Columbkille from Connecticut wrote me today, asking,
Dom Mark, do you recommend the Simple English Propers as a starting place for English-speaking parishes, or would we be better off introducing bits of the traditional music from the Graduale Romanum?
As a rule, the Catholic solution is both/and rather than either/or. As a starting place for Novus Ordo English-speaking parishes, I heartily recommend Adam Bartlett's Simple English Propers. Put this book in the hands of your parishioners! And chant away!
This extraordinary book has been met with widespread acclaim for the beauty and versatility of the music - and also for being the first generally accessible book of chanted propers in English for every parish. It provides complete entrance, offertory, and communion propers in English with Psalms in modal chant, with four-line notation, for all Sundays and feasts. They can be sung by a single cantor or a full choir. The modes from the Gregorian original are wholly preserved to capture the sound and feel of the Graduale Romanum proper chants. They follow a total of 24 chant formulas to make singing easy for any choir in any parish. The project is sponsored by the Church Music Association of America, and is also published by the CMAA.
The contents of this book may be downloaded, printed, used, and shared freely by all, as they are published in the Creative Commons.
For more information please visit here.