Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Solesmes some thoughts 2

So on to the chant.

The routine from Dom Saulnier was all centred around the text.

He pointed out that the people engaged in the music originally had a very high level of knowledge of Latin and therefore much was obvious and intuitive for them.
  • Memorise the text.
  • Say it taking care with the accent of each word.
  • Consider the subject of the sentence, that the verb and its compliment may not be separated and the circumstances.
  • Then vocalise on one note, maybe raising the pitch for the accent.
  • Then and only then add the actual melody.
Also illuminating was the idea of conducting horizantally rather than vertically. This was a
means to communicate the ebb and flow of the music. The music then took on a dynamism I had not experienced before. As someone used to lots and lots of rhythmic notation and primarily an instrumentalist, this approach was very useful as I it placed the emphasis entirely on the text. Only that way can you begin to have an understanding individual notes fit into the whole, when to dwell and when to push on.


Patricius said...

Please excuse stupid question- "vocalise on one note". Does this mean "sing the text on one note"?

leutgeb said...

Yes. On the basis that singing is very different from saying.

Patricius said...

Thank you. Those five points strike me as if they might be equally instructions for interpreting the chant on the one hand or principles of composition on the other.