Please turn to number 61 (First Tune) and join with the clarinets on “Sing, My Tongue”.

Number: 61 (First Tune)
First Line: Sing, My Tongue
Meter: 8 7, 8 7.
Tempo: In unison
Music: Plainsong Melody, Mode III
Arr. Ernest White
Text: Venantius Fortunatus, 530-609
Tr. John Mason Neale, 1813-66 a.

One of these days, I have to figure out this whole Plainsong and Mode thing. And I guess today is the day.

Plainsong is based on the whole notes of the C Major scale. Mode III, means the scale used for the piece starts on the third whole note of the C Major scale, E. the scale looks like this: E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E

So, untransposed, “Sing, My Tongue”‘s melody is composed of only those notes in varying combinations.

This is also called, “Phrygian Mode”.

Transposed, it ends up in the key of D, or two sharps.

Here’s the clarinet music: 061-singmytongue

The phrasing, though, and the harmonies are a bit difficult, since the meter of the piece doesn’t quite follow modern conventions. The piece starts in 6/8, moves to 5/8, and finishes in 7/8. Not only that, but the different parts don’t really follow the same phrasing or meter. It makes it kind of tough to find a sensible way through.

I’ve struggled with these pieces before and think I am finally beginning to find my way to make them interesting, by using accents where the phrasing of the different parts align.

In any case, this time I elected to multiply the piece’s depth, rather than length. I only played through once, but I recorded each part 4 times. Soprano Clarinet only. Audacity “Large Room” Reverb Effect. Hey! It’s a Gregorian Chant, fer cripes sake, it should have some reverb!

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