Monday, August 01, 2011

"The Canticles at Evensong, Together with the Office Responses and a Table of Psalm-Tones"


Here's the link to the book itself, which was published in 1915 (and cost 50 cents).

Below is an iFrame that contains the first page of the Psalm Tone chart; you can scroll through it from this post.

From the Intro:
The following Table of Psalm-tones has been compiled with the purpose of providing greater melodic wealth than is afforded by the Sarum Tonale, while retaining the greater part of the latter in its accustomed order as a basis. To this end, traditional Continental mediations have been added in the forms presented by the Vatican Antiphoner; together with supplementary endings, among which all save the third ending of the fourth Tone are of ancient use, either in England or on the Continent. This exception is a slight modification (made by the Benedictines of Solesmes) of an ancient ending. The additional mediations are distinguished in the Table by the letters B and C; and the solemn mediations for Magnificat by the letter S. Wherever more than a single mediation is given for a Tone, the Sarum form is marked by the letter A. As the numbering of the Sarum endings adopted in recent English Psalters has become widely familiar, it is retained: the additional endings either being substituted for certain of the Sarum set that are practically never used; or else assigned further numbers after the complete enumeration of the Sarum group.

There are more notes at the link. Winfred Douglas is well-known in the Anglican world for his efforts at renewing the chant tradition; here's a bit about him at Cyberhymnal.
While at Syr­a­cuse Un­i­ver­si­ty, Doug­las sang at St. Paul’s Epis­co­pal Ca­thed­ral. He earned his Ba­che­lor of Mu­sic de­gree from Sy­ra­cuse in 1891, then took Ho­ly Or­ders. He moved to Ev­er­green, Col­o­ra­do, for health rea­sons, and be­came an Epis­co­pal priest in 1899. He ed­it­ed the Epis­co­pal New Hymn­al in 1918, and helped de­vel­op the 1940 Epis­co­pal hymn­al as well.

The monastic orders began to revive in England only during the mid-19th Century, fully 300 years after the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. Winfed Douglas was instrumental in renewing the chant tradition. Here's something about him from the website of the Community of St. Mary East, an Episcopal monastic order from New York:
When the Rev. Canon C. Winfred Douglas became the choirmaster for the Community in 1906, he introduced a new edition of A Manual of Plain Song(4) to the choir, and later his own St. Dunstan Psalter(5). Prior to assuming his new position, he spent time in England, France, and Germany studying early church music. What he always valued most was the course in plainsong given by the Benedictine monks, who, exiled from their home monastery at Solesmes, had taken up residence at Quarr Abbey in the Isle of Wight. In an article for The Catholic Choirmaster published in March 1926, Canon Douglas explained his reasoning for welcoming the opportunity to be choirmaster for the Community of St. Mary.
"Parish Churches are too subject to changing policies with changing rectors for much hope of permanent stability in a musical tradition. It seemed to the writer that seminaries and schools, with their comparatively fixed policies, and above all, religious orders, offered the best field for constructive work... St. Mary's Convent and the group of institutions clustered around it seemed an admirable field for the establishment of a Plainsong tradition."(6)

The transition from modern notation, measured rhythm and polyphonic settings tothe Solesmes method of unison, equi-measured square notation chant presented quite an adjustment for the Sisters. Canon Douglas' patience and skill had them singing

Compline in ten days and the other simple offices over the next weeks. The school girls also learned the chant with the Sisters. Over the years many alumnae returned to Peekskill to sing at major liturgical feasts in St. Mary's Chapel.

The Night Office was first recited in May 1874 from the Neale edition of the Sarum Office(7). On March 12, 1916, a shortened form of the Benedictine Night Hours was introduced(8), and a revision of this came into use Pentecost, June 13, 1943. At Tenebrae and on great feasts such as Christmas, Purification, and Easter, the Night Office was sung in full, adapted from monastic melodies in use in the Latin with local variances since at least the tenth century.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think this link has much better Psalm Tones audio samples:


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