Monday, May 28, 2012

Learning chant: ICEL "Glory to God."

I know.  There are flags on the notes.  Why? Because we need a little help.

A music student learns Debussy’s Clair de Lune by counting 123 123 123 123, while the uninitiated listener hears something quite different. I envy that listener, because I will never be able to hear what he hears.

We've been using the "no rhythm notated" stemless chant tones, but 95% of the world interprets that as quarter notes.

Debussy had to write his music somehow.  So do we.  We can write for the desired result. 
This arrangement is for the cantor, choir,  and accompanist first learning to sing the ICEL Glory to God (2010), which is currently found in every Catholic missal. It follows the accepted standards for rhythm in chant, without the uncertainty. And it really doesn't allow us to fall into that mono-rhythm that we too often end up singing.
If the assembly sings along by following the chant from the official ICEL melody in their missal, they have the opportunity to learn by hearing a pretty natural chant flow.  The accompaniment keeps things moving a little, and in a year or two or ten, if anyone likes it well enough to sing it a capella, the chant will have broken its bonds.  

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