I’ve got a new and improved version of the Sanctus!

First of all, it’s been re-set to match the notational style of the other movements.

More importantly, there is an ever-so-subtle musical change.
See if you can spot the difference.

Here’s the original version:

(Here is Fr. Ruff’s modern-notation edition of that version)

And the updated version

The Change… and why?

If you haven’t found it yet, the first syllable of “Glory” has been changed from three notes to just two.

The shortest explanation of the change is that my wife made me do it.

Here’s the long story:

The original version had only one note for that syllable. “Glo-ry” were sung on the same final pitch. My wife heard it and said, “it needs something else.” After trying to figure out what she meant, I came to what the two-note version. That’s the version my parish sang last year when we tried this out for Advent 2010.

But when I sat down later to notate it, I elongated it into a three note phrase. This might have been entirely because I was playing around with Gregorian Chant notation for this project and thought it would be cool to have a torculus. That’s the version I posted, and it has been online for several months now.

But my wife finally decided to read my blog and was very unhappy that I had changed “her” contribution to this setting. I argued. I disagreed. This new way was better.

But then I sang it about a hundred times both ways.

I realized that the back-and-forth between 2-beats and 3-beats (a characteristic of both Gregorian and Shaker chant) became too predictable with the three-note syllable, and that it made that line sound like it was finished, rather than only half-way through.

So I relented and changed it back.

Thank you, Nikky.

Click here to download the Sanctus from the Mass of the Blessed Fire.

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