Reciting tone for Tollite
  • This Sunday the communio is Tollite hostias IV, which in all my books is written transposed, so that the finalis is ti. I suppose that's so that its lowest note can be fa, instead of "low ti flat" which is normally avoided.

    However, if we are to chant psalm verses, there's a problem, because the usual reciting tone for transposed mode IV would then be mi, and require a high fa sharp (!). In the Versus Psalmorum book they avoid this by pretending the Antiphon is not transposed (but it is!). Richard Rice's Communio book has three custodes and a change of clef and (seems to) propose chanting the verse untransposed, which establishes a new final and requires a leap of a minor seventh (from mi to high re) to resume the antiphon.

    We will chant the psalm verses using the restored "lower reciting tone" for mode IV, normally sol, but here when transposed it will be the higher re. (Like this: re ut-re RE ut re mi re * RE mi ut re ti). I don't see this in any of my books.

    What will someone else do, this Sunday?
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,663
    I would do exactly the same thing, but use the solemn mediation (like for the Magnificat at Vespers)
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 847
    I just printed the verses out using this:
    Thanks @bbloom! Very useful.
    Thanked by 2Andrew_Malton tomjaw
  • "Richard Rice's Communio book has three custodes and a change of clef and (seems to) propose chanting the verse untransposed, which establishes a new final and requires a leap of a minor seventh (from mi to high re) to resume the antiphon."

    While the custoses may be confusing, I am certainly not proposing such a leap (though it is possible a confusing version that might suggest it may be floating around somewhere). The attached shows clearly (enough) that I propose the same final for antiphon and verses on mi, with a leap of a (very manageable) third from end of verse to beginning of antiphon. This is the same solution given in Versus Psalmorum et Canticorum. Alternatively, the psalm tone could be written using the same clef and transposition as the antiphon, since it does not involve the fa-cum-ti-flat. I provide that as version 2 below (but please check my search and replace didn't cause problems).
  • We're celebrating the Rosary solemnity Sunday, and there are a few more weeks before this chant comes up for the TLM anyway. The Benevento 35 and Klosterneuburg MSS notate it with a starting pitch of G; as far as the Vatican edition is concerned, that translates to simply substituting an F clef for the C clef, which puts the final on E, where it ought to be for mode IV. The Graduale novum uses the F clef. Stingl also notates the chant with an F clef and includes the verses:
    You are probably correct about avoidance of the low B-flat being the reason for the strange placement on the staff.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • dhalkjdhalkj
    Posts: 53
    I did sing this (Sept 13, Wk 24 in the NO) and used the reciting note re and tone you plan on using. I also made the correction of the note at the beginning of the last word of the antiphon as done in Gregor und Taube. I have discovered their readings to be highly convincing but did not agree with their choice of psalm tone in this instance.
  • I may have misunderstood. I thought the issue in question was the transposition of the antiphon, but upon re-reading, it seems it is the choice of psalm tone. As notated in the Liber and Versus psalmorum, the psalm tone begins a fourth higher than the last note of the antiphon. Same in the GuT edition. Andrew Malton, could you elaborate on what you mean by the restored lower reciting tone? It sounds like you're using a tone from the psalmody of the office instead of the Mass antiphon (introit) psalm tone. I usually associate restored with the chants of the Graduale novum. The only difference in the mode IV introit psalm tone (which is also used for Communion verses) in the GN as compared with the Vatican edition is that the fourth neume from the end starts on reciting tone, la, instead of sol. Both of them conform to G376 and other adiastematic manuscripts, but the office psalm tone does not.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Er...


    By restored I mean that in the older books, such as the Liber, mode IV recites on the fourth above the final, but in in more recent books reciting on the third above also appears. It's my understanding that this change is a restoration of a much older practice.

    I reckoned that the melody is written transposed when it's decided that the fourth below the final (on -num of Dominum) should be flat (i.e. an augmented fourth). It's my understanding that "low b flat" accidental was avoided in the earliest diastemic notation (and I cannot see it explicitly in the two linked MS above). In the transposed mode, the fourth below is already augmented. However, I'm happy to be corrected on this point.

    Since in the transposed mode the fifth above is consequently diminished, reciting the verse on mi sounds wrong unless you sing fa sharp. (If you sing Richard's second example above, reading the notes literally, you'll hear what I mean.) So in Richard's book the antiphon is written transposed but the verse tone is written untransposed, but (as I now understand) the custodes indicate that the pitches should remain transposed: the recitation is written on la, but is supposed to be sung a fifth higher at mi. And then of course what is written as ti should be sung as fa sharp!

    Great. Except that the augmented fourth below sounds so cool that I want to avoid singing the perfect fifth above. My ear wants that to be "still flat", that is, diminished. So, I proposed chanting the verses at a third above the final instead of a fourth, for then the fifth above is avoided altogether.

    Indeed I described the Office reciting tone; but @salieri rightly proposed using the solemn tone instead.

    Thanked by 2CHGiffen madorganist
  • in the older books, such as the Liber, mode IV recites on the fourth above the final, but in in more recent books reciting on the third above also appears.
    But are you talking about Mass or office books? The Novum has the mode IV reciting tone on la - a third above the final, like you said, and just like the Vatican edition. For mode III, however, it has the reciting tone on ti instead of do, again a third above the final instead of the fourth, but I don't see a difference for the mode IV reciting tone. The office psalm tone as you and Salieri have given it sounds fine, and I do understand why you have chosen to do it that way in order to avoid the resulting augmented octave, but I still consider it preferable to use the Mass psalm tone, whose second half conforms to the formula in the manuscripts (e.g. G376): cephalicus, pes, four virgae, cephalicus, pes, cephalicus, tractulus. In any case, I hope it goes beautifully! Unless I'm mistaken, the double B in Kl indicates the flat at Dominum.
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    Thanked by 1Andrew_Malton
  • For the mode IV psalmtone, the alternate recitation on sol, rather than la, appears in recent books for the Divine Office, and is called IV*. The range and character of the communion antiphon certainly suggests its use here, transposed to recite on re.
    Thanked by 1madorganist
  • I stand corrected on my first comment because I see that today is, in fact, the correct day for the chant on the old calendar if one isn't observing the Rosary solemnity - or if one's parish is blessed to have two or more Sunday High Masses. Although I'm in agreement that IV* fits with the tonality of this chant, St. Gall 376, a reliable 11th-century MS, seems to offer the best evidence of the most authentic tone for these verses.
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    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Is there something there that tells which verse tone to use? I would say, reading the neumes, that's a verse tone i have never heard before -- but if it indicates the reciting pitch, I cannot tell how.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,663
    The problem with this Antiphon is the Guidonian system.

    The Gamut begins with the Hard Hexachord on G (Γ): Gamma-UT, A-re, B-mi, C-fa-ut, D-sol-re, E-la-mi. The 'B' in this hexachord, corresponding to the low B (ti) in the Fa-clef, can only be B Natural, because there is no Soft Hexachord (which would begin on an FF) below it to supply the option for a B-fa. So the editors of the Vatican Edition, wishing to remain purely in the Guidonian system, transposed this chant so that the final will be on b-fa-mi, and allow for the 'flat' via F-fa-ut. The problem with this, of course, is with the psalm-tone: the recitation on e-la-mi would necessitate the addition of a sharp on the ff-fa-ut to be sharpened, which would put it out of the modal system.

    The only way to have this Antphon and the Tone line up, would be to place the chant in a higher Natural Hexachord (on C), which would allow for a lower B-flat. However, this would result in a very strange clef placement for a Mode IV chant (see attached). Probably for the editors of the Vatican Edition (and earlier books, like Pothier's Liber Gradualis), then, they figured that transposing the Antiphon would be the lesser of two evils, since at the time (1908) it would have been very unlikely that verses would be needed, since there would hardly have been a Communion procession--even in places where people received Communion regularly, it was usually distributed before the High Mass, not during.

    Needless to say, the notational problems for this chant simply do not exist in in the more plastic adiastematic neums like St. Gall.
  • Is there something there that tells which verse tone to use? I would say, reading the neumes, that's a verse tone i have never heard before -- but if it indicates the reciting pitch, I cannot tell how.
    Like other liquescent notes, the cephalicus is ambivalent and can denote either "augmentative" liquescence on a single pitch or "diminutive" liquescence on a secondary pitch. I have used parentheses for secondary pitches.
    cephalicus, pes, four virgae, cephalicus, pes, cephalicus, pes, tractulus: cephalicus, pes, four virgae, cephalicus, pes, cephalicus, tractulus=high-(low) low-high high*4 high-(low) low-high high-(low) low-high low: high-(low) low-high high*4 high-(low) low-high high-(low) low
    If you have the tones for the Gloria Patri at the introit handy, you'll see that this corresponds exactly to mode 4 and none of the others.
    Thanked by 1Andrew_Malton
  • Thanks: now I know that the cephalicus can be read that way, I see what you mean about the shape of the verse recitation.

    But I still don't know whether this says the recurring tone is the third or the fourth. Is it understood that at the time of this manuscript only the fourth was in use?

    Also don't see the tractulus on -num marked in any special way to suggest it's flat. So while this lovely clear MS has quite a bit to say "semiologically" about pace and emphasis, with its episemata and so on, so far it doesn't answer my original questions. However, I am ignorant of a great deal, and wish to learn.
  • Is there evidence for a historical mode IV reciting tone a third above the final? There seems to have been some confusion in this discussion about modes III and IV. It is difficult to know for sure what is intended in this edition because of the clef change and lack of custos. Taken at face value, the untransposed psalm tone begins a step lower than the final of the transposed antiphon. Fine and well, but then there's a seventh between the end of the verse and the repetition of the antiphon! In my opinion, the solution of the Graduale novum and Stingl is best: notate the antiphon with an F clef and B-flat at Dominum. Then the untransposed introit psalm tone works fine without modification. The objection about the B-natural in the verse following the B-flat in antiphon is later theory. The earlier scribes knew no more about Guidonian hexachords than they did about square notes, Solesmes rhythmic markings, equal temperament, or the A=440 pitch standard - modality and tonality, yes; theory, no. I've attached the psalm tone for this verse with two transpositions.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,663
    [Advocatus diaboli:] But in theory, this (attached) could also be transcribed from the earliest neums, since no absolute pitch is given.

    I do agree that the Novum version with the low B-flat is a superior reading, and is probably closer to the intended outcome of the MSS. What I was trying to say, regarding the hexachords, etc., is that when Solesmes was doing the restitution they felt constrained to remain within the Gamut as presented in theory books, thus situating this chant in the transposition it is in in the Editio Vaticana to avoid the 'non-existant' B-fa-mi in the lowest hexachord--there are publications of the Gamut that do include a lower soft hexachord (on F below Γ), which would allow for the missing B-flat.

    (FWIW, the 1871 Pustet Graduale Romanum gives this chant in the fa-clef on E. It avoids anything lower than C, but the standard Psalm-tone on A would work with this chant.)