Learning gregorian chants

What is the best method of learning gregorian/byzantine chants? I sing and play hymns on guitar but would like to some day when ever I begin to play at mass again to sing a mix of gregorian too. I find it easy to listen to but difficult to learn. anyone got any tips?

Pax Christi

Before I was tonsured a Reader in the Orthodox Church I had to learn the eight Byzantine tones. The easiest way was to just memorize the eight Resurrectional Troparia. Once you get these down you can chant just about any text. It’s a matter of doing it over and over again.

As for Gregorian–it’s easy to learn square note notation. I have a Psalter with settings of all the Psalms and that helped. Now I can plainchant just about anything.

A good free resource for chanting of all types is Unmercenary Sacred Music. He uses regular western round notes, so as a musician this may be easier for you.


My prayers are with you.

From what you say, I assume you read modern musical notation. If so, this might be helpful.

I can not read music. I have never learned nor ever wanted to…:blush:

But I will take a look at both suggestions. I go on memory and can only read guitar tablature.

Thank you very much. Have you got any links to the pater noster?


Don’t bother with modern notation. Keep it simple and go to the source. Learn by absorption and sing along with a sound file while looking at the jpeg scans of the music at christusrex.org/www2/cantgreg/cantos_selec_eng.html - the Pater Noster is there along with the other basics, and they are all easy. (The PN sheet music is missing from this particular site, but you can find it online elsewhere.)

Actually the source is not square notation, but neumes with no staff. Now that requires some skill to chant to.

The square note melody is actually an interpretation of the neumes for the most part except for those composed later, say after the Carolingian period.

thank you both for your replies.

Learning music is difficult for me. My computer is trashed and most of the links provided I am unable to access the music. I can however get to youtube. So perhaps the pater noster with words and sheet music may be there.

Peace be with you


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