Semiological Chant Method of Fr. Columba Kelly, OSB

If any of you have studied chant with Fr. Columba Kelly, OSB before you know what it is like to drink chant theory as if from a fire hose. His syllabus for a 5-day seminar contains at least six books, including writings from Cardine, Saulnier, Agustoni and Göschl, and on top of this you will also be given a binder full of materials written and created by Dom Kelly himself.

The working manual which Fr. Kelly has been teaching from is currently unpublished. There are plans to polish his manuscript and to put it into print and into wider circulation in the near future. For now you may have an interest in perusing it in its current form, which is not professionally engraved, but is thorough and enlightening nonetheless. Some readers have asked for some materials to review before attending next week’s CMAA Colloquium which will feature for the first time a week-long course in Gregorian Semiology as taught by Dr. Edward Schaefer. If you would like, this manual should give you more than enough to do in your spare time between now and then!


Also of interest will be the third chapter of Fr. Kelly’s book Gregorian Chant Intonations and the Role of Rhetoric, a book which retails for $119.95, but the third chapter of which is now available to you in the commons for free. This final chapter is very similar to Fr. Kelly’s working chant manual, but has some additional studies in modality and structure pitches that are most enlightening and are at the heart of Fr. Kelly’s chant methodology.


It is a real gift that he has shared such knowledge with us in this way. Summer is here and now is the time to upgrade your working knowledge and musical skill. Download and study these treatises. You won’t regret it.