I am currently preparing for the Communion chant during the Easter Vigil (you may have noticed the Latin/English translation on the Easter Vigil handout) and stumbled across this fun find.
First, here is the video that I am using to help prepare:
As I was searching for videos, I came across the same chant that is based on an earlier form of chant notation.
The images are from the Graduale Triplex, which presents up to 3 manuscripts. The square notation is from the original Graduale Romanum, the markings above are from the Laon manuscript, and the markings below (in red) are from St. Gall. Music directors sometimes use the GT to help decide how to express nuances within the chant notation.
Here is our Ancient Alleluia from the Triplex:
Originally, chant would be learned simply by listening, becoming familiar with the prayers and the melodic shapes – so don’t be surprised if it seems difficult to learn in only a few classes. This is a great time to learn chant because there are plenty of free audios available through youtube and other resources – otherwise, the best way to learn would be to move close to a monastery. Be sure to listen to a recording anytime you try to learn a chant (I recommend listen through a couple before settling on one to learn from – the quality of recording and speed/rhythm varies greatly).
If you’re curious, here is a little video with a basic history of music notation.
And if you missed it, check out the post on the history of solfege.