Psalm 104, 22 Sep 13

On 22 September 2013, we feature the inspirational work, music and thought of Hildegard of Bingen

To support this theme with a psalm presented in a historically consistent setting, we are using the Gregorian chant as it might have been heard in monasteries and nunneries in the Rhine Valley in her time, the 12th century.

The cantors sing the verses to a plain chant. Here’s the antiphonal response:

Ps 104 cantors 22Sep13 WIP_html_54be5d52

This notation evolved a thousand years ago and was pretty well established at the time of Hildegard in the mid-1100s. The first squiggle identifies where F is –  the f-clef – followed by a series of dots called the punctum, clivis or other such latin delights. It tells you when to go up or down in pitch but did not give any hint as to the length of the note. The modern usage is to allow one pulse per note, while a dot after a note or a superscript line is used to lengthen the note. 

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