Chant Books, Printed Editions of
CHANT BOOKS, PRINTED EDITIONS OF
The first Catholic liturgical book was the Bible, from which the Lessons were read and the Psalms chanted, until at least the fourth century when the codifying of Catholic ritual and ritual music began. This article covers only printed collections of Gregorian chant used in the Latin Mass and Divine Office.
Medicean Edition. The first important printed edition of Gregorian chant, the Medicean, published by the Medici press at Rome in 1614–15, has been incorrectly associated with palestrina. In 1577 he and Zoilo had been commissioned by Gregory XIII to systematize the chants contained in the Missals and Breviaries newly revised in conformity to the decrees of the Council of Trent. Zoilo had corrected the sanctoral cycle of Masses, and Palestrina, the Sunday Masses, but both of their MSS were lost after the death of Palestrina in 1594 and were never published. The Roman printer, Giovanni Battista Raimondi, had contracted with Palestrina to complete the
work, but after Palestrina's death and the deceitful intrigues of his son Iginio, nothing was done until 1608. On May 31 of that year, Paul V gave Raimondi permission to undertake the printing of new chant books. Six editors were appointed to prepare the MSS: G. B. Nanino, C. Mancini, F. Soriano, R. Giovanelli, P. Felini, and F. Anerio; and the resulting Medicean edition appeared only in 1614–15, after the death of Raimondi. This edition contains a mutilated and truncated melody. The editors considered it barbaric to allow many notes on syllables not containing the tonic accent of the Latin word, nor would they allow long notes over the grammatically short syllables, or vice versa. Moreover, they eliminated many of the melismatic passages in the Graduals and Alleluias.
Ratisbon Edition. The most important editions printed in the 19th century were those of Ratisbon and Solesmes. The Ratisbon work was edited by Msgr. F. X. Haberl and published in 1869 by F. pustet of Ratisbon (Regensburg), Germany. Haberl had found a copy of the Medicean edition in the seminary library at Freising and was convinced that it was based on the MS that Palestrina had prepared for Gregory XIII. Subsequent researches of R. Molitor, C. Respighi, and R. C. Casimiri proved that Haberl's claim was unfounded. In 1868 Pustet received permission for the exclusive printing of chant books for 30 years. This was followed by a long series of decrees and approbations by Pius IX and Leo XIII that in effectively gave an "official" character to this edition. Thus Haberl's work prolonged the errors of the Medicean edition.
Vatican Edition. The Vatican edition was based on paleographic researches by the monks of Saint-Pierre de solesmes, Solesmes-sur-Sarthe, France. It was initiated under Abbot guÉranger and carried out by Dom Pothier, and Dom mocquereau; the Liber Gradualis of 1883 and 1895 was the work of Pothier, and the Liber Usualis of 1903 that of Mocquereau. In 1904 Pope St. Pius X appointed a commission under the presidency of Pothier to prepare an official edition of the chant books. Since the commission decided to base the new edition on the Pothier works of 1883 and 1895, and not that of 1903 by Mocquereau, the Solesmes monks withdrew from the work. The books of the Vatican edition appeared as follows: Kyriale, Aug. 14, 1905; Cantus Missae, June 8, 1907; Graduale Vaticanum, Aug. 7, 1907; Officiorum Defunctorum, May 12, 1909; Cantorinus, April 3, 1911; and Antiphonale Diurnum Romanum, Dec. 8, 1912. Even though the Solesmes monks did not officially participate in this edition, Pothier incorporated more than 2,000 improvements in the 1907 Graduale Vaticanum that he had taken from the Liber Usualis prepared by Solesmes in 1903. Since 1913 all Propers for new feasts and new saints have been entrusted to the monks of Solesmes.
The Vatican edition was available with or without the Solesmes rhythmical signs that represent devices and letters found in some tenth-century MSS (they appear in the Desclée editions of Tournai Belgium). At first the Solesmes monks attached them to the notes and even altered the shape of certain notes in order to reproduce them. Many musicians did not accept the Solesmes interpretation, and a decree of the Congregation of Sacred Rites, dated Feb. 14, 1906, directed that all reproductions of the Vatican edition must reproduce the notes exactly; if any rhythmical signs are added they must be separate from the neums and not alter their shape in any manner. The Instruction on Sacred Music and Sacred Liturgy (Sept. 3, 1958) stated that rhythmical signs may be admitted, provided that the nature and arrangement of the notes as given in the Vatican editions of chant be preserved intact.
Bibliography: a. gastouÉ, Musique et liturgie: Le Gradual et l' Antiphonaire romains: Histoire et description (Lyon 1913). f.x. haberl, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina und das Graduale Romanum Officiale der Editio Medicaea von 1614 (New York 1894). a. marchesan, "L'Opera di Pio X nella restauratione della musica sacra," Bollettino Ceciliano 5 (1910) 209–224. r. molitor, Die Nach-Tridentinische Choral-Reform zu Rom, 2 v. (Leipzig 1901–02). a. pons, Droit ecclésiastique et Musique sacrée, 4 v. (St. Maurice 1958–61). c. respighi, Giovanni Pier Luigi da Palestrina e l'Emdazione del Graduale Romano (Rome 1899). f. romita, Jus musicae liturgicae (Turin 1936); La preformazione del Motu Proprio di S. Pio X sulla musica sacra (Rome 1961). a. fortescue, The Catholic Encyclopedia, ed. c. g. herbermann et al. (New York 1907–14) 9.1:296–304. r. hayburn, St. Pius X and the Vatican Edition of the Chant Books (Los Angeles 1964).
[r. f. hayburn/eds.]