How would you analyse this: Two melodies from the Catholic Mass

enter image description here

It is based on chant theory so it doesnt use "normal" music theory.

closed as off-topic by Tetsujin, Tim, David Bowling, ttw, Doktor Mayhem Feb 3 at 14:08

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Basic analysis questions, such as "What key is this song in?", are off-topic. Questions should be substantial and refer to a well-defined work or subsection, including a concrete reference (sheet music, etc.)." – Tetsujin, Tim, ttw, Doktor Mayhem
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


This is a blessing (präfatio)

Dominus vobiscum (Latin: "The Lord be with you") is an ancient salutation and blessing traditionally used by the clergy in the Roman Catholic Mass and other liturgies, as well as liturgies of other Western Christian denominations.

when analyzing this song ou have to consider points as

Origine of text

  • Early sources and later revisions
  • Melodic type
  • Modality
  • Musical idiom
  • Notation
  • Texture
  • Rhythm
  • Melodic restitution


I can tell you what I recognized at first sight without considering wiki

you can control it and correct it relating to the aspects mentioned above:

  • it is a transcription of the square notation

  • it seems a to be the same tune in dansk (or norsk) and latin with a few variations. you can say that is in F, the first one is dorian, as the "phrases" end on re, while the second chant ends in do (ionian)


you can sing the tune in re, you count the sections (phrases) and compare the tones

  • describe the rhythm and the syllables (there are no ligatures)

  • there is a p and an f above the staff:

  • it's supposed to be responsorial (P might be the priest, F may be the folks???)
  • sing it with doremi: what are the note lengths? they are free, mostly unique but notes with closer distance are shorter: the tenor is mi and the melody will be accelerated on the tenor mi when there are repetitions of the same tone.
  • the melody swings up from the root to the third - rests there and goes down again, the intervals are all seconds except 2or 3 thirds.
  • there are 6 phrases (probably there is a special term)
  • the key is F - the original clef is unknown. the mode is probably Dorian as the finalis of each section re and not Ionian like the latin example.
  • You should know the name of the idioms as sandicus, torculus etc. and identify them in the melody.

the following example is probably in aeolian, but the original writing will have looked like this: enter image description here

finally: don't forget to mention that Gregorian Chant is the unisono, unaccompanied, latin chant in the catholic liturgy.

you should also be able to tell something about accentus and concentus, ambitus, repertitio and finalis

  • 1
    A small correction: that is actually Swedish. The letters "ä" and "ö" do not appear in either Danish or Norwegian. In that case "F" might represent "Församlingen" i.e. the congregation. – user57228 Feb 2 at 18:42

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.