ACK WHEN IT WAS FIRST SUGGESTED we sing the propers at Mass, we often reassured ourselves by saying that we could always psalm tone the difficult parts. This was our safety net. It was not, however, a foolproof back up plan. I have seen psalm tones done really badly. Even psalm toned propers need preparation.
One of the most useful ways to prepare is to have a printed copy written out in full. Benjamin Bloomfield’s Psalm Tone Tool is a great way to set any text to a psalm tone.
Sometimes part of the prescribed tune is actually quite easy, so you might cut and paste the easy parts together with psalm toned versions of the tricky parts. Using the same modes is a good idea.
I have kept a disorderly collection of my own rearrangements on my computer over the past few years, which may make sense only to myself. Now, seeing the beautiful work showcased here, it’s time to tidy up and make something presentable.
As a first step I have made a github repository: Easier Propers.
I know that github is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I tell you what, I’ll upload my latest efforts here.
They are not so pretty yet, but the whole reason I am producing them is to save time! Their appearance reinforces the “near enough is good enough” mentality that brought them into being. They should be a temporary stepping stone on the way to using the Liber (Brevior or Usualis).
But since I am using command line tools to produce these files then it is entirely possible that a template could be produced to make them much easier on the eye. There are very helpful tools within github to facilitate collaboration on projects whereby this work can be shared.