Liber Usualis

A sample of the Kýrie Eléison (Orbis Factor) from the Liber Usualis.
The Liber usualis is a book of commonly-used Gregorian chants compiled by the monks of the Abbey of Solesmes in France.

This 1,900-page book contains most versions of the ordinary chants for the Mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei), as well as the common chants for the Divine Office (a priest's daily prayers) and for every commonly celebrated feast of the Church Year (including more than two hundred pages for Holy Week alone). The "usual book" or "common book" also contains chants for specific rituals, such as baptisms, weddings, funerals, ordinations, and benediction. This modal, monophonic Latin music has been sung in the Catholic Church since at least the sixth century and through the present day.

An extensive introduction explains how to read and interpret the medieval musical notation (square notation of neums or neumes). A complete index makes it easy to find specific pieces.

The Liber was first edited in 1896 by Solesmes abbot Dom André Mocquereau (1849–1930) who, in his effort to revive the Gregorian Chant, made the unlucky compromise of supporting a rhythm of equal values per note.

After the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council (opened by Pope John XXIII in 1962) allowed in the constitution on the liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium the vernacular (local language) to be used in Church rites, its use has decreased, although the same council mandated that Gregorian Chant should retain "pride of place" in the liturgy [Sacrosanctum Concilium] para. 116. Gregorian chants are still sung in most monasteries and some churches and in performances by groups dedicated to preserving this incomparable musical heritage.

The Liber usualis does not reflect the new order of chant propers for the Masses of the church year by order of the Council. Furthermore, research on the notation of the Gregorian chant accomplished after the Liber's publication has shown that a lot more information about the rhythm and articulation of the chants can be drawn from the adiastematic neumes than from the square notation alone. The Liber therefore is nowadays considered outdated. Its place has been taken by other books like the Graduale Romanum (1974). However, the versions found in the Liber Usualis, or other versions in the manuscripts upon which the Liber was based, are still most commonly sung in primarily musical (i.e., non-liturgical) performances of chant.

Due to its shortcomings, the Liber Usualis has been out of print since 1964, which meant that for most of the 1970s to the '90s, it was not easy to find. Recently, the book has been reprinted and is easily available.

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æculorum, amen." The Latin is pronounced in the manner of Renaissance Germany, based on Åbo's German ecclesiastical connections.
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St. Peter's Abbey, Solesmes or Solesmes Abbey (l'Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes) is a Benedictine monastery in Solesmes (Sarthe), famous as the source of the restoration of Benedictine monastic life in France under Dom Prosper Guéranger after the French
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Mass is the name given to the Eucharistic celebration in the Latin liturgical rites of the Roman Catholic Church, in Old Catholic Churches, in the Anglo-Catholic tradition of Anglicanism, and in some largely High Church Lutheran regions, including the Scandinavian and Baltic
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Kyrie is the vocative case of the Greek word κύριος (kyrios - lord) and means O Lord; it is the common name of an important prayer of Christian liturgy, also called Kyrie eleison which is Greek for Lord, have mercy.
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Gloria may refer to:
  • Hurricane Gloria of 1985.
  • Gloria, a penguin character from Happy Feet
  • Gloria (band), pop rock band from Minneapolis, MN
  • Gloria (song), any one of several songs from the history of popular music
  • Gloria

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The credo (Latin for "I believe"; pronounced [ˈkɾeːd̪oː]
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Sanctus is the Latin word for holy, and is the name of an important hymn of Christian liturgy.

In Western Christianity, the Sanctus is sung (or said) as the last portion of the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer, the prayer of consecration of the bread and wine.
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Agnus Dei is a Latin term meaning Lamb of God, and was originally used to refer to Jesus Christ in his role of the perfect sacrificial offering that atones for the sins of humanity in Christian theology, harkening back to ancient Jewish Temple sacrifices.
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Liturgy of the Hours (Latin: Liturgia Horarum) is the title[1] given to the four-volume breviary containing the official prayer of the canonical hours by which a day is consecrated to God. This set of books is issued by the Roman Catholic Church.
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Neumes are the basic elements of Western and Eastern systems of musical notation prior to the invention of five-line staff notation. The earliest neumes were inflective marks which indicated the general shape but not necessarily the exact notes or rhythms to be sung.
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The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, or Vatican II, was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It opened under Pope John XXIII in 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI in 1965.
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Pope John XXIII (Latin: Ioannes PP. XXIII; Italian: Giovanni XXIII), born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli
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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1930s  1940s  1950s  - 1960s -  1970s  1980s  1990s
1959 1960 1961 - 1962 - 1963 1964 1965

Year 1962 (MCMLXII
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Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, is one of the most significant measures enacted by the Second Vatican Council. It was approved by the assembled bishops by a vote of 2,147 to 4 and promulgated by Pope Paul VI on December 4, 1963.
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Mass is a fundamental concept in physics, roughly corresponding to the intuitive idea of "how much matter there is in an object". Mass is a central concept of classical mechanics and related subjects, and there are several definitions of mass within the framework of relativistic
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Jesus Christ
Church Theology
New Covenant Supersessionism
Apostles Kingdom Gospel
History of Christianity Timeline
Old Testament New Testament
Books Canon Apocrypha
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The Gradual (Latin: graduale, sometimes called the Grail) is a chant in the extraordinary form of the Roman Catholic Mass, sung after the reading or singing of the Epistle and before the Alleluia, or, during penitential seasons, before the Tract.
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