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Booklet for Sext from the Little Office

October 20, 2011

Here is a booklet which I have just made: Officium Parvum Beatae Mariae Virginis: Ad Sextam

This booklet contains all the chants for the hour of Sext (sung around noon, the sixth hour) from the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary as found in the 2008 Baronius Press edition of the 1961 version of this office.  To keep things shorter, I have not included a translation – there did not seem to be a convenient place to put it; the titles, rubrics, etc. are also in Latin, to be consistent. 

I used the Gregorio Working Demo Page to typeset all the chants, and then formatted things in Word; as always, any comments or error notifications are welcome.  My goal was to make a singer-friendly edition to potentially use with my schola where:

1. All the chants are given in their proper place, instead of being in the back of the book.

2. Rhythmic signs such as the ictus and episema are given as they are found in the Solesmes editions of these chants.

3. The word accents are marked for ease of pronunciation.

4. The psalms are clearly marked with the asterisk and the flex sign, and are pointed to agree with the three different antiphons with which they may be sung. 

Finally, here are three recordings of the hour of Sext from the Little Office, as sung by myself using the booklet.  I made these quickly with the microphone that is at the computer, so they are not very epic; however, I hope that someone may find them useful.    

Office 1: Throughout the Year

Office 2: Advent

Office 3: Christmastide

From → Gregorian Chant

  1. BenB permalink

    Another excellent work. The only error I noticed was the use of Tone 4A instead of Tone 4A* for the first antiphon given in the booklet. (Should be la-ti for the final note for each verse of the psalms, instead of just la for Tone 4A. (cf. p115 in Liber Usualis))

    I’ve started to notate Lauds from the Officium Parvum myself, and was including a translation side-by-side similar to and in the FSSP’s Compline booklets. This does effect readability, though, and your version is immanently readable, as well as useful to speakers of any language.

    Giving just the incipit of each antiphon at the beginning saves space, plus it isn’t to hard to look ahead if one adopts the modern practice of singing the antiphon before and after the psalms.

  2. Here’s an interesting thing I just noticed when I checked your comment:
    The antiphon “In Odororem” occurs on pg. 1258 and 1606 of the Liber. In both cases, it is marked 4A*, but the ending given is Tone 4A. I had not noticed this before; it is probably mislabled, in my opinion. The Baronius book copies this contradictory label as well. Perhaps I will correct it in my next edition; I may also check some other books when I have time.

    Are you doing all three offices for Lauds, or just one of them?

  3. How about this:
    In the 1912 Antiphonale which I have in pdf from MusicaSacra, in the back of the book where it has the psalm tones laid out, it says: “Quando Antiphona notatur cum A*, potest ad libitum adhiberi Differentia sequens” and then gives the A* ending. Thus A* was here an optional ending.
    When I went back to the Liber to look at some random antiphons in mode 4, I quickly came across more examples of this lable A* where the psalm ending given is actually just plain A.
    I think this solves the riddle.

  4. BenB permalink

    Very interesting. It would be good to note what other tones take a similar practice to avoid such confusion in the future. (There may be something similar, for instance, with tone 8G*). It seems it depends much on the melody of the specific antiphon. Not that either ending is particularly difficult in this case, but it at least seems it is easier to repeat the antiphon after having used the 4A ending as opposed to 4A*.

    I’m almost finished with Lauds per annum, and will work on the others afterward. I’m going back over it and changing some things to match better with the work you’ve done. Please feel free to correspond more on this via email.

  5. Error report:
    Today being the first day of Advent, I have finally discovered that the little chapter and collect are different for Office 2 and 3; thus I need to include them in the next edition of the booklet.

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