How to sing/chant the Te Deum?

I pray Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer of the LotH everyday, but am not able, for various reasons, to pray the Office of Readings. However, I would like to pray the Te Deum on the days where it is normally prayed. I would like to sing/chant it but do not know the “melody” (for lack of a better word.)

Is there a standard sung version of the Te Deum just as there is a standard Pater Noster? If so (or even if not) does anyone know where I can download, preferrably for free, an mp3 version of the Te Deum? (And I might as well ask the same thing for the Magnificat and the Beneditcus.)

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

God bless!

John

Do a search on Youtube. They are all there.

I very much like this one:

youtube.com/watch?v=sqwV9l-U8ds&feature=related

For listening, check out YouTube. Here is one example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Frml2A7xdO0

Buy a copy of the Liber Hymnarius. The melody is there in Gregorian notation, which IMHO is much easier to follow than modern musical notation.

At the abbey at which I am affiliated, the Te Deum is always chanted on the same melody as the Te Deum in the Solesmes Youtube video.

The advantage to buying the Liber Hymnarius: ALL the hymns for the LOH are in there. In Latin of course. The hymns for the daily ferial office in ordinary time and also Advent, Lent and Eastertide are fairly easy to learn.

It would be a great way to bring chant to your daily office.

I pray the entire Office in Latin Gregorian Chant (except for the Office of Readings which I recite recto-tono in French). It took me a while to get there. The hymns are a good start.

See www.solesmes.com you can order on-line from there.

In the Western use, the chants for the Benedictus and Magnificat come from the tone of their Antiphons, so they would change from day to day.

Wow - great question! Thank you, babybear John.

Thank you for the responses, too. I’ve felt that my praying the Te Deum seemed rather choppy and it felt like I was trying to find a cadence, but couldn’t.

Thanks much! Isn’t YouTube great?

I suggest buying a copy of this disc from the monks of Solesmes: Gregorian Melodies: Popular Chants, Vol. 2. The last track (#26) is the Te Deum in simple tone which would be easiest to learn. Then download this document: ceciliaschola.org/pdf/tedeum.pdf . It has the notation for the simple tone with an English translation.This should help you learn to sing it.

There actually exist several traditional melodies for the Te Deum but the above is probably the simplest and easisest to learn. If you want to hear another version you can hear this live recording from a monastery in Brazil: Te Deum (Roman). This is the “Roman” melody, which is more elaborate than the other version.

Boy, I hit the jackpot of advice!

Thank you one and all!

God bless!

John

  1. Get a good recording of the chant you want to learn (Solesmes is the best)
  2. Get a sheet music copy of the chant (available online).
  3. Listen to the recording a few times, following along in the sheet music.
  4. Label the segments of music that generally have the same melody with letters.
  5. Separate segments into groups of the same letter (A segments in one pile, etc…)
  6. Learn the melody that goes with each segment of text.
  7. Make sure you are comfortable simply reading the text (pronunciation, etc.)
  8. Using the recording for reference, try learning the segments of music w/ text.
  9. Sing segments you’ve learned together in phrases (phrases end with double bars).
  10. Now, sing the entire piece.

*It may help to play a note periodically to help keep you from going out of tune as you sing through the piece. If you have a low voice, this piece is in an area of your range that can be difficult to stay in tune for a long time.

*Also, I suggest you avoid singing loudly- I learned from experience that singing Gregorian chant is hard on the voice, especially when you try to sing loudly.

*You might find learning chant is easier and more rewarding when you start with shorter, simpler pieces than the Te Deum. The Te Deum is among the more difficult ones, because it’s so long.

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