Recording Music that has never been recorded before

The following was written by forum member matthewj.

Go on YouTube and search for a piece of polyphony or a specific Gregorian chant.

In most cases, you’ll find recordings (even if they’re not perfect).

This is a wonderful thing and makes our lives quite nice and easy.

Looking at a score for the first time in your parish office with the noises of an office all around you (chattering co-workers, photocopier, bookkeeper playing praise and worship music, etc)? Throw on some headphones and listen to a recording. Much easier than trying to hear the schola in your head sing the score with the background noise.

However, occasionally you will run across a piece of sacred music (Song X) that has no recording on YouTube, no sample MP3, etc.

How can you help make sure this doesn’t happen to the next person who comes along?

Record your (hopefully competent) choir singing the (hopefully public domain) piece! Upload it with a clear and easy-to-search-for title.

Then bingo – six months down the road some Music Director from the other side of the country who searches for Song X will find your video! You’ll have helped a colleague and you don’t even know it.

Orlande de Lassus has a number of polyphonic Offertory propers. Almost none of them have recordings available online. I will begin the process of putting them online this weekend with his Perfice Gressus Meos.

The next time you find a piece of music that doesn’t have a recording online, do the same.

I say: Heck yeah!

5 Replies to “Recording Music that has never been recorded before”

  1. We had this situation with this past Sunday…in the OF it was the Presentation of the Lord. The Latin offertory for this mass is NOT the ones for the EF (which I believe the equivalent feast would be the Purification of the BVM ). We have another case of the "Bugini Shuffle." They come from the Mass for Virgin Martyrs. II. So I bet it isn't performed much in the EF community. Soon as I get the audio cleaned up I will post it. Would Youtube be the place or is there somewhere else that is better?

  2. cpttom – YouTube is good because people search there, but a place like SoundClick is also an option if you want to just upload the MP3's and not fool around with video. Or if you want to make it possible for folks to easily download and share your recordings. (If you have the time, do both.)

    Here's an example – St. Peter's in Columbia, SC:

    (Not sure if there are any contemporary composers uploaded there at the moment. St. P's does some, but you'll have to scroll and see.)

  3. Excellent idea. During the three months I was choir director, I researched every piece in the parish's extensive choral library (put together by some fine musicians over a quarter century) and found links for about half of them to YouTube recordings. It certainly cut the rehearsal time down when we chose one of the anthems or motets.

  4. Jennifer thank you so much for your suggestion! I think I'll do both. The fact they don't have many contemporary composers isn't a problem for me, since our group is a schola. It's nice to know there is a place just to post just audio as I don't always have the time to do both.

    From experience, this is a good aid for starting off learning, especially for our group which started as a "garage schola." Now our group has become proficient and confident in using Solfege (Thank you CMAA Boot Camp!) we do it less than we used to. Generally we use it now for those difficult chants–of course if we can find it!

    A great channel for chant on You Tube is vianinigiovanni who is Giovanni Vianini, Direttore della SCHOLA GREGORIANA MEDIOLANENSIS, Milano, Italia. Good videos and excellent chant!

  5. There are also midi file generators such as TEFView that allow you put in the tune, note by note, and overlay multiple 'voices' or instruments. You can also pick the various instrument so while you can't have a voice you can have the actual tune with the polyphonic layers. Not real voices, but is accurate musically.

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