ECAUSE DOM MOCQUEREAU added rhythmic signs to the Editio Vaticana, such books could be printed much smaller than the official edition. Technically, the editions of Dom Mocquereau were never permitted, since they modify the official rhythm. That is to say, Dom Mocquereau illicitly added elongations which contradict the official rhythm, just as he eliminates elongations which are supposed to be there. When a small Schola Cantorum (fewer than five singers) sings from the Mocquereau markings, the effect can be quite beautiful. However, when a larger group attempts to incorporate the thousands of illicit elongations, the results are frequently slow, plodding, and distorted. Moreover, violence is done to the melodic line, which ought to “flow.”
New Project • The new project I’m working on—using the official edition—is called: “Guillaume Couture Gregorian Chant” (URL). Currently, it only consists of the following PDF:
* PDF • DRAFT COPY (Guillaume Gregorian)
—Dedicated to the authentic Gregorian rhythm of the Catholic Church.
Proofreading Needed • I do need help proofreading that PDF document. I’m afraid I might label a Tone 4a Psalm Tone as “Tone 7a” by mistake, and so forth. It actually takes hours to get the correct spacing and hyphenation in the psalm tone versions. (I’m not kidding.) If you find errors, please assist me by sending them to:
Much More To Come • I will have much more to say on this topic. I’ve already uploaded a 75-minute film explaining how to read the “pure” Editio Vaticana—that is to say, the “untouched” version of the official books. I have also included some thoughts (from a theoretical perspective) in this video. Moreover, we have touched on the important letter—dated 18 February 1910—promulgated by Sebastiano Cardinal Martinelli (d. 1918), Prefect for the Congregation of Sacred Rites under Pius X. But those items are just the beginning. Here’s a sneak peek at “Guillaume Couture Gregorian Chant” (hopefully you don’t find it to be a sneak pique):
If you listen to that recording (of the “pure” Editio Vaticana) you will see it matches the ancient manuscripts almost perfectly:
Pope Pius X • Pope Saint Pius X did not like the rhythmic additions of Dom Mocquereau, especially since they were printed in tiny books he found difficult to read. As Father De Santi wrote (20 December 1903): “The small books we have at present are completely unsatisfactory for great churches… In addition, the Holy Father complained to Dr. Haberl that these books are rather poorly printed in type which is too small.” Father De Santi wrote to Dom Mocquereau from Rome on 4 January 1904: “Give us as quickly as possible books of medium size without rhythmic signs.”