The Caecilia Project

November 23, 2011

St. Cecilia’s feast passed earlier this week without comment from me, but now I have an opportunity to make amends.

I have just learned of The Caecilia Project, which aims to make the music of the Gregorian propers for the Sundays of the Church year available on the web, for free. The plan is apparently to post the propers on a week by week basis, starting on the first Sunday of Advent. By the end of the year, the full cycle will be complete. To get an idea of what they look like, take a look at the first set.

This is a great idea. Although very few parishes currently sing this music on anything like an ordinary basis (including mine), there is a definite push in this direction coming from some Church authorities, including of course Pope Benedict XVI. Moreover, hope is a virtue. Making the music available, for free, is a good step toward promoting its use. Together with the Saint Antoine Daniel Kyriale that I mentioned a few months ago, these two sources will provide all the music a parish needs in order to sing chant throughout the year.

The Caecilia Project is the work of Andrew Hinkley. Thank you, Andrew.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this project is that the chant is being typeset with LaTeX! Apparently there exists a notation, called gabc, for representing Gregorian chant with ASCII characters, and someone has written a LaTeX package, called Gregorio, to convert gabc code into a musical score. The result is really quite beautiful.

Read more at The Chant Café.

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