Having an opportunity this year to live in Rome with the Dominican Community at the Angelicum University, where the Dominican chant is used for Community Mass ("Ordinary Use") and the Liturgy of the Hours (1974 ed.), has been a good experience for me. One of the characteristics of the Dominican musical tradition is that has continued as an "oral" tradition without a break from the thirteenth century to today: as can be experienced here at the Convento di Ss. Domenico e Sisto. This means that our chant never had to be "rediscovered" and interpreted ex novo, as was the case for the Roman/Benedictine music. A project for which we owe a great debt to the Benedictines of Solesmes. I suppose that other orders with their own musical tradition, such as the Cistercians or Carmelites, also preserved the medieval interpretations of the chant this way, but I do not know for certain.
Posters on this board have called attention in recent months to a number of resources for Dominican Chant on the web, but it seemed useful to repeat them, and some others that I don't think have been mentioned, here in one place, with some comments. As a whole, this is an impressive collection of material. Nearly all is for the Office. I would be wonderful if the Gradual were eventually made available.
Before I list the resources, some comments are necessary for those who want to consult them. The most obvious difference between the music in our books is the complete absence of the "Solesmes marks." This includes absence even of the "dot" used to indicate a hold. We hold syllables before full and half bars, using some simple rules. The distinctive Dominican quarter-bar (larger than the one in the Roman books and not always on the top line of the staff) functions like the dot in the Solesmes system. Like other thirteenth-century musical books, ours did not have the "quilisma" (the fuzzy neume) nor, of course, did they have any of the "expressive neumes" created by Dom Mocquereau and his followers. And we do not repercuss, unlike the Cardine school. Another difference in notation is the absense of the asterisk to indicate the end of the intonation. We use a double bar for that: here it does not indicate a hold or a change of semichoir. It simply means that the choir comes in at that point.
In the Office, a major difference is that in our music the eight tones have only 14 terminations, not counting the Peregrine Tone. Some modes (e.g., II, V, VI) have only one termination. So the system is much simpler than the Benedictine. There are other minor differences in notation, and those who know the Solesmes system will notice them. But they are less important. Now to the resources
2. Nocturnale seu Antiphonarium Sacri Ordinis Prædicatorum: Cantus Vetiores olim in Officio Nocturno: http://www.nocturnale.de/pdf/SOP_Cantus_vertiores.pdf
3. Antiphonarium Sacri Ordinis Prædicatorum Pro Diurnis Horis. Martini Stanislai Gillet permissu editum. Romæ: In Hospitio Magistri Generalis, 1933: http://www.musicasacra.com/pdf/antiphonarium.pdf
4. Processionarium Iuxta Ritum Sacri Ordinis Praedicatorum. [Bl.] Hyacinthi Cormier issu recognitum et editum. Romae: Curia Magistri Generalis, 1913:
5. I am often asked whether there are available CDs of Dominican Chant. I have finally located one: Dominican Chant / Dominican Liturgy, by the Choir of the Dominican Friars of the Province of France under the direction of Pere André Gouzes, O.P.:
6. No list of Dominican chant resources on the web would be complete without a mention of the site Liturgy of the Hours and Mass, created by Fr. Joseph Kenny, O.P. At that site he has cut and pasted music from Dominican books and manuscipts to supply for the new Liturgy of the Hours and the new order of chants in the Roman Missal. You may find it at: http://www.diafrica.org/kenny/Chant/Default.htm This site is similar to a smaller project of my own. I have been at work, with another friar of my province, creating a vesperal for the (Latin) Liturgia Horarum, using music from the Dominican tradition for the hymns, antiphons, and responsories. The "Ordinary Time" section, including Sundays, solemnities, and feasts of the Lord, is just about finished except for a few antiphons. If any readers could use an electronic copy for liturgical purposes, they can email me directly (find address at http://www.st-thomas-aquinas.org/schola.php). But be warned, to read and print this document you need to have WordPerfect 8 or later (not MS Word) as well as the "Meinrad" chant fonts loaded on your computer.
The image at the beginning of this post is the cover of the Dominican Chant CD mentioned above. If you know of other Dominican chant resources on the web, let me know.