Freeware Gregorian Chant Fonts
  • Does anybody know where I can find some freeware Gregorian Chant fonts?
  • Palestrina: please download and view the PDF in this post for your answer.
  • Caeciliae Chant Font

    I used it, it is in BETA and it is free...

    I used it for a project you may view at:

    There is also a link to download the font on that page as well...
  • I've tried using Caeciliae in MS Word 2007, Open Office and MS Publisher 98. I can't get the font to do what I want it to, and I have followed the supplied instructions e.g. the clef will only appear on the second line from the bottom, even if I do press a number (e.g. 7) before pressing "d." Has anybody had the same sort of problem, and how did you solve it?
  • This is all very interesting. But I'm still set up with Finale for my musical typesetting. And I'm still looking for a TruType chant notation font that will be Finale compatible.
  • I think you are supposed to use that font with write.exe in Vista or in InDesign -- and this is why I've stayed away. I'm completely thrilled with Meinrad fonts, but I understand that there are problems with the new Mac OS
  • Steve,

    It appears that your only choice for using Finale may be Medieval:


    I'd check the current web page for mentions something about compatibility with PC programs that might be helpful to you.
  • I have started using Gregorio to generate OpusTeX files of chants -- it's unbelievably fast. Way faster than the Meinrad fonts, which I feel like I wasted many hours with.

    However, OpusTeX requires rather a lot of technical skill. I'm lucky to have known the LaTeX system from well before my need to typeset chant. The Meinrad fonts are not free, but they are very nice looking, and quite easy to use.
  • I apologize for my bad english.
    I was made a font (Festa Dies) for gregorian chant. You can to download It for my page:
  • Caeciliae was written for applications that support OpenType features. Such applications include the Adobe suite of products (on Windows or MacOS X) and some applications in MacOS X. You will be severely limited if you are using other software.
  • Does anyone know what happened to Caeciliae? The website seems to have been taken down:

    Has it moved to a new location. I'm being very unsuccessful at finding its new site if there is one. Thanks for your help.
  • Sorry: the Caeciliae site became a testing site for another project. I'm happy to send you the latest release of Caeciliae until it gets it's site back. Just send me an email (

    -Bro. Matthew Spencer, OSJ
  • RobertRobert
    Posts: 343
    I have used Juan Andres' Festa Dies font for a few months now and I recommend it.
  • Thanks to both of you for your responses - I received the Caeciliae font from Bro. Matthew, and am quite happy with it.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,259
    how does one get the festa dies?
  • Awesome. Just downloaded everything. Fortunately I read Spanish!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,259
    Now I need a composing app for the iPod.
  • We discovered a weakness in the Meinrad font this weekend when singing at the workshop. The Meinrad fonts don't offer the possibility for notating liquescent climacus neumes properly. We had to keep referring back to the Solesmes books to properly mark up the PBC for the Mass VIII Sanctus (in which there are three such occasions). Does the festa dies handle this type of problem?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,259
    Not sure what kind of font Meinrad is, but if you have a font program (like fontographer) you can add in your own liquescent climacus by copying a similar neume and then adjusting its vectors.
  • I personally wish that someone or a group of people would work on developing a reliable gregorian/medieval framework for Lilypond. I love using Lilypond for round note stuff; once you get the code down you can produce stuff very rapidly. I have not tried it for gregorian myself, but I am told that what they have or had does not work right.
  • I am still studying using Finale with's taken some rethinking to adjust. Prior to this I used Caeciliae and still do, I recommend it highly.

    My study of Medieval with Finale has answered many question about using Finale for round note chant, and may make it simple to create documents that offer both versions.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,259
    HELP... I am on a Mac and cant get the Clave to appear on the top line because I cannot figure out the mapping. Does anyone know! Trying to layout Vespers for tomorrow!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,259
    Never mind... figured it out through the glyphs. A good printed map would be a wonderful thing to have however... does anyone have one? The tutuorial uses unicode characters which are not helpful.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592

    In case you are not using THIS, please try it -=-=- Caeciliae Fonts for FREE!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,259
    Hi Jeff:

    I downloaded that one last night for the program I made for today's SV. I had first used Festa Dies, but am also willing to give Caeciliae a try too! Thanks for the info. Which one do you like better? (I am on a Mac using InDesign.)
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Caecilia, because it is SO much easier to use
  • I'd like to mention a change in status for a member of this forum. Brother Matthew Spencer, OSJ is now....

    The Reverend Father Matthew Spencer, OSJ.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,259
    congrats Rev. Spencer! (I think you should call your font, 'Spencer')
  • Thank is such a blessing to be a priest, and to have been ordained in this Year for Priests too! Alas, I now have precious little time to devote to side projects like Caeciliae; but that is a very small price to pay for what I have been given in exchange.
  • Congratulations Fr Spencer.

    Given that you have little time to devote to Caechiliae, have you considered making the font open source? I mean to say, providing the project files for the font, so that we as a community may continue to improve and refine the font? There are several things I would like to do with the font, first among them a "thick lines" face for people who need to xerox the scores. Also there are a few additional characters I'd like to add.

  • bgeorge77, that's a good idea I've been meaning to do for a while now. I'll see what I can do about getting the source files cleaned up and released.
  • I've also found Festa Dies to be very easy. It does take some time to make things look nice though.
  • bgeorge77, I put the source files up yesterday, as I mentioned here. Hope you find them useful!
  • Festa Dies has some nice glyphs too, and and it works pretty well in standard word processors which is great.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,259
    Fr Matthews

    I have been using the extreme basics of FD and am truly eager to try Spencer (the font) alias Caeciliae
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,259

    I finally posted my dragndrop style of setting chant which you can see here:
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,259
    Fr. Spencer:

    I lost your email address as something has happened to the forum posts.
  • Just discovered by accident that St. Meinrad has released their fonts for free on

    I really don't care for their chant fonts--I use Fr. Spencer's font in InDesign--but I had a need to put some simple 5-line in a program and their melody font was easy enough to use. I really hate to go to Score for a simple "And with your spirit." in a pew card.
  • I personally have used the open-source text-based program Gregorio, with good results (for example, the image for the article "Kyrie" on Wikipedia). Caveat: it's a little finnicky to get set up.
  • I've been hacking at Caeciliae square-notation font inside FontForge. Here is a newbie at font engineering, learning by fire. I may post a few findings of interest here, as I learn more.

    To start, I may have solved Palestrina's problem from nine years back, namely that ligatures and/or glyph substitution was not working, i.e. "7p" producing a squiggly line + a note on the bottom pitch, rather than a note on the 7th pitch. It might've worked in InDesign, but not in Word. I dunno if Word 2007 supports ligatures, but I doubt anyone is still using that. In Word 2010, you have to go into Font Properties for the selected text (or style), then Advanced tab, and enable everything -- kerning, ligatures, and contextual alternatives. Word inanely keeps them off by default.

    Even that doesn't work on its own, at least not with version 0.99 which is, what, a decade old now? Thing is, the font isn't even OpenType, despite what the website says. It's got the innards of it, but the file interpretation is wrong somehow. Even if you rename it from .ttf to .otf, it still appears in the word processor with the TrueType icon and no ligatures. To resolve, all I did was open it in FontForge, and export it out to a real OpenType (.otf), and voila. All is working.

    Next quest is to make sense of ligatures vs. substitutions in order to mod the character mapping. It would be cool to type + or -, or < or > after a note, and have it move up or down in pitch. Who knows if that's possible? I tried making a custom font with only 4 characters, to see if I could create my own ligature or substitution. And it ain't working. Finding a mismatch between the custom and Caeciliae is a pain, because Caecilia covers the full unicode range and has 28 lookup tables. Would be much easier if he had the design documented. I don't even fathom the difference between ligature and substitution, but substitution lookups all require reference to other lookup tables -- pretty unhelpful upon first judgment.
    Thanked by 1Settefrati93
  • I know this thread is quite old, but as of yesterday I am using Caeciliae on the Mac page layout software called Pages, and it is working fine. There may be some bug I am unaware of, but so far I have run into no problems. After half hour of practicing, following the tutorial, I was easily able to remember most of the basics. In case that's useful encouragement for anyone.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,028
    @CatherineS I too use Caeciliae in Apple's Pages. While there have been one or two problems I have produced 100s of pages of Chant this way.