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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“Creator Alme Siderum” (Guerrero)
published 7 December 2017 by Jeff Ostrowski

UR READERS are undoubtedly familiar with the ancient Advent hymn: Creátor alme síderum. The original title was Cónditor alme síderum, but four Jesuits working for Pope Urban VIII (d. 1644) wrecked most of the Breviary hymns—causing endless confusion. Correct accentuation is crucial since CÓNDITOR means “maker” whereas CONDÍTOR means “pickler.”

The famous tune can be played on this Woofer Guitar:


Before you listen to the full version by Guerrero, explore the Tenor and Soprano only:


Do you see the beautiful counterpoint with just two voices? In real life, one hears clearly the different vocal sections, and the counterpoint sounds awesome. In a YouTube version, however, the voices sound “flattened.”

I couldn’t resist recording it, even though my voice singing all the parts never sounds quite right:

    * *  PDF Download • “Cónditor alme síderum”


REHEARSAL VIDEOS :

EQUAL VOICES : YouTube   •   Mp3 Audio

SOPRANO : YouTube   •   Audio

ALTO : YouTube   •   Audio

TENOR : YouTube   •   Audio

BASS : YouTube   •   Audio


The tempo could probably be slightly slower, but I don’t recommend taking it so slowly that the plainsong in the Soprano line becomes difficult to recognize.