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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"Upon the road, René was always occupied with God. His words and the discourses he held were all expressive of submission to the commands of Divine Providence, and showed a willing acceptance of the death which God was sending him. He gave himself to God as a sacrifice, to be reduced to ashes by the fires of the Iroquois, which that good Father's hand would kindle. He sought the means to bless Him in all things and everywhere. Covered with wounds as he himself was, Goupil dressed the wounds of other persons, of the enemies who had received some blows in the fight as well as those of the prisoners. He opened the vein for a sick Iroquois. And he did it all with as much charity as if he had done it to persons who were his best friends."
— St. Isaac Jogues (writing in 1643)

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.