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 six children.
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“In the 17th century came the crushing blow which destroyed the beauty of all Breviary hymns. Pope Urban VIII (d. 1644) was a Humanist. In a fatal moment he saw that the hymns do not all conform to the rules of classical prosody.”
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)

Introducing polyphony in a round about way
published 18 January 2014 by Veronica Brandt

Bodfari welsh choir INGING IN PARTS is a beautiful thing to aspire to. Never take it for granted. A choir singing together in harmony must be close to a miracle, considering all the disparate elements that need to come together. So many things can get in the way – anxiety, apathy and embarrassment to name a few.

One short-cut is to learn rounds or canons. One tune for everyone. That doesn’t guarantee that singing in the round is necessarily simple, but one initial step is easier, getting you one step closer to the fun of singing and listening at the same time.

Last year we tackled Da pacem Domine by Melchior Franck. The year before I had attempted Non nobis, Domine, attributed to William Byrd. It proved a bit too much too soon. Da pacem Domine is just that little bit simpler, and repeating the tune All Year Long proved fruitful. There’s one tricky spot where a phrase starts on the up beat. With younger children we would clap and stomp to try show the rhythm. Anything is possible with patience.

Andre van Ryckeghem has collected 73 canons together into this little booklet. Jubilate Deo and Dona nobis pacem are two that we have had fun with.