Ave Regina Caelorum

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One of the four Marian antiphons, Ave Regina caelorum was traditionally sung at the end of Compline from the Feast of the Lord's Presentation (Feb. 2) until Wednesday in Holy Week. Its original role in the liturgy, however, seems to have been to precede and follow the chanting of a psalm. Peter Wagner found it assigned to None on the Feast of the Assumption in a 12th century source. The more elaborate of the two melodies for this antiphon is apparently the older. The structure of the text, consisting of two pairs of similar phrases followed by an unmatched pair, is reflected in the musical form, which may be outlined as: a a', b c, b' c, d' e.

Bibliography: g. reese, Music in the Renaissance (New York 1959). w. apel, Gregorian Chant (Bloomington IN 1958). p. wagner, Einführung in die gregorianische Melodien (Hildesheim 1962). b. stÄblein, "Antiphon," Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart 1:523545.

[r. steiner]