Anglican chant: how to?

Does anyone know of a good resource — online video especially desired — about Anglican chant? Either a how-to (better) or an explanation?

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Categorized as Hymns

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

7 comments

  1. Regrettably, I don’t know of one online. If you were to go to the ‘berry, my father probably has some samples in his vinyl collection, and possibly sheet music. Maybe you could e-mail the music director for a local Anglican church?

    If you do find anything online, I’d love to hear it!

    By the way, got your phone call, sweetie. We are about to head out for vacation in the mountains, but will be sure to call you when we return. *hugs*

  2. The basic idea is simple: the rhythm of Anglican Chant is the rhythm of natural speech. Begin by just reading the line to be chanted out loud. Then chant it, using the same rhythm.

  3. I’m going to look into this, because I’m a lover of Anglican chant and I think you’ve asked a darned good question. Yes, the chants are sung more or less to the rhythm of natural speech. They’re not difficult to sing if one understands that.
    But the way they’re presented in many hymnals makes the process very confusing. Our new Congregational (NACCC) hymnal, Hymns for a Pilgrim People, has a wonderful psalter — the most comprehensive that I’ve seen in any of the newer hymnals — but the editors used diacriticals to indicate the rhythms of the chants. The accent marks are so tiny I can hardly read them, and in my opinion the use of them just muddied the waters. If I recall, the editors of the UCC and United Methodist hymnals employed the same process. Hymns of the Spirit (AUA, 1937) and the ’35 and ’48 Pilgrim Hymnals have very good, and much easier to comprehend, psalters.

    All that having been said, there’s gotta be a good how-to-do-it resource somewhere. I’ve actually thought of compiling an easy-to-read psalter myself.

    Kevin: Are you the former rector in Bangor? Hello from Maine.

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