I HAVE the good fortune to be joining in a Homeschooler Retreat during Easter Week. We have a chaplain from the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter and the prospect of a week full of Sung Masses, Benediction, Rosaries and fun. This year there was a suggestion to add in Sung Vespers, possibly Wednesday, Thursday and/or Friday.
Albert Bloomfield has a huge collection of printables for Vespers and Tenebrae as previously mentioned on this blog. The target Vespers are very much like that for Easter Sunday, which has a 7 page booklet all ready as a PDF. The only thing required was to adjust the last page to change the Magnificat Antiphon, the mode for the Magnificat verses and the Collect.
The easy way would be to make a separate last page, but, as the rest of the booklet was made using LaTeX and Gregorio, I embarked on the task of updating and editing Albert Bloomfield’s gabc-chant Source Code. The project was last updated 9 years ago. Gregorio has changed a lot over those years. Some updates are simple substitutions, but others are more involved and some code is still a bit of a mystery to me.
This is the beauty of Open Source Software. When someone provides access to their work, then it can be preserved, adapted, and built upon. This case may not have saved me much time, but has made a much more handsome booklet and given me a window into a very different way of organizing big gregorio projects.
I have “forked” Albert Bloomfield’s repository, which means I have my own copy which links back to the original repository. Github tracks the changes. As of writing, I have changed 79 files with 8,993 additions and 387 deletions. I think many of those files are the intermediary files1 which I have been too lazy to exclude from the repository. This may have inflated the numbers. It did feel like quite a bit of work though.
- EasterWedThursFri – this one is basically Easter Sunday with a heading saying “Easter Week” – I’ll use the first 6 pages and then the last page of the following 3 PDFs.
You may notice I also changed the page dimensions to A4 as US Letter paper is nigh impossible to obtain here in Australia. This is something I love about having access to the source code and being able to adapt existing work. This doesn’t happen very often in the world of sheet music – the Choral Public Domain Library being a notable exception.
A big THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to this global collaboration making it possible to prepare Gregorian chant scores like this!
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 The software creates auxilliary files each time changes are made. Some examples are filenames ending with
.aux, .gtex, .log, .glog, .toc, .ind, .idx. The original repository excludes most of these, but some, like
.gtexfiles were a more recent development.