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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“In spite of what it is currently called, the music of these songs is not modern: this musical style is not new, but has been played in the most profane places and surroundings (cabarets, music halls, often for more or less lascivious dances with foreign names). The people are led on to rock or swing. They all feel an urge to dance about. That sort of “body language” is certainly alien to our Western culture, unfavorable to contemplation and its origins are rather suspect. Most of the time our congregations, which already find it hard not to confuse the crochets and the quavers in a 6/8 bar, do not respect the rhythm; then one no longer feels like dancing, but with the rhythm gone to pieces, the habitual poorness of the melodic line becomes all the more noticeable.”
— Unnamed choirmaster (Northern France) circa 1986

The modern armchair chant scribes
published 14 February 2015 by Veronica Brandt

Medieval writing desk N THE BEGINNING, PEOPLE LEARNT Gregorian chant by ear. Later it was transcribed into marks on vellum, painstakingly copied by hand. Then the printing press made paper copies which could be distributed far and wide. Now we have liquid crystal displays interpreting little packets of bits into images of sheet music and lasers fixing little particles of black to sheets of paper in the same images from the comfort of our own homes.

Medieval scribes used quill, ink and a scraper. Today a scattered group of musical technicians (or technical musicians) use GregoBase.

What is GregoBase?

GregoBase is a database of Gregorian Chant, arranged so that you (yes, you!) can log in and proof read the transcriptions and either make corrections or add corrections to the “Please fix” list for other gabc technicians to fix.

There are thousands of scores in the database already, with more being added. Books being transcribed range from the 1908 Vatican Graduale Romanum to the much more recent three volume Antiphonale Monasticum from Solesmes. The Liber Usualis is well covered.

Each score can be downloaded in several formats to suit every desktop publishing requirement. Most also come with a scan of the source page so proof reading can be accomplished even if you don’t have your own copy of the book.

Scores are indexed by first letter (or Incipit), by usage (Introit, Gradual, Varia, etc.) or by source book. There is also a tag system which will allow browsing by feasts and seasons.

Even my mother is using this. You can use this too! Enjoy GregoBase!