Thursday, July 27, 2006

Psalm Tones: Tone 6

Below is an image of Tone 6 in the old square-note notation; there's an alternate melody shown here as well.      (Keep in mind that chant notation can be difficult to read if you're not used to it - but picking up the Psalm Tone melodies by ear is actually quite easy.  That's the way I learned, and I recommend it highly.  You'll find an audio file (mp3) of the chant further down the page - and there are links to all the Tones at the bottom of this post.)



Here's an image of Tone 6 - just the first melody above - in modern notation, from the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood Psalmody Page.   The stuff in the parenthesis is the "flex," sung in the first half of the Psalm for a particularly long verse; it's rarely used, so you can safely ignore it for now.  Remember, too, that the "incipit" - the notes in the very first measure - are only used once, when singing the first verse; for all subsequent verses, skip directly to the "reciting tone," which is the first note of the second measure, used until you get to the end of the line.  (The "reciting tone" is the repetitive note in the chant; it's indicated on the score by the dark, heavy doubled note.) 



(Notice that the melody in this score - it's Lutheran-style  - is just slightly different than what's pictured in the images above.   There are regional and other variations in Psalm-singing.)

Follow along with either notation, while listening to an mp3 of Psalm 112 sung to Tone 6 from the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood Psalmody page.      The mp3 includes an antiphon (text:  "The generation of the upright shall be blessed") sung before and after the Psalm; don't be confused by the antiphon's melody, which is completely different from that of the Psalm Tone.   Remember:  it's quite easy to pick up these melodies by ear, so don't be discouraged!  Just keep listening and singing.

The translation is the King James Version:
1 Praise ye the LORD.
Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD,
that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth:
the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house:
and his righteousness endureth for ever.

4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness:
he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

5 A good man showeth favor, and lendeth:
he will guide his affairs with discretion.

6 Surely he shall not be moved for ever:
the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.

7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings:
his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.

8 His heart is established, he shall not be afraid,
until he see his desire upon his enemies.

9 He hath dispersed,
he hath given to the poor;
his righteousness endureth for ever;
his horn shall be exalted with honor.

10 The wicked shall see it, and be grieved;
he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away:
the desire of the wicked shall perish.


(Here's an even older look at the square-note notation for Tone 6, courtesy of the Order of St. Benedict;  you can the alternate melody here, too.  These charts are quite a bit more confusing, though, I think - so look at it later, after you've gotten more of the hang of the thing by singing:


)



Here is a good, one-page tutorial on chant notation. On the left is the old Gregorian style; on the right is modern musical notation.
In my opinion, one of the most important things to know - and one of the only things you can't figure out on your own without hearing the music - is the "podatus." Here it is, first in Gregorian notation:



As the tutorial says: "When one note is written above another note like this, the bottom note is sung first, and then the note above it." Here's the modern notation:




That one is used over and over again, and many other neume-types are created from it.



Here are Chantblog pages for all the Psalm Tones, with sound files included at each entry:

Psalm Tones: Tone 5

Below is an image of Tone 5 in the old square-note notation   (Keep in mind that chant notation can be difficult to read if you're not used to it - but picking up the Psalm Tone melodies by ear is actually quite easy.  That's the way I learned, and I recommend it highly.  You'll find an audio file (mp3) of the chant further down the page - and there are links to all the Tones at the bottom of this post.) . 


Here's an image of Tone 5 in modern notation, from the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood Psalmody Page.     The stuff in the parenthesis is the "flex," sung in the first half of the Psalm for a particularly long verse; it's rarely used, so you can safely ignore it for now.  Remember, too, that the "incipit" - the notes in the very first measure - are only used once, when singing the first verse; for all subsequent verses, skip directly to the "reciting tone," which is the first note of the second measure, used until you get to the end of the line.   (The "reciting tone" is the repetitive note in the chant; it's indicated on the score by the dark, heavy doubled note.) 

(The notes of the chant melody pictured here - it's Lutheran-style - are slightly different from what's on the audio file linked below.  There are regional and other variations in Psalm-singing.)

Follow along with either notation, while listening to an mp3 of Psalm 142 sung to Tone 5 by the St. David's Episcopal Church, Austin, Compline Choir.      The mp3 includes an antiphon (text:  "You are my refuge O Lord, my portion in the land of the living") sung before and after the Psalm; don't be confused by the antiphon's melody, which is completely different from that of the Psalm Tone.   Remember:  it's quite easy to pick up these melodies by ear, so don't be discouraged!  Just keep listening and singing.

The translation is from the 1979 U.S. Book of Common Prayer:
1 I cry to the LORD with my voice; *
to the LORD I make loud supplication.

2 I pour out my complaint before him *
and tell him all my trouble.

3 When my spirit languishes within me, you know my path; *
in the way wherein I walk they have hidden a trap for me.

4 I look to my right hand and find no one who knows me; *
I have no place to flee to, and no one cares for me.

5 I cry out to you, O LORD; *
I say, "You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living."

6 Listen to my cry for help, for I have been brought very low; *
save me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me.

7 Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your Name; *
when you have dealt bountifully with me,
the righteous will gather around me.


(Here's an even older look at the square-note notation for Tone 5, courtesy of the Order of St. Benedict.  These charts are quite a bit more confusing, though, I think - so look at it later, after you've gotten more of the hang of the thing by singing:

)



Here is a good, one-page tutorial on chant notation. On the left is the old Gregorian style; on the right is modern musical notation.

In my opinion, one of the most important things to know - and one of the only things you can't figure out on your own without hearing the music - is the "podatus." Here it is, first in Gregorian notation:



As the tutorial says: "When one note is written above another note like this, the bottom note is sung first, and then the note above it." Here's the modern notation:




That one is used over and over again, and many other neume-types are created from it.


Here are Chantblog pages for all the Psalm Tones, with sound files included at each entry:

Psalm Tones: Tone 4

Below are images of Tone 4 in the old square-note notation; notice that there is a main melody (labeled "IV"), with two possible endings (labeled "g" and "E"), and also an alternate melody (labeled "IV alt" - although as far as I can see it's actually just the same melody as "IV", displayed on a different line of the score), with four possible endings (labeled "c," "A," "A*," and "d").    (Keep in mind that chant notation can be difficult to read if you're not used to it - but picking up the Psalm Tone melodies by ear is actually quite easy.  That's the way I learned, and I recommend it highly.  You'll find an audio file (mp3) of the chant further down the page - and there are links to all the Tones at the bottom of this post.)

Here's an image of Tone 4, without endings and in modern notation, from the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood Psalmody Page.      The stuff in the parenthesis is the "flex," sung in the first half of the Psalm for a particularly long verse; it's rarely used, so you can safely ignore it for now.  Remember, too, that the "incipit" - the notes in the very first measure - are only used once, when singing the first verse; for all subsequent verses, skip directly to the "reciting tone," which is the first note of the second measure, used until you get to the end of the line.  (The "reciting tone" is the repetitive note in the chant; it's indicated on the score by the dark, heavy doubled note.)  Don't worry too much about endings now, either; you can easily pick that stuff up as you go.



(Keep in mind that this is Lutheran style Psalm-singing; the melodies are slightly different from those pictured in the images above.)

Follow along with either notation, while listening to an mp3 of Psalm 113 sung to Tone 4 (he's using ending "A" above) from the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood Psalmody page.   The mp3 includes an antiphon (text:  "Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore") sung before and after the Psalm; don't be confused by the antiphon's melody, which is completely different from that of the Psalm Tone.   Remember:  it's quite easy to pick up these melodies by ear, so don't be discouraged!  Just keep listening and singing.

The translation is the King James Version:
1 Praise ye the LORD.
Praise, O ye servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.

2 Blessed be the name of the LORD
from this time forth and for evermore.

3 From the rising of the sun
unto the going down of the same
the LORD's name is to be praised.

4 The LORD is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens.

5 Who is like unto the LORD our God,
who dwelleth on high,

6 who humbleth himself to behold
the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!

7 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust,
and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill;

8 that he may set him with princes,
even with the princes of his people.

9 He maketh the barren woman to keep house,
and to be a joyful mother of children.
Praise ye the LORD.

(Here's an even older look at the square-note notation for Tone 4, courtesy of the Order of St. Benedict;  you can see its two possible melodic interpretations, and its total of five possible endings, here as well.  These charts are quite a bit more confusing, though, I think - so look at it later, after you've gotten more of the hang of the thing by singing:



)


Here is a good, one-page tutorial on chant notation. On the left is the old Gregorian style; on the right is modern musical notation.

In my opinion, one of the most important things to know - and one of the only things you can't figure out on your own without hearing the music - is the "podatus." Here it is, first in Gregorian notation:



As the tutorial says: "When one note is written above another note like this, the bottom note is sung first, and then the note above it." Here's the modern notation:




That one is used over and over again, and many other neume-types are created from it.

Gregorian melodies are written on a staff of four lines and three spaces (as opposed to modern music, which is written on a staff of five lines and four spaces). The notes indicated on the lines or in the spaces of the staff represent those of the sol-fa system (the usual do re mi deal). The sol-fa scale consists of eight notes comprising an octave; each of the eight notes is one whole tone from the one before it, except for fa and do, which are only a half-tone higher than mi and ti respectively. This is the regular major "doe-a-deer" scale; nothing complicated about it, really.

The notation uses one of two clefs to designate either do or fa on the staff. These are moveable and not fixed as they are in modern notation: the do clef may appear on the second, third, or fourth line from the bottom (but is usually found on the third or fourth); the fa clef may appear on the third or fourth line (but most often on the third):





The choice and position of clef are determined by the range of the melody. A particular clef is chosen and located so that the melody will fit conveniently within the lines of the staff. It all sounds very complicated, but really it's done simply for convenience. One more interesting point: there are no sharps in Gregorian Chant, and only one note - ti - may be flatted. When it is, it's called te instead.

Below are some staffs that show the various positions of the clefs and their influence on the notes:







Here are Chantblog pages for all the Psalm Tones, with sound files included at each entry:


Psalm Tones: Tone 3

Below is an image of Tone 3 in the old square-note notation; the main melody is labeled "III," and there are five possible endings (labeled "b," "a," "a2," "g," and "g2") to the main melody of the chant.     (Keep in mind that chant notation can be difficult to read if you're not used to it - but picking up the Psalm Tone melodies by ear is actually quite easy.  That's the way I learned, and I recommend it highly.  You'll find an audio file (mp3) of the chant further down the page - and there are links to all the Tones at the bottom of this post.) 



Here's an image of Tone 3, without endings and in modern notation, from the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood Psalmody Page.    The stuff in the parenthesis is the "flex," sung in the first half of the Psalm for a particularly long verse; it's rarely used, so you can safely ignore it for now.  Remember, too, that the "incipit" - the notes in the very first measure - are only used once, when singing the first verse; for all subsequent verses, skip directly to the "reciting tone," which is the first note of the second measure, used until you get to the end of the line.  (The "reciting tone" is the repetitive note in the chant; it's indicated on the score by the dark, heavy doubled note.)  Don't worry too much about endings now, either; you can easily pick that stuff up as you go.


(The notes of the chant melody pictured here - it's Lutheran-style - are slightly different from what's on the audio file linked below.  There are regional and other variations in Psalm-singing.)


Follow along with either notation, while listening to an mp3 of the first 17 verses of Psalm 139 sung to Tone 3 (they are using ending "a" here) by the St. David's Episcopal Church, Austin, Compline Choir.    The mp3 includes an antiphon (text:  "The night shall be as clear as the day; Alleluia") sung before and after the Psalm; don't be confused by the antiphon's melody, which is completely different from that of the Psalm Tone.   Remember:  it's quite easy to pick up these melodies by ear, so don't be discouraged!  Just keep listening and singing.

The translation is from the 1979 U.S. Book of Common Prayer:

1 LORD, you have searched me out and known me; *
you know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.

2 You trace my journeys and my resting-places *
and are acquainted with all my ways.

3 Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, *
but you, O LORD, know it altogether.

4 You press upon me behind and before *
and lay your hand upon me.

5 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; *
it is so high that I cannot attain to it.

6 Where can I go then from your Spirit? *
where can I flee from your presence?

7 If I climb up to heaven, you are there; *
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

8 If I take the wings of the morning *
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

9 Even there your hand will lead me *
and your right hand hold me fast.

10 If I say, "Surely the darkness will cover me, *
and the light around me turn to night,"

11 Darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day; *
darkness and light to you are both alike.

12 For you yourself created my inmost parts; *
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

13 I will thank you because I am marvelously made; *
your works are wonderful, and I know it well.

14 My body was not hidden from you, *
while I was being made in secret
and woven in the depths of the earth.

15 Your eyes beheld my limbs, yet unfinished in the womb;
all of them were written in your book; *
they were fashioned day by day,
when as yet there was none of them.

16 How deep I find your thoughts, O God! *
how great is the sum of them!

17 If I were to count them, they would be more in number than the sand; *
to count them all, my life span would need to be like yours.


(Here's an even older look at the square-note notation for Tone 3, courtesy of the Order of St. Benedict;  you can see its five possible endings here, too.  These charts are quite a bit more confusing, though, I think - so look at it later, after you've gotten more of the hang of the thing by singing:




Here is a good, one-page tutorial on chant notation. On the left is the old Gregorian style; on the right is modern musical notation.

In my opinion, one of the most important things to know - and one of the only things you can't figure out on your own without hearing the music - is the "podatus." Here it is, first in Gregorian notation:



As the tutorial says: "When one note is written above another note like this, the bottom note is sung first, and then the note above it." Here's the modern notation:




That one is used over and over again, and many other neume-types are created from it.


I learned to Psalm-sing at a local convent - and I was actually learning chant the way people did, probably, in the monastic communities of the Middle Ages.  That is, by listening to it and then simply beginning to sing.   I can easily now pick up one of these tones and sing the various endings; it's all much easier than you'd think when you're starting out!  Again:  it's much easier to simply start singing than it is to read drawn-out descriptions of how to sing!  Sing along with the mp3, and you'll start getting it very quickly.


Here are Chantblog pages for all the Psalm Tones, with sound files included at each entry:

Psalm Tones: Tone 2

Below is an image of Tone 2 in the old square-note notation.   (Keep in mind that chant notation can be difficult to read if you're not used to it - but picking up the Psalm Tone melodies by ear is actually quite easy.  That's the way I learned, and I recommend it highly.  You'll find an audio file (mp3) of the chant further down the page - and there are links to all the Tones at the bottom of this post.)




Here's an image of Tone 2 in modern notation, from the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood Psalmody Page.   The stuff in the parenthesis is the "flex," sung in the first half of the Psalm for a particularly long verse; it's rarely used, so you can safely ignore it for now.  Remember, too, that the "incipit" - the notes in the very first measure - are only used once, when singing the first verse; for all subsequent verses, skip directly to the "reciting tone," which is the first note of the second measure, used until you get to the end of the line.


(The notes of the chant melody pictured here - it's Lutheran-style - are slightly different from what's on the audio file below.  There are regional and other variations in Psalm-singing.)

Follow along with either notation, while listening to an mp3 of Psalm 129 sung to Tone 2 by the St. David's Episcopal Church, Austin, Compline Choir.   The mp3 includes an antiphon (text:  "My oppressor shall not prevail against me") sung before and after the Psalm; don't be confused by the antiphon's melody, which is completely different from that of the Psalm Tone.   Remember:  it's quite easy to pick up these melodies by ear, so don't be discouraged!  Just keep listening and singing.

The translation is from the 1979 U.S. Book of Common Prayer:
1 "Greatly have they oppressed me since my youth," *
let Israel now say;

2 "Greatly have they oppressed me since my youth, *
but they have not prevailed against me."

3 The plowmen plowed upon my back *
and made their furrows long.

4 The LORD, the Righteous One, *
has cut the cords of the wicked.

5 Let them be put to shame and thrown back, *
all those who are enemies of Zion.

6 Let them be like grass upon the housetops, *
which withers before it can be plucked;

7 Which does not fill the hand of the reaper, *
nor the bosom of him who binds the sheaves;

8 So that those who go by say not so much as,
"The LORD prosper you. *
We wish you well in the Name of the LORD."

(Here's an even older look at the square-note notation for Tone 2, courtesy of the Order of St. Benedict.  These charts are quite a bit more confusing, though, I think - so look at it later, after you've gotten more of the hang of the thing by singing:
)

Here is a good, one-page tutorial on chant notation. On the left is the old Gregorian style; on the right is modern musical notation.

In my opinion, one of the most important things to know - and one of the only things you can't figure out on your own without hearing the music - is the "podatus." Here it is, first in Gregorian notation:



As the tutorial says: "When one note is written above another note like this, the bottom note is sung first, and then the note above it." Here's the modern notation:




That one is used over and over again, and many other neume-types are created from it.

Tone 2 is quite well-known, as it's often used for Psalm 22 on Maundy Thursday.   I'd thought for awhile that certain Psalms were "joined" to certain tones, but that isn't (necessarily) true.   I don't think Psalm 22 is in the Lectionary except on Maundy Thursday, though; of course, if you sing the Monthly cycle from the BCP, you do get it at other times.

Interesting that for this tone, there is only one termination; I wonder why. My guess is that they knew a good thing when they heard it, and decided not to mess.

Here are Chantblog pages for all the Psalm Tones, with sound files included at each entry:

Psalm Tones: Tone 1

Spurred on by Derek's incessant nagging, I've finally gotten around to posting the Psalm Tones!  

Below is an image of Tone 1 in the old square-note notation; the first musical line (labeled "I") is the melody, and the smaller chunks of score, labeled with letters beginning with "D," are the various possible endings that can be used.  Tone 1 has the most possible endings of any of the Psalm Tones - 10 in all, in this chart.  (Keep in mind that chant notation can be difficult to read if you're not used to it - but picking up the Psalm Tone melodies by ear is actually quite easy.  That's the way I learned, and I recommend it highly.  You'll find an audio file (mp3) of the chant further down the page - and there are links to all the Tones at the bottom of this post.)



Here's an image of Tone 1 in modern notation and without endings, from the Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood Psalmody Page.    The stuff in the parenthesis is the "flex," sung in the first half of the Psalm for a particularly long verse; it's rarely used, so you can safely ignore it for now.  Remember, too, that the "incipit" - the notes in the very first measure - are only used once, when singing the first verse; for all subsequent verses, skip directly to the "reciting tone," which is the first note of the second measure, used until you get to the end of the line.  (The "reciting tone" is the repetitive note in the chant; it's indicated on the score by the dark, heavy doubled note.)  Don't worry too much about endings now, either; you can easily pick that stuff up as you go.


(The notes of the chant melody pictured here - it's Lutheran-style - are slightly different from what's on the audio file linked below.  There are regional and other variations in Psalm-singing.)

Follow along with either notation, while listening to an mp3 of Psalm 41 sung to Tone 1 (they are using ending "g" above here) by the St. David's Episcopal Church, Austin, Compline Choir.    The mp3 includes an antiphon (text:  "Heal me O Lord, for I have sinned against you") sung before and after the Psalm; don't be confused by the antiphon's melody, which is completely different from that of the Psalm Tone.   Remember:  it's quite easy to pick up these melodies by ear, so don't be discouraged!  Just keep listening and singing.

The translation is from the 1979 U.S. Book of Common Prayer:
1 Happy are they who consider the poor and needy! *
the LORD will deliver them in the time of trouble.

2 The LORD preserves them and keeps them alive,
so that they may be happy in the land; *
he does not hand them over to the will of their enemies.

3 The LORD sustains them on their sickbed *
and ministers to them in their illness.

4 I said, "LORD, be merciful to me; *
heal me, for I have sinned against you."

5 My enemies are saying wicked things about me: *
"When will he die, and his name perish?"

6 Even if they come to see me, they speak empty words; *
their heart collects false rumors;
they go outside and spread them.

7 All my enemies whisper together about me *
and devise evil against me.

8 "A deadly thing," they say, "has fastened on him; *
he has taken to his bed and will never get up again."

9 Even my best friend, whom I trusted,
who broke bread with me, *
has lifted up his heel and turned against me.

10 But you, O LORD, be merciful to me and raise me up, *
and I shall repay them.

11 By this I know you are pleased with me, *
that my enemy does not triumph over me.

12 In my integrity you hold me fast, *
and shall set me before your face for ever.

13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, *
from age to age. Amen. Amen.


(Here's an even older look at the square-note notation for Tone 1, courtesy of the Order of St. Benedict;  you can see its ten possible endings here, too.  These charts are quite a bit more confusing, though, I think - so look at it later, after you've gotten more of the hang of the thing by singing:



)


Here is a good, one-page tutorial on chant notation. On the left is the old Gregorian style; on the right is modern musical notation.

In my opinion, one of the most important things to know - and one of the only things you can't figure out on your own without hearing the music - is the "podatus." Here it is, first in Gregorian notation:




As the tutorial says: "When one note is written above another note like this, the bottom note is sung first, and then the note above it." Here's the modern notation:





That one is used over and over again, and many other neume-types are created from it.



Here are Chantblog pages for all the Psalm Tones, with sound files included at each entry:

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