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 English is not meant to be sung, but only to tell people who do not understand Latin what the text means, a simple paraphrase in prose is sufficient. The versions are not always very literal. Literal translations from Latin hymns would often look odd in English. I have tried to give in a readable, generally rhythmic form the real meaning of the text.”
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (1913)

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How Low Can You Sing?
published 14 March 2017 by Jeff Ostrowski

OW LOW CAN YOU SING? I bet you can’t sing this low! Sometimes Giovanni Gabrieli sends the Bass section down to a low C. It’s actually a low C-flat, because they sing the piece lowered by a 1/2 step. I can’t even hear these pitches—can you?


This comes from a marvelous recording (circa 1968) by the Gregg Smith Singers, E. Power Biggs, Texas Boys Choir, Vittorio Negri, and more. There’s a fascinating story behind this recording—made in Venice—but that will have to be shared another day.

Listen to the entire piece at this link.