E SEE AN ENORMOUS CHASM between the musical tradition embodied in the official music of the Church and contemporary music which takes its place around the world. Perhaps the most stark contrast can be seen comparing This is the day that the Lord has made and the original chant Haec Dies. Which one gives a sense of the sacred?
A student of music learns not only to read music but also to write it down. When it comes time to buy school supplies I still see books of music manuscript paper alongside regular lined notebooks, so I know this must still happen. If the music you want is not written down already, a musician should be able to put something together. I still have handwritten pieces here and there in my music folders.
With computers we have music typesetting software available we can go beyond the photocopies and edit music producing clear editions to suit the occasion. With the internet we can share files to give a head start on such projects.
Benjamin Bloomfield’s gabc transcription tools are an amazing help towards typesetting psalm toned propers, though only the Readings Tool and the Hymn Transcriber have explicit English options. Combined with Gregobase and Illuminare’s Score Editor you have the ability to edit Gregorian chant scores to suit your choir.
Or you can find it all done for you, all in English, with about four different options for each piece, thanks to Fr. Weber’s book The Proper of the Mass for Sundays and Solemnities.
This article is part of a series on Fr. Weber’s Book of Propers: