Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary

[Anglican Chant]


The melody of the following chant has been used throughout this example:--

1. THE WORDS, from the commencement of each verse and half-verse up to the accented syllable, are called the Recitation.

2. On reaching the accented syllable, and beginning with it, the music of the chant commences, in strict time (a tempo), the upright strokes corresponding to the bars. The Recitation must therefore be considered as outside the chant, and may be of any length. The note on which the Recitation is made is called the Reciting note.

3. If there is no syllable after that which is accented, the accented syllable must be held for one whole bar or measure, e.g.--

If other syllables follow the one accented, the first measure or initial bar of the chant will have to be divided into parts of a semibreve.

4. The following general rules will help to explain this, the accented syllable being called the accent. If one syllable follows the accent, the first bar is divided into a dotted minim nd a crochet, e.g.--

Sometimes, when only one syllable follows the accent, the first bar is divided into two minims, e.g.--

5. If two syllables follow the accent, the first bar is generally divided into a minim and two crotchets, e.g.--

or into two crotchets and one minim, e.g.--

6. If three syllables follow the acent, the first bar is generally divided into four equal parts, or their equivalent values, e.g.--

7. In the rare cases in which four syllables follow the accent, the bar will be without difficulty divided into the equivalent of four crotchets, e.g.--

8. Study and experience will show that the most natural rendering of the words will in many instances call for other divisions of the bar, a few of which are here given, e.g.--

9. All stops in this Psalter must be observed as in good reading; those which experience has proved to be unnecessary or detrimental to chanting have been intentionally omitted by the Editors. An asterisk (*) is a direction to take breath.

10. It is of the utmost importance that no break or pause should occur between the recitation and Accent. The words should be deliberately recited; but the reciting note must not be held any longer than is absolutely necessary for this. Hence in some verses the reciting note will be only equal to a very short musical note, e.g.--

11. When a verse or half-verse commences with an accent, it is evident that there is no recitation; the rhythmical music therefore begins at once, e.g.--

As the accent holds the position of the first beat of the first bar, it is unnecessary to sing it louder than any of the words recited; its position, musically, will give it quite enough emphasis.

12. A dot is placed between words or syllables belonging to the second bar of the music, when their division would otherwise be doubtful, e.g.--


13. Lines placed horizontally show that the preceding syllable must be contiued for the space indicated, e.g.--

14. F. signifies Full, that is, to be sung by both sides of the choir; f signifies forte, loud; p, piano, soft; mf, mezzo-forte, moderately loud; 2nd part, directs the choir to repeat the second half of a double chant at the verse to which it is prefixed.

From The Cathedral Psalter (~1909, London)

Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary