HOW TO SING PLAIN CHANT - online book

A compilation of the practical rules and methods required to perform this ancient form of church music.

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83
ers by causing them to force their voices, and makes a light and free execution impossible.
A calm accompaniment, varied by a judicious change of chords, affords the most satisfaclory setting for Psalm-tones.
The accompaniment should be very simple in tex­ture, the parts moving as little as possible, and with as small intervals as may be; for every large interval (more especially in the bass), tends to make an accom­paniment sound heavy, and actually makes it difficult to avoid playing heavily, thereby hampering the free­dom of the rhythm.
Nevertheless, the accompaniment must be sympa­thetic. The organist must be in touch with his choir, he must feel for its weaknesses and be ready to give support; he must know its strong points and give them scope; but he must be willing to restrain those gor­geous harmonies which too often seduce the accom­panist of Plain Chant.
Lastly, the organist should always remember that he is subject to the direction of the Cantor in all mat­ters that affect the choir.*
* For further guidance in this matter see other works, e.g.
The tArt of Accompanying Plain Chant, by Max Springer—■ (Fischer & Bro., 111 New St., B'ham & New York).
Rhythmic Accompaniment of Plainsong, by Rev. S. G. Ould, O.S.B. (Ampleforth Journal, July 1915).
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