This afternoon, one of our readers asked this question:
“Dear Mr. Ostrowski: I have a quick question. You’ve written a lot recently about the Vatican edition of the Gradual. Maybe I’m missing something, but is it true that the Vatican edition doesn’t have dotted neumes (or at least omits them in certain places you’d expect them)? If that is the case, then how do you know (other than by instinct) when to double the length of a note? Or do people singing often double out of habit even when they aren’t supposed to? For example, you just posted a Vespers booklet for Passion Sunday. On page 5, surely the last words of each sentence in the Deus In Adiutorium should be doubled. But there’s no such musical indication as far as I can see. I’ve also seen videos on your website where there aren’t dotted neumes but the singers still double the note. Maybe you’ve addressed this in one of your articles already, and if so, I’m sorry that I missed it. But this is something that I’ve been curious about for a while. I’d appreciate your thoughts.”
The short answer: “Singers should slow down, depending on which type of barline it is. But the official edition does not micromanage each rallentando.”
Here’s the full answer:
Direct URL link: https://ccwatershed.org/50803/
As time goes on, you will be hearing a lot more about the official edition. For the time being, please feel free to poke around the Guillaume Couture work-in-progress.