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  #1  
Old Jun 22, '11, 7:21 pm
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MiserereMeiDeus MiserereMeiDeus is offline
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Default Learing how to Chant

Hello all,

I would like to begin to learn how to chant, especially the Office. I have always found it difficult to learn, probably though because I have had no training (only self practice) and have no musical talent. I heard it is good to start chanting in recto tono, however I'm not really sure I know how to do this either haha. (Yes, I'm that incompetent haha.) So basically, any tips or recordings would be great.

Thank you!

Sincerely,
Miserere
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  #2  
Old Jun 22, '11, 8:01 pm
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TrueLight TrueLight is offline
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Default Re: Learing how to Chant

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiserereMeiDeus View Post
Hello all,

I would like to begin to learn how to chant, especially the Office. I have always found it difficult to learn, probably though because I have had no training (only self practice) and have no musical talent. I heard it is good to start chanting in recto tono, however I'm not really sure I know how to do this either haha. (Yes, I'm that incompetent haha.) So basically, any tips or recordings would be great.

Thank you!

Sincerely,
Miserere
I heard the term rocto tono for the first time yesterday. I too would like to hear how that is used to chant.
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  #3  
Old Jun 22, '11, 9:05 pm
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JM3 JM3 is offline
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Default Re: Learing how to Chant

http://saintsshallarise.blogspot.com...b-singing.html

Start recto tono

I said in the last part that it is always an option to sing everything on one note - called recto tono. My suggestion is to start by doing just that - it will get you singing the Latin aloud and getting familiar with how it sounds. And that will help you immensely when you come to sing to the proper tones.
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  #4  
Old Jun 22, '11, 9:29 pm
MarkThompson MarkThompson is offline
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Default Re: Learing how to Chant

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueLight View Post
I heard the term rocto tono for the first time yesterday. I too would like to hear how that is used to chant.
Since I think that was in my post, yes, "recto tono" means "with a straight tone," i.e. all one one note. It's about as basic as chant can get.

For MiserereMeiDeus: you said you've done some self-study, but it's tough to for me to know what you know already, or how you learn. As a tip, I would say to go here (and click on any of the individual Masses, then look for the ones with Vimeo or Youtube listed) or here (and look for the ones that have "Video" listed as an option). The videos all pair a recording of the chant with a scrolling view of the score, which you can follow as you practice singing along. I for one find that to be useful way to learn.
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  #5  
Old Jun 23, '11, 2:53 am
CarlosBarrera CarlosBarrera is offline
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Default Re: Learing how to Chant

Get a hold of the Parish Book of Chant. You can buy it for hardcover or use the free PDF version on the book's website. It comes with instructions on how to read and vocalize chant.


http://musicasacra.com/pbc/
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  #6  
Old Jun 23, '11, 10:05 am
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Default Re: Learing how to Chant

I love to listen and sing with the monks at Compline. This link is sung in latin with english words appearing in a scroll. Its helping me to learn the latin.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Pc7lhzY3vI
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  #7  
Old Jun 23, '11, 8:51 pm
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TrueLight TrueLight is offline
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Default Re: Learing how to Chant

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkThompson View Post
Since I think that was in my post, yes, "recto tono" means "with a straight tone," i.e. all one one note. It's about as basic as chant can get.
Is this basically the chant that is used to read the Epistle and Gospel, when they are chanted?

If so, I notice there is a special inflection at points where there are commas and periods.
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  #8  
Old Jun 23, '11, 9:11 pm
MarkThompson MarkThompson is offline
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Default Re: Learing how to Chant

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueLight View Post
Is this basically the chant that is used to read the Epistle and Gospel, when they are chanted?

If so, I notice there is a special inflection at points where there are commas and periods.
Well, no, recto tono chant would literally just be on a straight tone without inflections or other embellishments. I suppose you could chant the epistle and Gospel recto tono if you wanted to, but ordinarily there are special formulae that are used for these, which consist of a reciting tone (used for the bulk of phrases and, like recto tono, all on one note) broken up by various inflections and terminations.
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  #9  
Old Jun 23, '11, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: Learing how to Chant

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Originally Posted by MarkThompson View Post
Well, no, recto tono chant would literally just be on a straight tone without inflections or other embellishments. I suppose you could chant the epistle and Gospel recto tono if you wanted to, but ordinarily there are special formulae that are used for these, which consist of a reciting tone (used for the bulk of phrases and, like recto tono, all on one note) broken up by various inflections and terminations.
Ah I see. That makes sense.

Are the complines formulaic as well, or do different parishes sing them differently?
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  #10  
Old Jun 23, '11, 9:40 pm
MarkThompson MarkThompson is offline
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Default Re: Learing how to Chant

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Originally Posted by TrueLight View Post
Ah I see. That makes sense.

Are the complines formulaic as well, or do different parishes sing them differently?
I'm sure there are several standard tones in use for the various elements, which would be formulaic although they might differ from place to place.

By "formulaic" it has to be understood, not that there is one melody set down for everybody, but that there is a "formula" for setting any block of text to this tone. So something like your average Introit, Kyrie, or Credo is not formulaic, since the melody (and there may be many melodies for each, of course) is written for those specific words only. A Psalm tone or tone for an Epistle, by contrast, basically tells you what the beginnings and endings of phrases are like, with the middle portion of each phrase sung on the reciting tone. Once you have mastered, for each tone, things like the difference between what to do for a comma, period, and question mark, and how many syllables from the end of each phrase to back up before you leave the reciting tone for the ending formula, you could take a page of Dickens or a Robert Frost poem and sing them to an Epistle or Psalm tone.
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  #11  
Old Jun 24, '11, 10:08 am
OraLabora OraLabora is online now
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Default Re: Learing how to Chant

The chanting of the psalms in the youtube video is on the special paschal tone. Normally Compline is chanted "in directum" in the Benedictine Office, which is the tone used for psalmody without antiphons. Traditionally, the Benedictines don't use antiphons at Compline, nor do they chant the repsonsory "in manus Tuas" and the Nunc Dimmittis. Those are features of the Roman rite though some monasteries now chant them (including the abbey I am affiliated with). Instead of the responsory the versicle "Custodi nos, Domine..."

In directum is another tone that can be used for the aspiring cantor, that is a wee bit more complex than recto-tono and requires the paying of attention to the Latin accentuation. It is simple, with an inflection of two notes each one half-tone lower than the other, returning to the recitation chord on the last accented syllable (if the accent is the second or third syllable from the end) or the second-to last syllable, if the last accent is the 4th syllable from the end).

Recto-tono is used in the Office. In the abbey I am affiliated with, it is used for the psalmody and readings of Matins, and also for the psalmody of the minor hours.

Compline is done in directum druing the week, and on a more ornate (in French) tone on Sundays. The advantages to in directum and recto-tono, is that they can also be easily adapted to the vernacular, which is not so easy for the traditional Gregorian modes except the Irregular Tone (one of the 4 archaic tones).

The paschal tone heard on the youtube video would be the next step up in complexity after in directum.

Then when you really get good you can hit the really tough tones like IIIa2 or IIIg

Some abbeys (and orders) do the entire office recto-tono.

For hymns, for the ferial office they are generally octo-syllabic, and can be done on a fairly easy tone (that normally used for the minor hours) to get used to chanting them.

My suggestion to chant an entire office would be to start with Compline in the Monastic style, in directum, with the simplest or Sunday setting for the hymn Te Lucis. Solesmes has a great recording for it (that also includes Sunday Vespers).
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  #12  
Old Jun 25, '11, 9:46 am
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Chatter163 Chatter163 is offline
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Lightbulb Re: Learing how to Chant

The Graduale Romanum provides three tones for the epistle:

---tonus prophetae for old testament prophecies
---tonus recto tono, which is most commonly used
---tonus ad libitum, which may be used at any time


The Graduale Romanum provides three tones for the gospel:

---tonus evangelii,which is most commonly used
---tonus ad libitum, which is commonly used by neophytes or the musically challenged
---tonus antiquior, which is used for extra solemnities on feasts, etc., by the musically gifted
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  #13  
Old Jun 27, '11, 5:25 pm
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MiserereMeiDeus MiserereMeiDeus is offline
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Default Re: Learing how to Chant

Thanks for the wealth of information! I attempted to chant Vespers and Compline, recto tono. Then I added a slight inflection in the middle and the end. (Which I believe JM3 at saintshallarise said: "The second is to make all syllables the same length, slightly lengthening the last two syllables of each half of the verse."

At least I think I'm doing it right. Does anyone know of any place where I can buy the chant books for a reasonable cost? I would be interested in learning the different tones for the different hours and feasts. Or, are there sites online that could provide this?
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  #14  
Old Jun 27, '11, 6:19 pm
OraLabora OraLabora is online now
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Default Re: Learing how to Chant

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiserereMeiDeus View Post
Does anyone know of any place where I can buy the chant books for a reasonable cost? I would be interested in learning the different tones for the different hours and feasts. Or, are there sites online that could provide this?
www.solesmes.com;

For the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours):

Antiphonale Monasticum II pro diurnis horis de temporis (this one has a section with all the chant tones,introductory verse, psalm tones including solemn median for the Benedictus and Magnificat, readings, oratio, pater, benedicamus Domino, etc; plus all the proper antiphons for the propers of the seasons)
Antiphonale Monasticum I psalterium, the mondern version of the Monastic Diurnal, has all the antiphons and psalms for the Benedictine daytime office;
Antiphonale Monasticum III the sanctoral with propers and commons of the saints
Psalterium monasticum (or "Psautier monastique for Latin/French), the psalter that also includes the night hours (Vigils/matins) for ordinary days
Liber hymnarius-the hymnal, indispensable

Or, if you want to start with only Vespers of Sundays, feasts and solemnities, the new Antiphonale Romanum II is a good bet

For the Mass:

Graduale Romanum, or when you get really good, Graduale Triplex.

I think Solesmes has a representative in the US from whom you can order.
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  #15  
Old Jun 27, '11, 7:06 pm
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Default Re: Learing how to Chant

I attended vespers at the parish yesterday. I stumbled along.
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