OR MANY YEARS, I had no idea how to use the Gregorio software (a.k.a. “GABC”) to instantly create plainsong scores on the computer. When I couldn’t take it anymore, I called up a friend and paid him $150 to teach me over the telephone. I was able to learn only with assistance from a living, breathing human being. Thanks to his assistance, I can now create Gregorian Chant scores with ease. That $150 was not wasted. Some things in life (in my humble opinion) cannot be learned from books—and that’s why I recently recorded a special seminar: Secrets of the Conscientious Choirmaster.
Contrafactum • Nothing is hard if you know how to do it. Men who spent their entire lives tinkering with automobiles and tractors have no problem repairing cars—because they know what to do! In my seminar, I give away secrets I’ve picked up over the last 25 years (working with hundreds of singers across the United States). One technique I really “hammer” or “emphasize” or “highlight” is that of CONTRAFACTUM. I don’t see how anyone could run a choral program without it. Mozart used it. Handel used it. Bach used it. Even Father Cristóbal de Morales (d. 1553) used CONTRAFACTUM when he wrote alternate movements for his magnificent Missa Mille Regretz.
Choral Extensions • I also delve into the concept of “choral extensions” during my seminar. To give you an example, yesterday afternoon I quickly threw together—thanks to the Missa Mille Regretz by Father Cristóbal de Morales—a “polyphonic extension” using CREDO III:
* PDF Download • “CREDO III + Polyphonic Extension”
—Using Missa Mille Regretz by Father Cristóbal de Morales.
What We Did • Several of my choir members helped me record it—so you can get a rough idea how the “choral extension” sounds:
Free rehearsal tracks for each individual voice are available at that link, but most readers won’t click on it—and that makes me feel depressed. They take forever to create, but the choirmasters who utilize them testify they’re worth their weight in gold.
Father Morales does some nifty things in that polyphonic “Et Incarnatus Est.” You can learn more if you watch the INTRODUCTION (51 minutes) which is available free of charge.