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Sacred Music Studies
Year 2 - January
Welcome 2016!

This month, my family and I are going to start Words with Wings, a collection of 20 short, scripted lessons about singing Gregorian Chant. See more info below.
Month at-a-glance:

Hymn: Jesu Dulcis Memoria

Gregorian chant: Words with Wings

Extra Listening for Enjoyment: a setting of Jesu Dulcis Memoria attributed to Victoria

Read on, and do as little, or as much as you'd like!
Hymn: Jesu Dulcis Memoria

A Few Facts:
  • The text is attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153), and the chant here is from an edition of the Vatican Aniphonal. 
  • The entire hymn is a poem from the Middle Ages that has up to 53 stanzas. Some of those stanzas are used in the Divine Office for the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.
  • For adults or older students, I found a scholarly article that takes a close look at the history of the poem and "sheds interesting light on the wider understanding of music in medieval thought." 
Gregorian Score PDF
Modern Notation PDF
The modern notation comes from the St. Gregory Hymnal. The entire hymnal is available online at 
Audio - YouTube


Jesu dulcis memoria
dans vera cordi gaudia:
sed super mel et omnia
ejus dulcis praesentia.

Nil canitur suavius,
nil auditur jucundius,
nil cogitatur dulcius,
quam Jesus Dei Filius.

Jesu, spes paenitentibus,
quam pius es petentibus!
quam bonus te quaerentibus!
sed quid invenientibus?

Nec lingua valet dicere,
nec littera exprimere:
expertus potest credere,
quid sit Jesum diligere.

Sis, Jesu, nostrum gaudium,
qui es futurus praemium:
sit nostra in te gloria,
per cuncta semper saecula.


The sweet memory of Jesus
Giving true joy to the heart,
But more than honey and all things [does so]
His sweet presence.

Nothing more delightful is sung,
Nothing more pleasing heard,
Nothing sweeter thought,
Than Jesus, the Son of God.

O Jesus, hope of the penitent,
How gracious you are to those who ask
How good to those who see you;
But what [are you] to those who find?

No tongue may tell,
No letter express;
He who has experience of it can believe
What it is to love Jesus.

O Jesus, may you be our joy,
You who are our future reward.
May our glory be in you
Throughout all eternity.
New American Cursive Practice - LATIN
New American Cursive Practice - ENGLISH
(You can build your own copywork pages at
Gregorian Chant

We are starting Words with Wings this month! This introduction to singing Gregorian chant was developed for children's choirs, but can also be used at home. There are 20 scripted lessons, with online audio samples. We plan on completing 4 lessons a month. You are free, of course, to go at whatever pace you decide! 

This program is for children who can read words, can sing mostly on pitch, and have a little knowledge about solfege (do, re, mi, etc.) If your child isn't ready, may I suggest the Gregorian chant coloring book? (Or just listen to Gregorian chant! See the next section of this Newsletter for some options.) 
January Lessons:
  • Introduction, p. 3 in Instructor's Edition
  • Lessons 1-4 and corresponding Workbook Pages
  • Audio files 1-8 (the lessons tell you when to listen online)
Extra Listening for Enjoyment:
  • Jesu Dulcis Memoria by Tomás Luis de Victoria On their website, Corpus Christi Watershed has provided beautiful rehearsal videos of this hymn for choirs.  They make it easier for any parish to sing this short, 4-part composition attributed to the Spanish composer and priest Victoria. 
  • Chant Kyriale (CCWatershed) - did you know there are 18 different Gregorian Mass settings?

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Connect on the Google+ Community

I started a Google+ community for these studies. This has great potential for being a place to: 1) discuss the music we are learning each month, and 2) share our learning experiences with others. I think it would be helpful if Q&A, interesting facts found, or other helpful information could be easily seen and discussed by all.  Think of it as an online study and support group. 

Let's enjoy this learning experience together!

If you are new to Google+,  here's a great tutorial on getting started
Sacred Music Studies Community
Sacred Music Studies Community
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