Kyriale

Tonight I started missing the old musical settings of the Mass, the ones we used to sing before the bishop ordered new ones — especially the Kyrie, which was always dearest to me. So I thought I would go and find them. Only I knew next to nothing about chant settings.

I went on YouTube and searched for “Kyrie chant.” Cool. About a dozen numbered settings came up. None of them sounded familiar, though. Annoyed, I searched for “Kyrie simplex” — a simple Kyrie. Wow, that was it. And the label on the video noted that it was from the Roman Missal ordinaries. Really, right out of the Missal itself? Then I bet I can do better than this…

And I did. Through just a little googling and listening and reading, I discovered that this setting comes out of the Kyriale, a collection of chant settings that is included in the Graduale Romanum — the book of chants to be used in the Mass — and the Liber Usualis — the massive tome of chants for both the Mass and the Divine Office. And I learned that this particular setting was Kyrie XVI, from Mass XVI, In feriis per annum (“In holy days through the year”) — which is when we used it.

And as it turned out, that first collection of settings I found on YouTube had XVI, too; I just didn’t go high enough:

… As it turns out, I can’t read Gregorian chant notation (I want to learn! though I can’t sing). Here it is in modern notation:

This is the Sanctus we used to sing — from Mass XVIII, Deus Genitor alme. (So I guess it’s permissible to “mix and match”?) I can actually follow this one in the chant notation:

And the Agnus Dei — from Mass XVIII again:

And this is the setting of the Salve Regina that we still sing. It’s not part of the ordinary of the Mass, but apparently there are several settings of it:

Here are the Mass settings I grew to know and love. And here I’ll always be able to go back to them. I’m such a nerd. And I’m in love with these traditions.

P.S. This is a pretty sorry recording of it, but this is the old Gloria we used to sing, too (from the Heritage Mass by Owen Alstott):

Alstott also revised this setting for the new English translation. I like it a lot better than what we have now.

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  1. Pingback: Traditional Latin Mass « The Lonely Pilgrim

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