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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"Since such is the nature of man that he cannot easily without external means be raised to meditation on divine things, on that account holy Mother Church has instituted certain rites, namely that certain things be pronounced in a subdued tone (canon and words of consecration) and others in a louder tone; she has likewise made use of ceremonies such as mystical blessings, lights, incense, vestments, and many other things of this kind in accordance with apostolic teaching and tradition, whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might be commended, and the minds of the faithful excited by these visible signs of religion and piety to the contemplation of the most sublime matters which are hidden in this sacrifice."
— Council of Trent (Session XXII)

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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.