Gregorian Chant: The Eternal Song

by Sr Fidelis  

A Closer Look

Last week we focused on the text of the Lenten Vespers hymn, Audi, benigne Conditor. This beautifully crafted Gregorian melody has much to teach us about Mode II.



First thing to note is the Clef – It is the FA clef, which is unique to Mode II. With the use of the FA clef, the melody sits in the middle of the four line staff, making it easy to read. The Reciting Tone for Mode II is FA. You’ll see that all the FA’s have been circled in green. The Home Tone, circled in red, is RE. The final pitch of the hymn is RE.

The Reciting Tone and Home Tone are very close together – they are separated by just one pitch. This has a narrow range. Yet notice how the notes flow back and forth between these two pitches, rising above and dipping below, to create a beautiful melody that has a pleading quality about it. Try watching these key pitches as you listen to the tune.

This entry was posted in Gregorian Chant, Learning, Liturgy of the Hours, Monastery, Preparing, Teaching 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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