Anglican Chant
  • PeterJ
    Posts: 87
    Looking for some Offertory music for Ordinary time? Why not try some Anglican chant?

    Please find attached three chants I have painstakingly typeset in easy-to-follow notation (no need to know how to read Anglican chant pointing). I have relied quite a bit on the work of C H Stewart, who really knew his stuff.

    I've figured out what I want to include for the rest of the year (and some further Ordinary time stuff), it's just a question of typesetting it, so please let me know if these are any use and I'll get typesetting.

  • I do not believe that Gloria Patri has ever been added to Offertoria. Does the Graduale simplex indicate that it is to be sung?
  • It does not.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen PeterJ
  • This is really nice, Peter. You seem to have avoided the oft-encountered error of beginning a new 'measure' (or a new note) on a weak syllable. Observing this 'rule' often results in having more than one syllable on black notes, too. Your method of writing it all out should be very helpful to Anglican chant neophytes. You might also caution your audience that the black notes, like the white ones, should be sung according to the rhythm of the recited words, and not like a series of quarter notes... which would result in the phenomenon known as 'Anglican thump'.
  • PeterJ
    Posts: 87
    I thought "Anglican thump" had something to do with muscular Christianity.
  • PeterJ
    Posts: 87
    I'll take out the GP's in the next version. Thank you to Messrs Bruce and Esguerra.

  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    'Anglican thump'.

    The 'Gregorian thump' occurs at similar points in Gregorian psalmody - particularly when written in modern notation.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,391
    Peter, one observation about the tone for Psalm 5. Since Stewart's voice leading is so classically correct, I wonder about the tenor and bass notation at the end of the second cadence and leading into the third musical phrase. Did Stewart really write those parallel fifths (F-C to Eb-Bb), or did the notation somehow get corrupted by a negligent proofreader?
    Thanked by 1PeterJ
  • PeterJ
    Posts: 87
    MJO - thanks for your kind comments.

    Yes, it is important to be sensitive to the natural flow of the words, as MJO is keen to emphasise in his post. A slight pause between each phrase would also not go amiss (although the organist might want to continue to hold the notes depending on the acoustic of the church). Aside from that, hopefully the way I have written it out should point people in a *good* direction for how to sing the chant (although I do not pretend that it is necessarily the *best* direction, as I will make clearer in a moment).

    If you like the look of the chants I would say: just give them a bash, see how it goes, and do not worry if your choir does not sound like an Oxbridge college choir straight away. Feel free to make good use of an organ to support the chant.

    I would just emphasise, as Noel points out so rightly ( that there are several ways of both interpreting and pointing Anglican chant. Regarding pointing, I have generally (although not always) been a bit "old fashioned" and followed the kind of pointing I have in a book by S Nicholson, rather than adopting the pointing style of someone like J Scott.

    Fr Ron, thanks for that. You clearly have an extraordinary eye for detail. However, I can confirm that this is how the music is written in the Anglican chant book I am working from, and, unless my ears are misleading me, F-C to Eb-Bb also agrees to a recording I have of St John's College, Cambridge, singing the chant in question. I would therefore propose to leave it as it is, if that sounds sensible.
  • Peter -
    Regarding a couple of details you mention:
    As for holding the organ over the break between half verses (and even whole verses)... usage varies here. So you should do what sounds best in your environment or works grandly with your choir.

    As for pointing. That of (the revered) Sir Philip Sydney and others (even that in The Hymnal 1940) is apt to sound rather uninteresting, old fashioned, and, even, prone to 'Anglican thump'. The current tendency by most good choirs is to move the cadence further back, which results in a more poetic flow and musical variety and interest. I would suggest that the older methods be used (IF deemed necessary) for beginners, who would be rapidly graduated to the more current methods, such as those of John Scott or The Hymnal 1982.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Adam Wood
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,460
    The current tendency by most good choirs is to move the cadence further back, which results in a more poetic flow and musical variety and interest. I would suggest that the older methods be used (IF deemed necessary) for beginners,

    Follow this advice.
    Particularly regarding beginners, or even intermediates who have sung AC each separately, but not sung it with each other as a choir.

    Moving the cadence further upstream puts more text on each chord (rather than one syllable each), which has much more desirable effects, but requires more skill and practice.

    With beginners.... an Anglican Thump is better than no Anglican at all.
  • I think John Stainer's Cathedral Psalter actually specified the syllable where the Anglican thump should happen. An accent mark showed where the chanting should stop being recitative-style and should start being strictly metrical, just before the chant formula itself kicks in. So there's some history of enforcing the a rock-star composer, yet. I'm glad tastes have changed!
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,460
    I might mention here: I attended the RSCMA's King's College course a few years ago, and the Music Director that year was Richard Tanner.

    We Anglicanly Chanted with him, and followed the "old style" of

    I prefer MJO's way. But it was still nice. And (as I said) better than not doing it at all.

    I suspect it's a little like Old Solesmes vs. Semiology:
    All the SERIOUS musicians do it this way! (Except the ones that don't. And pretty much everyone teaching beginners.)
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • PeterJ
    Posts: 87
    Thanks for everyone's comments.

    I have been tweaking a number of things in these chants. (MJO will be pleased to hear I have moved the cadences back, amongst other amendments...!)

    What do people make of this attachment...?

    This way of writing out the chant loses some of the nuisances, but at the same time my feeling is it gives the reader (who may be unfamiliar with Anglican chant) a fair idea of how to deliver it (although again I wouldn't pretend its necessarily the *best* way).

    I don't plan to write other chants out like this (not unless I get requests) but perhaps this is useful for these three examples?
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,460
    I think this is an excellent way of presenting harmonized chant.
    Thanked by 1PeterJ
  • davido
    Posts: 898
    These are great! How did I miss them until now?