Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Fun with Latin!

Ever since I got to see the Latin version of the current Mass on paper, I have been longing to set the words to music, because they are too cool! (Also, there's no point writing Mass parts for the current translation, since its time is almost up.)

This is not to diss the current translation, except... well... the Latin version is just so powerful, whereas the English version seems to do its level best to dam things up just when the words get on a roll. And I don't know where they hid all the parallelism and structure in the English, 'cause it's all really obvious in the Latin.

Sooo, I've made up my own Gloria melody. I'm afraid that those who think contemporary music is repetitive will really think that of this, because I love rhythms and repetition, and the whole structure of the Latin Gloria is highly rhythmic. Still, you can hardly say that it doesn't have anything for the guys to sing. (I'm singing it in my key, but obviously that would be super easy to change.)

Also, I didn't figure out until after I recorded this that it really should go:
"tu solus Sanctus (Sanctus!)
tu solus Dominus (Dominus!)"
with the last syllable of "Dominus!" kinda sliding under the rest of the choir moving along with "tu solus Altissimus".

Anyway, give it a listen and tell me what you think. (Unless you really hate it, in which case you can just pretend like this post never happened.)

Here's the Latin words with the verses arranged for this melody, for your convenience.

in excelsis Deo
et in terra
pax hominibus
bonae voluntatis.

Laudamus te,
benedicimus te,
adoramus te,
glorificamus te,

gratias agimus tibi
propter magnam gloriam tuam,

Domine Deus,
Rex caelestis,
Deus Pater omnipotens.

Domine Fili
Iesu Christe,

Domine Deus,
Agnus Dei,
Filius Patris,

qui tollis peccata mundi,
miserere nobis;
qui tollis peccata mundi,
suscipe deprecationem nostram.
Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
miserere nobis.

tu solus Sanctus, (Sanctus!)
tu solus Dominus, (Domi-)
(-nus!) tu solus Altissimus,

Iesu Christe,
cum Sancto Spiritu:
in gloria Dei Patris.



  • At 3:44 PM, Blogger Fr. Larry Gearhart said…

    Very nice. I sent a link to J.B., asking for his input.

  • At 7:34 PM, Blogger Banshee said…


    I know it needs something in the middle, though. Also, there are some serious diction and accenting problems.

    The thing is, I'm reasonably good at coming up with melodies, but I know I don't have the tools to do actual settings. (Being really able to write down music, for instance. Or really understanding how choral composition works, instead of just knowing how to harmonize.)

    But coming up with melodies has its points, so I guess I can't complain.


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