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Learning plainchant

platypus

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I obtained a copy of St. Dunstan's Plainsong Psalter several weeks ago, and I've been trying to learn the plainchant but sound awful. Has anyone found a recording of someone singing any psalms from the book, that could be used as a sing-along?

Or, alternatively, any resource for learning plainchant aside from trial and error? Any help is appreciated.
 

hecma925

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Plainsong chanting instructional Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota -
Part 1: https://youtu.be/kH5moStxYjw
Part 2: https://youtu.be/EqrTt3vDXzY
 

WPM

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platypus said:
I obtained a copy of St. Dunstan's Plainsong Psalter several weeks ago, and I've been trying to learn the plainchant but sound awful. Has anyone found a recording of someone singing any psalms from the book, that could be used as a sing-along?

Or, alternatively, any resource for learning plainchant aside from trial and error? Any help is appreciated.
Yes, when I went to visit St. Peter's in Ft. Worth they were doing the Plainchant from St. Dunstan's Psalter.
 
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Ccwatershed tutorial on how to read and sing Gregorian chant. http://www.ccwatershed.org/Gregorian/

The psalm tones are one of the easier things to learn. The reciting pitch is usually a 5th above the tonal centre, except for Mode 3 (Phrygian) which is a 6th because of the unstable B flat. Once you know that and the solfege scale, it's pretty easy. Mode one for instance in solfege: Fa So La (La is a 5th above tonal center or Re, so it is the reciting note). The resolution is So Fa So Fa Mi Re (final note on most of the modes is the tonal center). You can play it on the white keys of the piano, starting with C as Do.  Hope this makes more sense. Once you learn to read the plainchant with solfege it is much easier than learning music by ear.
 

platypus

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Hecma, those videos were very helpful. Thank you!

Gloria, thank you for the link and the piano suggestion! I’m unfamiliar with some of the terminology, like tonal centre, but I understand the suggestion to use a piano. I’m doing that and it’s helping a lot with getting the notes right.
 
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platypus said:
Hecma, those videos were very helpful. Thank you!

Gloria, thank you for the link and the piano suggestion! I’m unfamiliar with some of the terminology, like tonal centre, but I understand the suggestion to use a piano. I’m doing that and it’s helping a lot with getting the notes right.
Gregorian chant has 8 tones or scales. Mode 1, for instance, or Dorian Mode is Re to Re (Or D to D on a piano) on the Solfege scale. So a tonal center is basically the dominant note of the scale. It sounds like jargon but it just tells you what pitch the melody resolves on. The reciting pitch for the psalm mode is based on whatever harmony is a perfect consonant of the tonal center, usually four notes above the dominant note. This tells you what the most frequent pitch will be in the psalm verse. Hopefully this makes it a little more clear.
 

platypus

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That makes it a lot more clear. Thanks Gloria!
 
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