Gregorian Chant: The Other Half

I am the resurrection and the life;  he who believes in me, even if he dies, shall live; and all who live and believe in me, shall never die. (John 11: 25-26).

 

In this Mode 2 antiphon, we hear Jesus’ words of blessed assurance to all who believe.  Last week we witnessed the funeral for one of our Community members, and this text was both chanted and read during the day.

Ego_Sum_arrowsThe most characteristic detail of a Mode 2 piece is the clef at the beginning of the piece.  Shaped like an old fashioned telephone receiver, it is the FA clef, and is used almost exclusively for this Mode.  The reason?   Mode 2 pieces have a very narrow range; the reciting note is FA and the home tone, RE. On a normal staff with DO on the top line, these pieces would show up at the bottom of the staff,and lower notes could even be below the staff.  The FA clef, located in the middle of the staff assures us that the majority of the piece will sit comfortably on the staff .  Notice that there are a few notes above and below the key pitches of FA and RE, but for the most part, the piece circles around those principal pitches.

Listen for this, as you look at the piece.

Ego Sum Resurrectio

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