Anybody have any good comparisons on the different types of chants?

Discussion in 'Sacred Music' started by With_the_scripture, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. With_the_scripture

    With_the_scripture New Member

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    I'd like to see and hear the differences between the chants (Gregorian, Byzantine, Old Roman, Russian, Gallican, etc.)

    What do you perceive are the differences and which is your favorite?
     
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  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I am quite fond of Anglican Chant.
     
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  3. With_the_scripture

    With_the_scripture New Member

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    I think as far as chanting the Epistle and Gospel, Anglican is my favorite.
     
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  4. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Anglican chanting of the Psalms is, imo, completely unparalleled in any other tradition, because it is singable and intelligible (unlike Gregorian et al.), while also being other-worldly and ethereal.
     
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  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    They have a pill for that now, don't they?

    It's called...
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Chantix. :p :laugh:
     
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  6. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    My favourite is the quadruple chant by H.S.Oakley to the Te Deum Laudamus. Brings back memories of singing it in a quire of 32 boys and men, on Christmas Eve at midnight 1954, when I was 9 years old. Only day of the year I was allowed up that late.
     
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  7. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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  8. Brigid

    Brigid Active Member Anglican

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    I like Anglican and Gregorian (I'm one of those for whom foreign languages have always been easy), but I haven't heard any of the others. I'll have to listen to the YT channel site that Shane suggested. And hopefully to the one that Tiffy spoke about.

    I wasn't allowed to go to any night services, Tiffy, till I was 10. I still remember it 54 years later, tho'.
     
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  9. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Anglican chant is extremely beautiful! It is an exquisite system of chant. I myself am blessed to have a complete recording of the Psalter by the Choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.

    That said, I really feel like Anglican chant is something best suited to the boys choir and the gentlemen clerks, in the grand tradition of Anglican parishes and cathedral churches. It does not, in my opinion, lend itself to congregational use; indeed I don’t even think it lends itself to female voices. When it comes solely to congregational use, I think Coptic Tasbeha, Znamenny Chant and Prostopinije have an edge on it (although of these, most of the time I would rather hear Anglican chant, although Tasbeha can be a lot of fun). All three were developed with congregational singing in mind, whereas Byzantine chant and Gregorian chant have been taken over by the cantors and the choir, respectively.

    I also strongly prefer it if Anglican chant remains the domain of the choir. The extreme elegance of a boys choir backed up by male clerks singing a mixture of Anglican chant for the Psalms and settings of the canticles and anthems by Herbert Howells, George Dyson, CV Stanford, Tallis, Byrd and so on is unsurpassed. I don’t want to hear the congregation sing that. I desire the unadulterated purity of the boys choir for soprano voices, and professional adult cantors for the tenors, baritones and basso voices.

    I just don’t want to hear the congregation even try to sing in the realm of Anglican chant, particularly when there are not only other forms of ancient chant which are simpler and somewhat better suited for congregational use, but especially in light of Anglicanism having access to the chorale, the four-part organ-accompanied congregational hymn of the sort composed by Martin Luther, Charles Wesley, Augustus Toplady, and others, which in my opinion represents the form of church music best suited for congregational singing. And this is something one does not generally have access to in the Eastern churches, with the exception of the Carpatho-Rusyn-Ruthenian congregations, who have chorales and a tonal system of congregational chant that has been adapted into English and which works rather well (Prostopinije), and one does miss the chorale. Indeed the lack of the chorale is probably why there is virtually no congregational singing in your typical Greek Orthodox or Ukrainian/Serbian/post-Nikonian Russian Orthodox church (the Russian Old Rite on the other hand has Znamenny Chant, which is also sung by the entire congregation).

    It should be lamented however that Prostopinije, for all of its ease of use, just doesn’t sound as good as Anglican chant.

    One major problem that has occurred with chant, in both the East and the West, is the tendency for choirs or cantors to appropriate it, which is probably why of the vast number of systems of chant, the number that lend themselves to congregational singing is limited to only three of them, possibly four if we count Anglican chant, and possibly five if we count simple Plainchant versicles and responses (as differentiated from very complex works of Gregorian chant, such as the Missa di Angelis or the Missa Orbis Factor).
     
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  10. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I don’t believe I have ever heard it used for this purpose. If anyone has a link, I would be interested.
     
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  11. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Quadruples are quite rare. Actually before you mentioned this setting, I had only heard of one, the famed setting of Psalm 78.
     
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  12. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Why?

    I first went to night services in the form of Christmas Eve and Tenebrae services when I was two or three years old.
     
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  13. Brigid

    Brigid Active Member Anglican

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    I wasn't old enough to stay up that late, they said. Parents were often quite strict, then, and certainly earlier.
     
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  14. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I concur. Many parish churches could do more with music aimed at parish music rather than simulated Cathedral music. The word liturgy is formed of two greek words laos and ergon meaning the peoples work. The bulk of parish music should be within reach of the average parishioner, so that it is participative rather than an exercise in observation. Plainsong of course is clearly monophonic, whilst Anglican Chant embraces polyphony, yet preserves a clarity and beauty that is the unending joy of worship.
     
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  15. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I am not entirely sure we actually agree here, because, for example, in the case of a post-Nikonian Russian/Ukrainian/Slavonic liturgy, or a Greek or Georgian liturgy, or a Syriac liturgy, it is my extreme preference that the choir or cantors do the music, and attempts at introducing congregational singing, for example, in some parishes of the Orthodox Church in America, have been disastrous. For that matter, the Latin Mass, whether of the Roman, Ambrosian, Mozarabic, or Sarum Rite, should positively be the domain of the trained schola, and the result sounds infinitely better than the dreary congregational singing of the Novus Ordo Missae.

    As it happens, Anglicanism has access to the chorale without leaving the bounds of its tradition, and the chorale does a superb job of accommodating congregational singing, however, in an Anglican church of any size, my very strong preference is that the boys choir and the gentlemen clerks should predominate; a good example of the ideal ratio of congregational hymns to choral chant, anthems and canticles can be seen in the 2011 Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
     
  16. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Weird; one would think church would be an obvious exception to any such rule.
     
  17. Fidei Defensor

    Fidei Defensor Active Member

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    Gregorian Chant has a folceto sound, usually like someone singing up tempo, but not so high pitched to be choir boys.

    Russian Chant is bery bass, it rumbles like Japanese stomech throat projection, i.e. Dark Choir (Emperor’s Theme) in Star Wars.
     
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  18. Cooper

    Cooper Member Anglican

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    *****

    A short bio of my life journey...

    I am a retired business man in the U.S. (age 70). A few years ago I took advantage of our state's free tuition program at state universities. I would drive over to the university, park in student parking. and spend the better part of two days each week roaming the campus absorbing what my feeble old brain could pick up.

    Anyway, at that time I could enroll in 12 undergraduate or graduate courses tuition free. Like a kid in a toy shop, I would spend two or three weeks in each of the university disciplines--music, art, science, and literature.

    My favorite spots were the various libraries, browsing the shelves. I would spend hours upon hours browsing the music and art library. I found a sympathetic librarian who had specialized in medieval studies. One day she gave me two hours out of her schedule. Chants and other forms of medieval art became one of the topics we discussed. I do remember she had several intriguing art works in her library office.

    She advised me to browse the audio files to listen to the various chants. I went beyond her suggestion and would sit at one of the library tables, with recorder and ear phones, listening to various recordings. I cannot say that I ever really picked up much skill or knowledge about chants. But I did enjoy listening to the recordings as I thumbed through some of the various music and chant books from the shelves.

    I actually dropped a few bucks buying some of the chant books and recordings for my home personal library. One of the books I purchased was a thick volume written several years ago about Gregorian chants. Later I gave the chant book to a student interested in studying music.

    That is something I still do.

    Here is short video clip from the Beatles song

    Yesterday

    The clip is followed by a student presentation

    History of the Gregorian Chant, part 1 (an hour or more).


    *****

    One humorous story...

    After enjoying one of the student sandwich shops, I sometimes would rest up before the commute drive back home.

    One day, I found some music students practicing for their senior recitals. The room resembled a small chapel with padded chairs. Perfect for an old guy before he hit the road. The students thought I was somebody connected to the faculty. I explained that I was not on the faculty. However, I would like listen to their practice if they would let me. They played strings.

    "Great, we need practice playing for a live audience!"

    The string trio was quite good--in my unlearned and untrained ear. They came up and talked with me after their practice session.

    *****

    The point of this strange tale is you can actually learn while visiting some of the college and university campuses in your areas. The key is to have a student I.D. card. Yes, the security guards give you weird looks. But if you have a legitimate student I.D. in your wallet -- you have something like a back stage pass for various performances.

    But you are limited in what you can learn.

    :popcorn:
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Now you have aroused my curiosity. Which state allows this tuition-free college attendance to retirees? Maybe I should move after retirement....
     
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  20. Cooper

    Cooper Member Anglican

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    :tiphat:
     
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