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 the ability of Francisco Guerrero is now abundantly known to all […] he shall henceforth act as master of the boys so long as: ( 1) he must teach them to read, write, and to sing the responsories, versicles, antiphons, lessons, and kalends, and other parts of divine service; (2) he shall teach them plainchant, harmony, and counterpoint, his instruction in counterpoint to include both the art of adding a melody to a plainsong and to an already existing piece of polyphonic music; (3) he shall always clothe them decently and properly, see that they wear good shoes, and ensure that their beds are kept perfectly clean; (4) he shall feed them the same food that he himself eats and never take money from them for anything having to do with their services in church or their musical instruction…” [cont’d]
— Málaga Cathedral Document (11 September 1551)

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“Credo for Two Voices” • Gustaaf Nees (d. 1965)
published 15 February 2016 by Jeff Ostrowski

HE SOUND OF A MELODY sung in unison an octave apart was not admired by the ancients. Personally, I don’t care for it, so whenever my choir sings plainsong, either all the men sing or all the women sing—or they alternate. I’m sure others will disagree. (After all, we musicians disagree constantly; and we do so with passion!) For the record, I can tolerate that sonority under certain circumstances. 1

The following setting of the Nicene Creed adds a simple men’s countermelody:

    * *  PDF Download • CREDO IV FOR TWO VOICES — Gustaaf Nees (d. 1965)


We usually have a soloist sing the odd verses (starting with “Patrem omnipotentem”) and full choir sing the even verses (starting with “Et in unum Dominum”).

REHEARSAL VIDEOS :

EQUAL VOICES : YouTube   •   Mp3 Audio

WOMEN : YouTube   •   Audio

MEN : YouTube   •   Audio




NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:

1   For example, my ears can tolerate men & women singing plainsong an octave apart when a nice organ accompaniment is employed.