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July 21, 2005

New Schola

It is time. I have been thinking about this for a while, so must do it while the iron is hot. With all the musical experience I have, especially the last two summers sitting literally at the feet of one of the great modern masters, I propose to begin a west coast version of Fr. Heiman's Schola Speciale. We shall study the Messine neums in the Graduale Triplex and sing them accordingly. This will not be an academic exercise, per se. The purpose is to learn to pray these chants in the liturgy.

Gregorian Chant is supposed to have pride of place in the Liturgy. It seems a struggle just to provide it a place.

Anyway, five men are expected tonight to begin the enterprise. If there is sufficient interest we shall also begin one for women.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at July 21, 2005 2:32 PM

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If I were there, I'd be over in a flash, Fr. Jeff. I'm thinking of using OCP's "Laus Tibi, Christe," as a way to insinuate some chant into our very 80's music scene here. We'll move on to square-note notation and Messine way down the line.

Posted by: Mary Jane at July 21, 2005 3:54 PM

Anyway, five men are expected tonight to begin the enterprise. If there is sufficient interest we shall also begin one for women.

men and women can't sing together? what's up with that?

Posted by: dianna at July 22, 2005 10:39 AM

Ancient neums, ancient paleography, attempt at singing in the manner most like ancient context. How many ancient monasteries do you know had both men and women? Certainly on Holy Thursday when the choir and everyone sings the Pange Lingua it will be men and women and children together. But in the meantime it will be a Men's schola being formed. If there is sufficient interest, we can form one for women. The formation of a Men's schola did not in any way indicate that men and women can't sing together. Men's voices alone sound different than Women's voices alone or men's and women's voices togther. We are simply trying to be inclusive of other sounds and experience. You probably thought we were being exclusive.

Posted by: Fr Keyes at July 22, 2005 1:57 PM

Good luck, Father. I'm sure that the revival of Gregorian Chant in the Church will come from initiatives like yours.

Posted by: Joe at July 22, 2005 2:38 PM

The answer to Father Jeff's rhetorical question, of course, is the gread conhospitae of the country of his roots, Ireland, before the continental reformers snuffed out much of what was distinctive about Irish Christianity.

Posted by: Maureen Lahiff at July 27, 2005 8:44 AM

Dear Fr. Keyes:

Thank you for your good work and encouragement in the recovery of the patrimony of the Latin Church. While I work in another vineyard (St. Andrew Russian Catholic Church) and cultivate other fruit (Slavic and Byzantine Chant), it is always good to see another laborer in the field. Work like yours encourages me that the Garden is still being tended.

Yours in Christ,

Bernard Brandt

Posted by: Bernard Brandt at July 27, 2005 11:45 AM

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