About this blogger:
Veronica Brandt holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. As editor, she has produced fine publications (as well as valuable reprints) dealing with Gregorian chant, hymnody, Latin, and other subjects. These publications are distinguished on account of their tastefulness. She lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her husband Peter and six children.
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The ratio of voices in modern choirs is usually wrong. Basses should be numerically greatest, then altos, then tenors, then sopranos. One good soprano can carry a high “A” against 30 lower voices.
— Roger Wagner

Can You Sing Along to Monks?
published 27 January 2018 by Veronica Brandt

HAT DO YOU DO to get new singers up to speed? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if everyone interested in joining a church choir had a decade or two of listening to Sacred Music under their belts. The Gregorian Ordinaries of the Mass are one of those things that belong to every Catholic, but few people know even one Gregorian Mass setting.

I made this recording at the end of a hot day. The first take turned out useless as the microphone was not working, so forgive me if any of that frustration shows through in this second take. I run through the setting for Sundays during the Year – Missa Orbis Factor or Mass XI. It should be familiar.

I had agreed to make recordings to aid our all too brief opportunities to practise as a choir. I felt it was a little redundant as there are already fantastic recordings here as I point out in the beginning of the video, but the few choir members I’ve had have struggled with the existing recordings. Perhaps there is too much disparity between the voices on the recording and the average alto or baritone voice interested in joining the choir – or maybe it’s just not a comfortable key to sing in.

Next on the list of Ordinaries to record are Missa cum Jubilo (Mass IX) and the Masses for Lent – weekdays and Sundays. These are aimed at my local situation, but maybe they’ll come in handy further afield – it draws from the same treasury of sacred music of the Universal Church after all.