What's the first Gregorian chant a choir should learn?
About a week ago I made the request of what chants would
work well for use in the rehearsal as a means of building
phrasing and a sense of line.
I found several excellent resources, the most beneficial
being the chants found on the Choral Public Domain Library
Thank you all for your responses. They were:
Try "Adoro Te devote" (tune name) in many hymnals -I know
it's in the
Episcopal and Presbyterian - with several versions of the
text , lilke maybe
Humbly I adore Thee.
I would start with a hymn, like "Creator alme siderum,"
but there are lots.
The hymns have short , syllabic melodies, and several
text verses, thus
you can learn the melody relatively quickly and nuance the
text, which is
very important in chant singing.
We do a chant to open every concert, not because it's
but because I feel it's necessary to expose my students to
American University of Beirut
There are 3 (if I remember) relatively easy and pretty
chants associated w/
Knut Nystedt's "Kyrie" from his THanksgiving Mass. It's a
piece as well...could use it and kill 2 birds...hope this
I've used K. Lee Scott's arrangement of "Gracious Spirit,
Dwell With Me"
for this purpose. It is based on the processional
chant "Adoro te
devote" (1697). The piece is technically easy, for 2-part
You could write out the chant (without bar lines, of
course) and copy it
for the choir to read before turning to the Scott
arrangement. It is
set for organ accompaniment and published by Augsburg
(11-2198), and worked well for us. I'm sure there are
too. Good luck...
Director, Sanctuary Choir
Golden Valley Lutheran Church
5501 Glenwood Avenue
Golden Valley, Minnesota 55422
If you have not yet tried chant, you might start with one
that is relatively
syllabic. "Ut queant laxis" is most interesting. This
hymn was the one from
which Guido D'Arrezzo derived the solfa syllables. The
first notes of each
phrase make a rising scale, and Guido used the starting
syllable for each
line to arrive at "UT RE(sonare) MI(ra) FA(muli) SOL(ve) LA
(biis?)" (no TI
in the six-note scale of his day). It is not hard to
learn (one verse
anyway), and made an effective opener to our concert one
East Brunswick, NJ
Try an Episcopal hymnal 1940..
If you can locate a Liber Usualis in the reference dept of
library, that would contain much Gregorian chant... It
might be in the old
Post Chapel, West Point
the Hodie from A Ceremony of Carols is an actual chant,
and my girls love to do the opening sequence from Sound of
the Liber Usualis is available through Music Mart Inc.
thousand oaks hs, ca
One wonderful piece is Guido d'Arezzo's "Ut Queant Laxis";
it has proven as
useful as is the solfegio system that came from it. The
Julliard School of
Music published quite a few chants edited by none other
than Gustave Reese
way back in 1965 and they are lots of fun to do.
Norton's "Anthology of
Medieval Music" (ed. by Richard H. Hoppin) has a great
Troubadour Vers among other things. On the technique you
out Wilhelm Ehmann's "Choral Directing" published by
Augsburg back in 1968;
he has a whole chapter on the art of unison singing that
is just full of
Please let me know how things go.
I can't reccomend a specific chant, but there is a great
article in this months Choral Journal that may be of some
assistance. It gives tips on how to teach chant and
reccomends literature sources. Good luck!
Choral Conducting Student
Western Washington University
Your letter regarding chant music came to my attention
through Choralist. If you would be so kind as to visit my
web site: http://mustec.bgsu.edu/~wallace , you will
find, "We Are One," with text, listed there. The piece is
briefly described and graded in difficulty. It is based
on "Dies Irae" and concerns the events of 9-11. Vocal
ranges are included. A score and tape is available at your
request. Simply click on the colored word, "choral" and
the proper portion of my web site will appear. Thanks for
Wallace De Pue
The "pange lingua" has always worked well for me.
--- George Hughes
"adoro te devote" should be found in the catholic liber
great idea! that is my all-time favorite chant.
Director of Music
Jefferson Ave. Presbyterian Church (A great place to be!)
church website: www.japc.org
Garrett W. Lathe
Director of Choral Activities
Sartell High School
748 Seventh St. N
Sartell, MN 56377