ENTION HAS BEEN MADE in the past of an “in house” collection from France (or possibly Quebec) which I came across while I was a graduate student in musicology at the University of Kansas. It is missing the first 50+ pages, but seems to be designed for use in cathedrals. I have had occasion to transcribe pieces from this book in the past—since it uses archaic clefs and was written by hand, not printed—and someday I’d like to transcribe the entire book. 1
I have transcribed a very interesting SANCTUS by Jules Couture (d. 1959), where the ladies sing one voice and the men sing the other voice:
Try this piece! Your choir will love it. Furthermore, the composer does cool things with the voices; e.g. carefully compare the two (2) HOSANNA sections.
A GOOD CHOIRMASTER soon discovers a crucial reality: Easy music often comes off better than complicated music. That’s because simpler music allows the choir to master the musical phrasing, vowels, rhythm, and intonation. The fact that a piece such as this Couture SANCTUS was considered suitable for cathedral use corresponds to what was said in a document promulgated by Pope Pius XII on 3 September 1958:
“In general, it is better to do something well, however modest, than to attempt something on a grander scale if proper means are lacking.”
The source of that quote—as well as other interesting Church regulations—are here:
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 Unless I am wrong, it was created as a lithograph. I am told many such “in house” publications exist in France, some of which date from times when the Church was being persecuted by the French government: for example, circa 1905, when persecutory laws were enacted.