Sunday, January 13, 2008

Name that tune...

This week at our schola rehearsal we began with vocalization and then... a smattering of theory training. We worked on the basic solfege scale, highlighting the spots where there is a half-step in the tone vs. a whole step... Then we talked about the F and C clefs and their various positions on the staff...

The basic scale discussion was followed by some simple sight-reading with solfege and including work on some of the common intervals. It is going to take awhile, but I am hopeful that we will become more adept at sight-reading the chant notation over time if we spend a bit of time each week with these drills.

At the end, I had put together a 'name that tune' game with a chant notation phrase from a familiar tune... several of them were able to pick it out rather quickly... yes, it is one of the post Vatican II classics... one that I have sung at countless funerals... a perennial favorite of the parishioner in the pews... a piece that was sung not just once on Ash Wednesday last year, but THREE times... once at the Mass for the schoolchildren, again at the noon Mass -- and again at the 5:30 pm Mass -- "On Eagle's Wings" (I am very hopeful that this will not be repeated in the choir director's musical selections this year). My mystery tune got quite a few groans and chuckles at the schola rehearsal. What next... "One Bread, One Body"?


Brian Michael Page said...

Beagle's things for Ash Wednesday? There is so much better stuff for use on Ash Wednesday than beagle's things.

Parce Domine
Attende Domine
Turn back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways
There's a wideness in God's mercy

And let's not forget the propers of the day from the Graduale Romanum.


lvschant said...

Truly... why we had to sing that particular piece on Ash Wednesday was a mystery. When asked, the organist commented about how familiar the parishioners were with it and how much they like it, if I recall correctly :)