Traditional Latin Mass: learn to sing the proper, starting with Psalm tones.

In our previous post Traditional Latin Mass: finding the Proper antiphons of the Mass we explained how to:

1- identify the correct Sunday in the 1962 Liturgical Calendar (pre-Vatican II)

2- identify the proper, spoken and sung, for that Sunday,

3- download the Communion antiphon and psalm verses for that Sunday (using this website) .

We will use the “Sedebit” antiphons and verses of the Christ the King solemnity to learn the next step: start singing the mass !!!

First, download SEDEBIT here .

As we already mentioned, the simplest way to start is with the psalm tones used for the verses. But not yet. First, we have to get used to the Latin language.

STEP 1: read ALOUD the text you are about to sing in Latin . Read also the translation. You MUST understand what you sing to chant well. Example with the three first verses of SEDEBIT:

STEP 2: Now, you will sing the same verses, using what we call the RECTO TONO.

STEP 3: Now you can sing the verses.

Let us “unpack” the transition from being able to sing Step 2 , and working towards Step 3. This requires a deeper look into PSALM TONES . In the Latin mass, the “Gloria Patri” versions of these tones are typically used for the verses. There are eight (8) Gloria Patri tones. To identify the one you need, look at the number indicated at the beginning of the antiphon. “Sedebit” is written in MODE 6. We will therefore find the details to learn to sing this tone at this link: Mode VI . I hope you will find this link to be helpful!

Second example: Communion verses for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost. Download AMEN DICO VOBIS here .

STEP 1: read ALOUD the text you are about to sing in Latin . Read also the translation. You MUST understand what you sing to chant well. Example with the three first verses of AMEN DICO VOBIS:

STEP 2: Now, you will sing the same verses, using what we call the RECTO TONO.

STEP 3: Now you can sing the verses. You notice the “I” before the antiphon, so you can break down the melody by consulting the page for Mode I

Third example: Communion verses for the 2nd Sunday of Advent. Download JERUSALEM SURGE here .

STEP 1: read ALOUD the text you are about to sing in Latin . Read also the translation. You MUST understand what you sing to chant well. Example with the three first verses of JERUSALEM SURGE:

STEP 2: Now, you will sing the same verses, using what we call the RECTO TONO.

STEP 3: Now you can sing the verses. You notice the “II” before the antiphon, so you can break down the melody by consulting the page for Mode II

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