Meinrad Psalm tone Gloria:
  • Several years ago someone, so disappointed with the ordinary settings ( I believe in Spanish) inquired if the Meinrad tones could be used for them. I always wanted to try this. So this Sunday we are singing this. And we are also bringing back the Mass for Christian Unity.
  • That is a stroke of genius, Ralph! Bravo!
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,424
    I have often thought that it would be a good idea to produce a set of Psalm Tone Ordinaries in each mode. My thinking is not that they should get a ton of use, but that they might be a nice resource to pull out from time to time as needed - for a Mass with very low attendance, or a an ad hoc community (retreats, conferences), or when just starting to convert a congregation's musical life.
  • Psalm-tone ordinaries? I understand the function, but... winning people to chant takes more than making it easy. I've heard people who don't know much chant and are first exposed to overly simple bits and pieces use the word "boring". It get tedious really fast, and has turned people off to chant, especially if they don't want to like it.

    For small groups or ad hoc events that call for the simplest chants, that's what the composite mass "Jubilate Deo" was intended to provide.

    This will make me unpopular, but I strongly feel the use of psalm tones at mass for the people's prayers as a regular thing or even a prolonged stepping stone misses the point of decorated prayer. Psalm tones serve the office, but are not elevated enough for the mass. Bill Mahrt has written much more eloquently on this topic.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,366
    While I support MACW's critique of psalm tones used at Mass and look askance at so many efforts these days to neo-CarloRossinify Mass chants, I don't think Ralph Bednarz is doing that with his Gloria.

    The St. Meinrad tone 6 has a total of 6 musical phrases. Bednarz uses 5 of them as compositional motives in his Gloria. For the most part he uses this ordering for his melody: 3, 6, 1, 2. Phrase 3 contains the highest note in the tone (flatted Ti), and phrase 5, used sparingly, has the Re reciting tone and the lowest note (Do).

    I would think that someone very familiar with singing psalms to the St. Meinrad tone 6 would recognize its several elements in Bednarz' Gloria but, because of his reconfiguration of those elements, the piece is far from being predictable or boring.

    I especially like the fact that Bednarz uses the first two of the three notes of phrase 3's cadence to create a podatus. Perhaps he might look at other spots to do this with other cadences, creating a few more podatus and clivis neums.

    There's certainly more melodic interest in Bednarz' Gloria than, say, in the ICEL English version of Gloria XV.
  • Agree that it would be boring to regularly use psalm tone ordinaries. And for that very reason I would avoid expanding this for all the ordinary parts to create a Mass set like the Belmont or Missa Simplex. Our congregation is small and of course so is the schola.. I just like the feeling of rest in mode 6 and how it really contrasts to our Orbis Factor, Mode 2 and ICEL Mass mode 4. All offer a nice contrast in character.
  • Agree that it would be boring to regularly use psalm tone ordinaries.

    You must trade off the amount of participation versus the boredom of musicians.
  • Ralph's offering is really quite interesting! The St Meinrad tone in question does provide more melodic interest and development than a Gregorian tone would for the matter in question*. In fact, owing to the number of reciting tones and the variety of cadences, it works out not too differently from highly formulaic Gregorian Glorias. With a smart accompaniment and imaginative registrations, it would be far better than some I have seen.

    Too, I take exception to the unfortunate insinuation that musicians who are not bored have congregations who don't participate. This is hogwash, and I am surprised at some of the folk who signed on with a 'thanks'. This attitude is one amongst many complex factors contributing to the shabbiness of Catholic music in most parishes. Its assumption that 'the people' are musical idiots is also insulting and so utterly tiresome and mean.

    *Back to St Meinrad tones vs Gregorian tones for psalmody, I am aware of all the arguments and excuses to the effect that they are wedded to Latin syntax and 'cannot' be sung successfully to English. This, however, is also hogwash. I have been singing Miles Coverdale psalmody to Gregorian psalm tones all my Anglican life, and, as a respectable musician, have found them to work quite beautifully together. It is also my experience that the variety of tones invented for modern English tire very quickly and lose their initial lustre quite rapidly, leading to pained participation from some of us. Gregorian tones?: at one nearby very highly academically regarded Episcopal school the entire student body of nearly 700 sing the appointed psalmody to the Gregorian tones every day at chapel - with different tones for each and every psalm every day. If you could hear it, you might revise your hasty prejudice.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    With a smart accompaniment and imaginative registrations, it would be far better than some I have seen.
  • Cantus67Cantus67
    Posts: 203
    Didn't those used to be called the Rossini Propers (back in the day when us dinosaurs roamed the Erth)?
  • yes, it's old magic.