About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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Much of the beauty of the older forms was lost and the hymns did not really become classical. We have reason to hope that the present reform of the breviary will also give us back the old form of the hymns. But meanwhile it seems necessary to keep the later text. This is the one best known, it is given in all hymnbooks and is still the only authorized form. Only in one case have we printed the older text of a hymn, number 57, “Urbs Jerusalem.” The modern form of this begins: “Caelestis urbs Jerusalem.” But in this case the people who changed it in the seventeenth century did not even keep its metre; so the later version cannot be sung to the old, exceedingly beautiful tune.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (1913)

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PDF Download: Two (2) Rare Franciscan Chant Books
published 24 February 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski

234 Franciscan Cappa Magna NE OF OUR READERS kindly sent two extremely rare and fascinating Franciscan chant books! If someone would like to write a careful description of each, I will publish them. I’m afraid my knowledge of Franciscan traditions is pathetic.

The first one, “Cantuale Romano-Seraphicum,” was edited by Rev. Eliseo Bruning, OFM, and published by Desclée in 1951. It appears to be a collection of various chants of special use to Franciscans—and some have their own melodic variants. Many of these melodies cannot be easily found in any other book:

      * *  PDF • Cantuale Romano-Seraphicum (1951)

The second one is not quite as interesting. Called “Missae Propriae Ordinis Fratrum Minorum Ad Normam Gradualis Editionis Vaticanae,” it appears to contain feasts of special significance to Franciscans, as well as some rare Sequences:

      * *  PDF Download • Missae Propriae Ordinis Fratrum Minorum (1951)


My favorite part of this book tells singers IN BIG CAPITAL LETTERS what I often tell my singers:

236 Franciscan GRADUALE


It means not to double the length of notes with horizontal episemata.