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Liturgical Press

The Gregorian Melody

The Expressive Power of the Word

Alberto Turco; Translated by Stephen Concordia, OSB; Foreword by Anthony Ruff, OSB

The Gregorian Melody SEE INSIDE
The Gregorian Melody

ISBN: 9780814667675, 6767

Details: 244 pgs, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 5/8
Publication Date: 11/16/2023
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2024 Catholic Media Association Third Place Award, English Translation Edition

The Gregorian Melody is a resource of music pedagogy that centers on one of the most ancient musical repertoires honored by the church and music historians. Though it may not be common to see the word expressive describing Gregorian chant, a repertoire often associated with subdued solemnity, this volume by renowned scholar and practitioner Alberto Turco includes an abundance of insights into the Gregorian art and proposes that chant is first and foremost sung prayer, an interaction of word and melody, which both include proper and appropriate expression.

The material included in this resource is foundational as it lays out the elements of the Gregorian melody through a careful analysis of first principles. It will be useful as an introduction to Gregorian chant and for helping readers to understand the Gregorian melody. Readers of all levels may turn to this book to sing the liturgical chant with a deepened appreciation for the expressive power of the Word.

Monsignor Alberto Turco, a priest of the Diocese of Verona, Italy, has been widely recognized as a leader in the fields of Gregorian chant scholarship and performance. He has served as the director of the Cappella Musicale of the Cathedral of Verona since 1965, after obtaining his doctorate in Gregorian chant at the Pontifical Ambrosian Institute of Sacred Music, Milan. He has been a professor at the Pontifical Institutes of Sacred Music in Milan and Rome and continues to lecture and conduct workshops in Italy, throughout Europe, and beyond.

Stephen Concordia, OSB, attended New England Conservatory in Boston earning a BM in piano and an MM in theoretical studies. He received his priestly formation at Sant'Anselmo and attended the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, where he earned a Licentiate and Magistero in organ, and in Gregorian chant. He resides at Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where he has directed the Saint Vincent Camerata, a semi-professional mixed chorus. Fr. Concordia has taught Gregorian chant at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute; Sant'Anselmo; Saint Vincent College, Latrobe; and Duquesne University, Pennsylvania.

ISBN: 9780814667675, 6767

Details: 244 pgs, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 5/8
Publication Date: 11/16/2023


"This volume is the encapsulation of decades of research, study, and teaching by one of the most brilliant minds in the field of chant. Herein, Turco has admirably compiled and expanded the most critical information any student of chant should assimilate. The text begins with an overview of the history of chant, which is both concise and informative, adding details that are not commonly known. The heart of the work focuses on chant: firstly on its text, secondly on the melody, and ultimately on the union of text and melody, which is fundamentally different from setting texts to melodies. Turco reminds us that understanding chant must start with understanding its text. This is a welcome addition to the pedagogical materials on the subject, for the study of chant melodies and especially chant rhythms, along with the ancient rhythmic signs, can only be successful if it is grounded on an understanding of the text and its particular nuances. Turco’s approach to the text, and ultimately to the wedding of text and melody, is thorough and masterful. It renders this volume an essential addition to the library of any student or teacher of chant."
Edward Schaefer, President, The Collegium

"We are fortunate to have this excellent translation of Alberto Turco’s The Gregorian Melody: The Expressive Power of the Word by Stephen Concordia, OSB. It is the first time that we have realized the true relationship between the neumes and the words they express. I recommend this book most highly."
Ann Labounsky, Chair of Organ and Sacred Music, Duquesne University

“This serves as a vital reference and teaching resource for those aiming to comprehend and excel in the profound tradition of Gregorian chant, shaped by the principles of the Second Vatican Council. While the main body of the text caters to individuals with a solid grasp of music theory and performance, the introductory chapters offers valuable insights for liturgists and pastors keen on exploring chant’s role in contemporary Catholic worship.”
Catholic Media Association Book Awards