Saturday, November 22, 2008

Musicians: Try Chabanel

A new Church year is upon us. Musicians, if you are still stuck singing those sing-songy Psalm settings in common missalettes, please consider trying a new approach to the Psalms this year. Advent is an excellent time to upgrade, and it costs you and the parish nothing. See the settings available for free at Chabanel Psalms.

Our parish is partial to the simple Gregorian-style settings by Arlene Oost-Zinner. We've never sung one that people can't sing very quickly. We use no accompaniment, and they can be done by a single cantor or a group. The Psalm verses are already pointed.

Some people are scared off because of the neumes. Simple: the clef sign marks the C or the F. There is no complicated reason for 4 lines instead of 5: the idea is to match the natural range of the voice. Sing them with free rhythm. I can't imagine any parish in which they wouldn't be a success.

Advent is a time for change. Try one of these settings and see what you think.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: