For Musical Church Latinists

Besides study of the Latin language in general, Sacred Music in Latin is one of my favorite hobbies. Due to digging around for a few years, I have found a lot of good sites for learning the music of all this Church Latin. I hope that you find some good stuff here that will help you praise God even better!

The CMAA

The Church Music Association of America (CMAA) deserves a blog post here all to itself. Here are some of my favorite things you can find at the CMAA website:

  • The CMAA site has the best free downloadable collection of chant books for all levels of learning, including these favorites:
    • Children’s: Gregorian Chant for Church and School by Sr. Marie Antonine Goodchild, The Ward Method books, Vols. 1-4 by Justine Ward
    • For Adult Beginners: Don’t miss Basic Gregorian Chant and Sight Reading, Sr. Mary Demetria (1960), An Idiot’s Guide to Square Notes, An Applied Course in Gregorian Chant, by Robert Carroll (1956)
  • and you can find an entire section on Latin Chant and Choral Music for the Mass, where treasures abound!
  • (This plethora of good things is all on top of their giant list of Church Music Resources including English settings, too.)

Corpus Christi Watershed

The Corpus Christi Watershed folks have been generating and presenting enormously helpful and interesting stuff for more than a decade. This website with a blog keeps growing in authorship and scope. My favorite resources that the many wonderful authors provide include:

More Chant Stuff

SOLFEGE INTRODUCTION teaches you Gregorian chant from the basic units, step by step, with playable and downloadable (PDF and MP3!) exercises for practice. All free, from the FSSP (Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter).

For learning specific chant hymns, you will find this page at Gregorian Chant Hymns  a great help. Dozens of chant hymns, listed alphabetically by title, are linked with video, and audio files and sheet music for download. Superb!

Learning to sing the Traditional Divine Office? The Psalm Tone Tool is for when you need to figure out how to generate the tones and melodies for parts of the Divine Office as they vary seasonally and daily. Mass Propers and Readings are included here too. Someone I know thinks the angels must have inspired the maker of this database. I am inclined to agree!

Gregobase is a phenomenal database of Gregorian Chant scores. Zillions of chants of all kinds, with many varying versions (Vatican, Solesmes, etc.) Pieces are cross-referenced and translations are provided… You can download and print everything… It’s simply a magnificent place on the internet!

Choral Music

Choral Public Domain Musical Library is a database of FREE choral music, lots of it in Latin, that keeps growing by leaps and bounds. (There is plenty of chant there, too, such as several pieces by St. Hildegard!)

This is some of the good stuff I know about for learning and singing traditional Catholic Sacred Music. If I missed one of your favorite sites or resources, please let me know so I can include it too.

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P.S. It’s not technically Sacred Music, but here’s a vintage book of Latin music from the early 20th century that is definitely worth a look-through: Latin songs : classical, medieval, and modern with music, ed. by Calvin S. Brown

Canticum cantate Domino canticum novum 

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* The “Ordinary” refers to the unchanging parts of the Mass: the Kyrie, Gloria, Agnus Dei, Sanctus, as well as Credo and Asperges Me/Vidi Aquam

** The “Propers” of the Mass are the (sung at High Mass) parts that change depending on the day, Sunday, or feast day (such as Introit, Gradual, Alleluia/Tract, Offertory, Communio)

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