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"Like all other liturgical functions, like offices and ranks in the Church, indeed like everything else in the world, the religious service that we call the Mass existed long before it had a special technical name."
— Rev. Adrian Fortescue (1912)

Simple English Choral Propers by Jon Naples
published 29 May 2014 by Guest Author

HIS WORK uses unaltered, the offertories of the Simple English Propers chants by Adam Bartlett. This work treats each chant as cantus firmus. Retaining the chant properties of the SEP, I have expanded each into a full blown motet.

These pieces give parish choirs of all sizes and skill levels the ability to observe the content of the propers in a polyphonic offertory. They may also serve as an excellent stepping stone for the beginning choir to approach polyphony.

      * *  Pentecost Sunday — Free PDF

      * *  Trinity Sunday — Free PDF

      * *  Corpus Christi Sunday — Free PDF

      * *  Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary — Free PDF

— The parts are generally invertible. Meaning, the women’s part(s) may be sung by men and vice versa.

— Choirs are advised to first to learn the antiphon melody in unison, then learn the verse tones in SATB, then their respective part of the polyphony.

— In the verse tones, the choir changes pitch on the words in bold type.

— In the antiphons, black notes (equal to a square note of chant) are the basic unit of time and in turn, determine the duration of the half notes, dotted half notes, and whole notes.

— The conductor is advised to observe two and three-beat groupings according to the rhythm of the text and melody combined.

— For reasons of musical interest most of the pieces contain two contrasting settings of the antiphon. Antiphon I should be heard after the odd numbered verses, and Antiphon II after the even numbered verses. Long antiphons have one setting.

We hope you enjoyed this guest post by Jon Naples.