Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pater Noster

So I first noticed that when I heard the congregation singing the Pater Noster, they weren't exactly following what is printed in the hymnal. (modern notation.) They seemed to be adding pauses and breaths. So, I went to compare what was in the hymnal with the square notes in the GR. (actually, I really wanted to compare it with the semiological neumes in the Triplex, but, alas, there were none...) And I observed that there IS a discrepancy between the two! Either that, or there is the common confusion of "does an episema really mean to hold it twice as long? or does it just mean to accent the syllable in some way? and what about the little vertical dashes at the top of the musical lines? are they just for visual effect? or are you supposed to even take a breath at them?"
For example, right off the bat the "ter" of "noster" has an episema in the GR, but the hymnal completely ignores that and just writes it as a black round note. Same thing at "Panem nostrum cotidianum" on the last "num." And, the people are certainly singing it with a prolonged episema.
sooo...before I try and correct this possible "problem," which is right? Or, the age-old question of, "for how long does one hold an episema?" The hymnal editors must have had some reason to ignore them in their modern transcription!

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