Training for Musicians

Where to start when wishing to learn to sing or accompany Gregorian Chant? Here are a few signposts to point you in the right direction.

How to read and sing chant– an introduction given by the great Jeff Ostrowski at Corpus Christi Watershed. If unsure about how to sing Solfa- get the basics here and with the subsequent videos.

Chant Accompaniment

1. Although every organist should aim to accompany chant directly from the neuems, the following link contains full Nova Organi Harmonia harmonisations of the Gregorian Ordinaries and Propers and more!

2. Chant Talk– Patrick Torsell, is Director of Music at Mater Dei FSSP Parish, Harrisburg, PA. He has some useful video tutorials on effective chant accompaniment in different modes.

3. I suggest that they immerse themselves in listening to excellent chant accompaniment. I recommend Fontgombault and Westminster Cathedral. In terms of chant books and resources, see my post about top tools for TLM musicians!

Tools for TLM musicians

Chant Tool

This is by far my favourite. It is available as a website and as a free app that is able to operate off line. Not all of my singers have a copy of the Liber or are completely familiar with how to navigate it yet. With drop-down menus for both the Traditional and Novus Ordo calendars, Mass Ordinaries, Propers and additional chants, this is a one stop shop for liturgical singers. It is possible to select full chants or to have them sent to a psalm tone, if required. Each week, in addition to publishing the music list, I set everything up, hit ‘Share Current Settings’ and forward the link generated to my schola. The chant tool plays the chant to you when you click on the score and the whole thing can be made into a pdf. You can even change the font size etc. Some of my singers use this for preparation, and some even use the app, with all the settings I shared, and sing from their phone. (We are out of sight!) The same site has a psalm tone tool too. I can’t recommend this highly enough.

Square Notes

This is also a great app that plays through the chant but it is not yet as comprehensive as the chant tool and it doesn’t have the additional chants available. The bookmark feature is good. Sometimes I use this on my phone for the ordinary of the Mass and my Liber for the Propers to save on page turns while playing the organ.

ICKSP website

Amazing website with PDF downloads of the Kyriale and Propers for every Mass of the year.

Booklets for the Office

I am very fortunate to be in a job where Sunday Vespers is sung and compline is sung monthly. While it is okay to sing the office from the Liber, as soon as a feast day occurs, it can be very difficult to navigate things, especially at the organ. These booklets make things a lot easier.

Church Documents on Church Music

Tra le Sollectitudini, Pope St Pius X, 1903

Musica Sacrae, Pope Pius XII, 1955

This information is taken from the blog of our Chairman and Director of Music Fraser Pearce. www.fraserpearce.co.uk