Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Liber Hymnarius wiki

A new (to me) and very interesting-looking website, the Liber Hymnarius wiki. From the main page:
Liber Hymnarius wiki
Dedicated to Our Lady, in memory of her nativity.
Welcome to the Liber Hymnarius wiki, a place where recordings and translations of the contents of the Liber Hymnarius can be collected.
And an information box there says this:
Under Construction The vast majority of the pages on this wiki have not yet been created. Blue links lead to pages that have already been worked on, while red links lead to pages that are still waiting to be made.
Which means that those of us with an interest in these things can contribute to this project.  The Community Portal page says this:
There are two big goals for the Liber Hymnarius wiki:
  • to provide recordings of the hymns of the Liber Hymnarius
  • to provide translations of the hymns.
For recordings, please try to keep the third line from the bottom on A.

“What can I do to help?”
Plenty! There are one big and two smaller areas that have yet to be tackled:
  • The big one: cross-reference of the melodies. Noticed how many of the melodies are the same? It would be great to easily be able to pull up all the hymns with the same melody. Right now, the only way to do that is to sift through the category each hymn is placed in according to meter. Huge thanks to Benstox for getting this going!
  • A littler one: cross-reference of the authors. For example, it would be nice to search for St. Ambrose and find a page for him with links to his hymns. Again, thanks to Benstox for putting in the time necessary to make this happen!
  • A littler one: cross-reference of the liturgical usage. Right now, coming to a particular hymn page from an outside website (like a search engine) won't tell you for what the hymn is used.
Many thanks also to Brennansia for providing so many translations!

Anything you can do to help is greatly appreciated!

Recordings that Contain Errors

In any case, it means that there is now a resource on the web dedicated to the hymnody of the hours, which is certainly an excellent thing.

The site contains, at the moment, these sections:
And links to these external sources:


rick allen said...

I will second your recommendation of this site.

I discovered it a few months ago. I had just purchased a Liber Hymnarius, wishing to teach myself some of the hymns of the Liturgia Horarum, figuring that, even with my very limited musical abilities, I could learn to sing them by picking the tunes out on a keyboard.

Easier said than done.

But then I found this site, and have been gradually learning by simply bookmarking individual hymns and playing them while doing other things on the computer.

I doubt I'll ever be able to simply sight read from the neumes (is that it?), but I can use them to prompt a mostly-learned melody.

It's not only useful, then, for supplementing my (very) occasional praying of the Liturgia Horarum, but also for giving me, for the first time, a real sense of the variety of Western medieval chant.

bls said...

Yes, that's it! (Neumes, I mean.)

I learned to sing the Offices simply by ear, at a local convent. It was only later that I learned to actually read the office books and the chant scores. And I'm sure that "by ear" is the way the vast majority of monastics - of people - throughout the centuries have learned to sing the church's music too, so we are not alone. And this is exactly why I started Chantblog and offered mp3s of the music (back when hardly any existed, in fact!).

The blog allows me to do other things as well - post polyphonic versions of the chants, talk about sources, etc. - but this wiki is going to be a simple resource for the music, and will be complete, it looks like. So I'm thrilled they're doing it....

rick allen said...

"...this is exactly why I started Chantblog."

Well I obviously haven't been paying close enough attention...I hadn't noticed it was yours.

It's very beautifully done.

bls said...