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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“As the subject of the language of worship was discussed in the Council hall over the course of several days, I followed the process with great attention, as well as later the various wordings of the Liturgy Constitution until the final vote. I still remember very well how after several radical proposals a Sicilian bishop rose and implored the fathers to allow caution and reason to reign on this point, because otherwise there would be the danger that the entire Mass might be held in the language of the people-whereupon the entire hall burst into uproarious laughter.”
— Alfons Cardinal Stickler, peritus of Vatican II

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“Agnus Dei” For Three Voices • Guillaume Dufay
published 19 September 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski

E HAVE BEEN ENCOURAGING choirmasters to use Solfège when training their choirs, but many readers are confused about why Solfège would help. The following piece demonstrates very well why Solfège is the best way to train amateurs in polyphony. During rehearsal, if your singers are missing a phrase, you can easily correct it when it’s done in Solfège. Isolating the incorrect pitches is much more difficult without Solfège:


For the record, my choir absolutely loves singing this Agnus Dei. It took us a while to learn, but has become one of our favorites now that it’s “clicked.”

    * *  PDF Download • “AGNUS DEI” by Guillaume Dufay (d. 1474)

EQUAL VOICES : YouTube   •   Mp3 Audio

HIGHEST VOICES : YouTube   •   Audio

MIDDLE VOICES : YouTube   •   Audio

BOTTOM VOICES : YouTube   •   Audio

The lowest voices must sing very, very softly when they ascend to the high notes—in falsetto if possible—otherwise the balance will be wrecked.