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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“Simple Kyriale” for Dumb Organists Like Me!
published 25 August 2016 by Jeff Ostrowski

NE OF THE THINGS you learn as choirmaster is that doing easy music well is better than performing complicated music poorly. That’s why I think our readers will find the following book of organ accompaniments helpful. Close to a decade ago, this book was posted in the Lalande Library, which you should explore when you have time. Most of the books found there came from my personal collection, but this particular book came from the generous heart of MR. TED KRASNICKI.

It’s a groovy little book from 1937 that can be “tossed” in front of an amateur organist:

    * *  PDF Download • 1937 SIMPLE KYRIALE

Here’s a sample page:

177 Sample


When I want to scare my (excellent) organist, I threaten her: “I can play that one, if you like.” While it’s true that I do a decent job as organist if I practice in advance, I hardly ever have time. Remember: an organist must not only play all the correct notes—the registration must also be correct! And correct registration depends on many different factors.