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Printouts on Chant Books and The Mass/Divine Office

November 15, 2011

Here are two printouts which I made for the benefit of a group here at college who are reading Richard Crocker’s book An Introduction to Gregorian Chant for an ….hmm… its called a book chapel, because they get chapel credit for it, but what the group does is meet every Friday and go over the chapter which perhaps some of the people have read and then sing parts of Vespers in English from an Anglican/Sarum source.  More on the whole shebang later when I have time to think.


Printout Music of the Mass and Office

Printout Navigation of Chant Books (inserted into the post below for easy reading)

Concerning the Navigation of Latin Chant Books

The most important books are:

The Graduale: the book of the Proper chants of the Mass; usually also includes the Kyriale, which is a collection of chants for the Ordinary of the Mass. (named for the Gradual chant)

The Antiphonale (Monasticum or Romanum): all the Music for the day hours of the Divine Office; the one version is for monastic, the other for secular use. (named for its antiphons)

The Liber Usualis: an extremely useful anthology of chant from the Graduale and Antiphonale Romanum; it also includes the Kyriale. (means something like “the usual book”)

Other books can generally be grouped as either being for the Mass or the Office, or else being sources for more devotional/optional type music.

In a book concerning the Mass, the important sections include:

The Proper of the Time: chants particular to Advent, Christmas, Sundays after Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Sundays after Pentecost; that is, the days which are not attatched to specific calendar dates.  Note that the section for Christmas, an exception, usually includes the date specific feasts.

The Proper of the Saints: chants for feasts which occur on specific dates (mostly of saints).  This section typically begin with the end of November, as Advent is the start of the church year.

The Common of the Saints: sets of chants for different kinds of saints, e.g. a Virgin-martyr or a Confessor-not-a-bishop.  The Proper of the Saints will refer you to parts from these Masses or in some cases just list a saint’s feast and assume you will find the appropriate Mass in the Common.

The Kyriale: generally all or part of the Kyriale found in the Graduale. (named for the Kyrie)

In a book concerning the Office, the divisions are the same with the addition of:

The Psalter: the 150 psalms, arranged according to the hours and days on which they are said in a typical week and accompanied by the appropriate antiphons.  The section for the proper of whatever day is to be celebrated will lay out any necessary variants from this weekly cycle.

Some less predictable things you may find in a chant book are:

At the beginning or end of a book: rubrics, calendars, and other how-to items.  There will probably also be a section containing the music for the ordinary of the Mass and/or Office: things such as the responses, tones for the psalms, how to do the readings and collects, etc.

Votive Masses (for use ad lib. on days when there is no feast) comprise another unit which is often given its own place; likewise, occasional items such the Requiem and other chants for the dead, the Nuptial Mass, music for Benediction, devotional hymns, etc. form separate sections.

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