About this blogger:
Veronica Brandt holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. As editor, she has produced fine publications (as well as valuable reprints) dealing with Gregorian chant, hymnody, Latin, and other subjects. These publications are distinguished on account of their tastefulness. She lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her husband Peter and five children.
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Essentially the Missal of St. Pius V is the Gregorian Sacramentary; that again is formed from the Gelasian book which depends on the Leonine collection. We find the prayers of our Canon in the treatise “De Sacramentis” and allusions to it in the 4th century. So our Mass goes back, without essential change, to the age when it first developed out of the oldest liturgy of all. It is still redolent of that liturgy, of the days when Caesar ruled the world and thought he could stamp out the faith of Christ, when our fathers met together before dawn and sang a hymn to Christ as to a God. The final result of our enquiry is that, in spite of unsolved problems, in spite of later changes, there is not in Christendom another rite so venerable as ours.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)

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Ut Queant Laxis time soon!
published 22 June 2013 by Veronica Brandt

HE 24TH OF JUNE is the feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist. It falls three months after the Annunciation and six months before Christmas. I’ve written more about the feast day over there.

The vespers hymn is very famous for being the source of solfege. Guido d’Arezzo chose the first syllables of each line to represent the pitches of a diatonic scale. They were “Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La”. Later the Si was added (short for Sancte Ioannes) which some change to Ti, and Ut became Do to be easier to sing.

An extra detail for anyone who has faced singing in public with a sore throat:

Durandus says that the hymn was composed by Paul the Deacon on a certain Holy Saturday when, having to chant the “Exsultet” for the blessing of the paschal candle, he found himself suffering from an unwonted hoarseness. Perhaps bethinking himself of the restoration of voice to the father of the Baptist, he implored a similar help in the first stanza. Catholic Encyclopedia

The first stanza has been translated as: “That thy servants may be able to sing thy deeds of wonder with pleasant voices, remove, O holy John, the guilt of our sin-polluted lips” (The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal, Rev Matthew Britt, OSB). It reminds me of our prayer before choir practice Let my mouth be filled with thy praise, in order that I be able to sing; my lips will rejoice for as long as I sing unto thee.

And tying in with previous videos on using using Illuminare Score Editor and the Propers Tool, here is a video on using the Hymn Tool.

After that I added in the brief translation from CPDL.

Click here for the finished pdf.

And utqueant.gabc is the gabc code ready to be pasted into Illuminare Score Editor.