M Gregorian Rhythm Wars contains all
M previous installments of our series.
ECAUSE OUR TOPIC is massive and sprawling, some repetition will be unavoidable. (I beg our readers to tolerate it.) However, my dear Mr. Williams, I think you would agree we must repudiate the politician’s habit of giving “non-answers” to each other’s questions, reverting instead to our talking points. The readers will become bored if we talk past each other. When our exchange ends, I hope I’ll be able to say: “Patrick Williams believes XYZ.” I’m not promising I’ll agree—but I seek to learn what you believe.
(#1) “Low-Hanging Fruit” • Mr. Williams, you cite a 16 May 2015 article in which I wrote: “It’s not forbidden to sing from ancient manuscripts […] and this was done by the Sistine Chapel during papacy of Pius X.”
My Response: My intention—in spite of what some people claim—is not to condemn anyone’s performance practice. My intention is to prove: (a) There is an official edition, which has its own rhythm; (b) The “Pothier Style” is, broadly speaking, the same way Catholics sang for 700+ years.
(#2) “Low-Hanging Fruit” • Mr. Williams, you wrote: “I challenge you to show where Dom Mocquereau claimed that the primitive and universal rhythmic tradition was lost due to mass hallucination. As far as I can tell, the claim of ‘mass hallucination’ is a straw man of my colleague’s own creation.”
My Response: I don’t claim Mocquereau said such a thing verbatim. In that sentence, I was attempting to give a summary of what people like Dom Mocquereau believe. They claim—unless I’m very much mistaken—there was once a universal rhythmic tradition that was ‘forgotten’ or ‘abandoned’ or ‘messed up’ circa 1050AD, yet the same scribes who ‘forgot’ or ‘abandoned’ or ‘messed up’ that universal rhythmic tradition transmitted the pitches with incredible accuracy.
(#3) “Low-Hanging Fruit” • Mr. Williams, you said you don’t see where the 2022 USCCB Newsletter says “Gregorian chants of Mass parts and Propers must be taken from the pre-Conciliar Graduale Romanum.”
My Response: I was merely attempting to emphasize that—even now—the USCCB liturgical committee ‘promotes’ or ‘endorses’ or ‘doesn’t consign to oblivion’ the Editio Vaticana. As you know the 1970 ORDO CANTUS MISSAE doesn’t have any plainsong of its own (except the occasional aberration). Rather, it directs the user to Abbat Pothier’s Editio Vaticana—a.k.a. “the greatest, most spectacular, most powerful, most sublime, catastrophically-breathtaking edition of plainsong ever created.”
OU HAVE SEEN, Mr. Williams, how I’ve answered three of your questions without obfuscation. I’ve not yet responded to all your assertions, but I’m confused why you wrote two separate articles—001 + 002—whereas I tried to narrow the discussion to what I deemed “our specimen.” For the sake of our readers, I beg you: slow down. Let’s take one thing at a time! I challenge you to be restrained in your next article, and deal with the following. You wrote on the CCW facebook page:
“I pointed out Jeff’s misreading of Chartres 47. Two more of his examples, 3823auvergne|1119 and 1132Limoges|1085, write four longs at the beginning of propitiatio, the exact opposite of what he claims. He also claimed that the flex (clivis) at iniquitates is identical with the two at propitiatio in 1087cluniacensem|1087, StMaur|1079, and 857noyon|1057. They sure don’t look identical to me! Examine and judge for yourself.”
Patrick, I feel your astute observations are worthy of a thoughtful response—which I’ll now provide.
To remind everybody what we’re discussing, “our specimen” comes from the the INTROIT for the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost. [Ordinary Form: 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time.] Specifically, we’re talking about the word propitiátio shown here:
* Let me be absolutely clear: It’s easy to verify that none of the 20+ diastematic manuscripts I cited in my inaugural article have an elogation on those instances of the “flex” by comparing other words in the same chant of the same manuscript (such as observáveris or iniquitátes) or a different chant from the same manuscript. Needless to say, sometimes it’s necessary to turn to the next folio or scroll up (or down) the page to find an apples-to-apples comparison. You correctly point out I goofed by implying iniquitátes is the only word that proves this. I apologize for that—and I’m sure it won’t be the last typo I make! Even Father Fortescue sometimes made typos. But that tiny goof does not change my argument one iota. As I demonstrate below, if iniquitátes doesn’t work in a particular example, simply look to a different word … such as observáveris. These examples will make it clear:
In direct response to your assertion (above), I stand by what I said about 1087cluniacensem|1087. Please help me understand how you can doubt what is clearly shown here:
In direct response to your assertion (above), I stand by what I said about StMaur|1079. Please help me understand how you can doubt what is clearly shown here:
In direct response to your assertion (above), I stand by what I said about 857noyon|1057. Please help me understand how you can doubt what is clearly shown here:
In direct response to your assertion (above), I stand by what I said about 3823auvergne|1119. Please help me understand how you can doubt what is clearly shown here:
In direct response to your assertion (above), I stand by what I said about 1132Limoges|1085. Please help me understand how you can doubt what is clearly shown here:
Mr. Williams, I ask you to directly respond to the following two (2) questions:
11 November A • I have now demonstrated I was correct about the examples (3823auvergne|1119 • 1132Limoges|1085 • 1087cluniacensem|1087 • StMaur|1079 • 857noyon|1057), whereas you said I was wrong about those examples. Do you admit that none of those examples show an elongation on “our specimen” How many manuscripts, Mr. Williams, did I present in my first article? Wasn’t the number close to thirty? Shall I go through all thirty manuscripts in the same way I went through the ones shown above?
11 November B • Mr. Williams, you have accused me of “misreading” 47chartres|957. You claim the notes I’ve indicated (below) with green arrows should be elongated:
Question: What evidence do you have demonstrating that I’m wrong? Don’t say: “Cardine says so.” After all, many of Cardine’s assertions have been discredited. I’m asking for evidence. Can you please provide some?