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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Much of the beauty of the older forms was lost and the hymns did not really become classical. We have reason to hope that the present reform of the breviary will also give us back the old form of the hymns. But meanwhile it seems necessary to keep the later text. This is the one best known, it is given in all hymnbooks and is still the only authorized form. Only in one case have we printed the older text of a hymn, number 57, “Urbs Jerusalem.” The modern form of this begins: “Caelestis urbs Jerusalem.” But in this case the people who changed it in the seventeenth century did not even keep its metre; so the later version cannot be sung to the old, exceedingly beautiful tune.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (1913)

Incredible!!! • Ancient Kyriale MSS for Download
published 10 October 2019 by Jeff Ostrowski

81307 sperabo CURRENTLY DIRECT approximately 62 choral singers, and we often sing pieces from a nifty little booklet: the Père Daniel Kyriale (126 pages). Through the centuries—in spite of variants, which will always exist—there is a remarkable stability of the KYRIALE. I like to show my choral singers pictures of Gregorian manuscripts, and they enjoy seeing whether they can sing directly from such manuscripts, which are astounding in their beauty.

An excellent source of such items is RAPHAEL (an Italian website), which is teeming with examples from different centuries and different locations:

    * *  Link 1 • “manuscripts” (RAPHAEL)

    * *  Link 2 • “editions” (RAPHAEL)

The creators of the website were attempting to put forth an explanation for how parts of the KYRIALE might have been sung “mensurally” (with longs and shorts). Based on the evidence I have seen, there is no question that some of these manuscripts would have been sung that way—although exactly where, when, and how remain subjects which are far from settled. 1

Here are some examples:


81310 sperabo

81311 ancient MSS kyriale

81308 manuscripts

If your singers need to practice Gregorian chant from videos and Mp3 files, send them to the Saint Antoine Daniel Website.


1   In terms of some of the speculation the creators indulge in regarding these theories, readers will have to decide for themselves which assumptions make sense.