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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“I still haven’t made up my mind whether I shall publish it all. Some people are so humorless, so uncharitable, and so absurdly wrong-headed, that one would probably do far better to relax and enjoy life than worry oneself to death trying to instruct or entertain a public which will only despise one’s efforts, or at least feel no gratitude for them. Most readers know nothing about canon law. Many regard it with contempt and find everything heavy going that isn’t completely lowbrow. Some are so grimly serious that they disapprove of all humor. Others come to different conclusions every time they stand up or sit down. They seize upon your publications, as a wrestler seizes upon his opponent’s hair, and use them to drag you down, while they themselves remain quite invulnerable, because their barren pates are completely bald, so there’s nothing for you to get hold of.”
— St. Thomas More to Peter Gilles, 1516

PDF Download • “Sunday Vespers”
published 7 August 2018 by Jeff Ostrowski

87994 monk writes AST SUNDAY, we began singing Sunday Vespers. From now on, we will do this each week as a parish. Vespers is actually pretty complicated if one remembers to place in all the rubrics, starting pitches, parallel translations, and so forth. I find my solution fully adequate…but quite ugly.

Each week, I will think about how I can make the booklets more beautiful. After a year, I believe I will have found a layout I consider worth printing. Until then, if you want to get your parish singing Sunday Vespers, feel free to use our version:

    * *  PDF Download • SUNDAY VESPERS (Testing)

Everything except the Magnificat remains the same each week until Advent. Therefore, I had to create this sheet for 5 August 2018. 1 As time goes on, we will also add organ accompaniment. We will also employ special versions for the hymn.

ORRY TO SWITCH TOPICS, but if you look in the Summit Hymnal (published in 1983 by the Dominican Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary) you will find on page 517 a “combination descant.” The editor says one can combine their harmony for HALTON HOLGATE with the popular hymn tune called MONKLAND. They provide both, so there’s no possibility of melody variants.

I was intrigued by this:

    * *  PDF Download • Copyrighted Descant “Fail”

But it doesn’t work. What a huge disappointment—it would have been spectacular if it worked. The editor even copyrighted what they call the “Tune-Descant combination.”

But it doesn’t work; they break all the rules of writing descants and several parts sound terrible.


1   Each week, I must create a similar sheet—unless I can successfully convince each choir member to purchase a copy of the Liber Usualis.