Gregorian Chant: The Eternal Song

The other FA Mode

We’ve looked at some examples of Mode 5, and now we’re focusing on Mode 6.  Listen to the Home Tone (FA) and Reciting Tone (LA) in the example shown below. You’ll see they are only 3 notes apart. The Mode “snippet” is the first line of the Brief Response, which is sung at Lauds and Vespers with various texts. When the Reading ends, there is a brief space of silence to contemplate what has just been heard, and then the entire congregation “dialogues” with the Cantor in response to the Reading using this tune.


The second example shows the full Brief Response in its entirety. There are basically 3 pitches (with one extra upper note) that flow back and forth to make this lovely simple tune.

The pattern of the Brief Response is:

a)  opening phrase – solo cantor
b)  opening phrase – repeated by all
c)  next phrase by solo cantor
d)  last half of opening phrase – sung by all
e)  Gloria Patri verse, sung by solo cantor
f)  entire opening sung by all. 



This entry was posted in Gregorian Chant, Learning, Liturgy of the Hours by Sr. Fidelis. Bookmark the permalink.

About Sr. Fidelis

I am 46 years old, and have been a Sister at the Community of Jesus for 26 years. Having grown up here, I have been singing Gregorian chant since I was 10! I was very blessed to study Gregorian chant with Dr. Mary Berry in Cambridge, England and here at home. Recently, I have been able to do some radio and tv interviews, sharing about the blessings of Gregorian chant. I love leading chant workshops, and have been able to do that in the US and abroad.

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