Responsorial Psalm - feedback appreciated
  • So after much fascination with the discussions on responsorial psalms I have tried my hand at writing something decent. I am regularly asked to 'sing the psalm' and have to make something up, sometimes right before Mass. I usually do a simple response similar to the one here, and then use a psalm tone for the verses.

    After reading all the discussions and the article by Mr. Mahrt on the subject, I tried this time to make the verses more beautiful and keep the people's response simple.

    My background is four years singing the propers on Sunday in the Extraordinary Form, and the same four years with weekly classical music voice lessons. [I also sing hymns and so on in some OF Masses a few times a month.] I tried to draw on the sound and feel of Gregorian chant.

    Portuguese does what Italian sometimes does, which is mash together spare small words to make one syllable to fit the music. So 'justiça ao' (joo-stee-suh ow) becomes "justiça_ao" (joo-stee-sow). I used the underscore where I mashed syllables that way. I also bold-faced the syllables which would receive the accent when speaking the psalm. I would sing it with that same rhythmic emphasis. I kept the neumes simple for lack of talent in figuring out which ones to use to indicate the details of rhythm.

    I would appreciate honest feedback. This was really challenging but fun, but I have no idea if I followed 'the rules' of composition. If there's some hope in the effort, I'll keep at it. It would be useful to see where I'm ignorant so I can work on those aspects...

    In case the pdf isn't good for somebody I also attached a screenshot (png) of the same thing.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Very nice work!
    Words and music are well matched.
    A good sense of melodic contour in relation to text.
    Thanked by 1CatherineS
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,169
    My first impression is that the verses would harmonize better with the refrain if sung a diatonic third lower, or even vice-versa.
    Thanked by 1CatherineS