söndag 10 februari 2013

Four-line square-note rearguard action

It is encouraging that more enlightened counsels are prevailing in some quarters. Musica Sacra, the website of the Church Music Association of America, offers ICEL’s English missal chants in 4-line square-note Gregorian notation for the Order of Mass.

ICEL itself offers these chants along with all the other English chants (prefaces, antiphons for particular days, etc.) at its website. ICEL provided the chants to the English-speaking bishops’ conferences in 5-line notation. ICEL considered offering both 4-line and 5-line, and even planned on that for a time. Then it was decided that this would be a waste of ICEL time and resources, since no conference would choose to publish 4-line chant in its liturgical books anyway.

Then the question arose: What about those who want to publish the missal chants in 4-line in their own publications? Would that be permitted, though it was not the ‘approved’ ICEL notation? Yes, the thought was, there was no reason not to allow that.

What is striking is the clarity and cleaner appearance of the neum notation in a page of typescript text.

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