The Manual of Plainsong, 1902 edition

Here is the bulk of A Manual of Plainsong for Divine Service containing the Canticles Noted [and] the Psalter Noted to Gregorian Tones together with the Litany and Responses, edited by H. B. Briggs and W. H. Frere, Novello and Company, London, 1902.

This contains the English Book of Common Prayer (1662) offices set to Gregorian tones. It does not contain any communion setting.

H. B. Briggs (Henry Bremridge Briggs) died in 1901 or so as the introduction says, and Dr Frere died in 1938, and so at the end of 2008 this work is in the public domain, at least in England. Of course, this is merely my understanding and is not to be considered as legal advice.

A smaller book, A Manual of Plainsong for Divine Service (smaller edition) containing the Canticles Psalter pointed for the Gregorian Tones together with the Litany and Responses, edited by H. B. Briggs and W. H. Frere, Novello and Company, London, n.d., contains the same material, but with just the text of the psalms and easier canticles, pointed; the tones are given in the front matter. Sometimes I refer informally to this as the `little mop', and the full version as the big or large mop.

There is an edition still in print, similar but not quite the same -- it was revised by J. H. Arnold (John Henry Arnold, 1887--1956), dated 1951. I guess this is still in copyright, though oddly my copy bears no copyright notice. This is differently pointed.

The parts are of varying quality (I mean, the quality of my entry and editing); the canticles for evensong are probably the best. The canticles are as Lilypond source, and as pdf. The psalter is provided as text, marked up in a style similar to that of the small edition of the Manual of Plainsong, within the limits of ascii, and as pdf. I also provide a program which can generate Lilypond source from the marked-up text and the Manual's tonale. The output is in editio vaticana style, not the Manual's idiosyncratic notation. Some parts are presented rather differently -- I have not attempted to use the words `this is the intonation of the first tone' and so on, though I include substantially the same tonary. Thus what is here does not resemble the original Manual typographically, but it should be the same in performance.

If you find substantive mistakes (wrong notes, misspellings and so on), please let me know. If you see clumsy layout, please only report it if you can suggest how to improve it: Lilypond's support for plainsong is not perfect, and I have struggled to produce what is here. (Gregorio might have been better, but it was not mature enough when I did the bulk of this entering .) My thanks to James Yardley, Dan Soper, and Fr Andrew Greany who have pointed out typos in psalms and canticles.

If you want to produce your own version of all or part of my work, feel free to do so. My own contributions here are licensed freely, as in the next paragraph. The only thing I object to is somebody taking any of my work, and redistributing it under a more restrictive licence. (Of course, this is not an indemnification against any possible suit if others do, contrary to my understanding, still have a valid copyright in any of this.)

Copyright (C) 2007--2009 David Stone in this arrangement. To the extent that I have copyright, I (David Stone) release these under the GNU General Public License, version 2 or later, or the Creative Commons attribution share-alike license, version 2.0 or later, at your option. I also grant the additional permission to copy freely any paper version generated from these. I also grant the additional permission not to attribute this version to myself (the primary attribution for these works should of course be to their original authors, as much as we know them).

I should like to thank Little St Mary's Church, Cambridge, (England), especially the choir director Christian Rutherford, for the loan of one of the choir's Manuals, and also Lynda M. Howell whose web page provided the text of the 1662 BCP. Of course, they are not to blame for any errors or ugliness I have introduced.

The parts of the Manual of Plainsong

The links below give you the output as pdf files, designed for A5 paper, except for the tonale. If you prefer A4, you can print 2-up onto A4. For U.S. sizes, you'll have to regenerate from source, or mess around scaling them. The source is available as a single tar.gz file.

  1. The front matter from both editions, conflated -- preface and notes.
  2. The tonale (unlike the rest, for A6 paper); also available as A6 on A4 for folding into a small booklet. This includes a table of which tones the Manual uses for each psalm. The notes taking a stressed syllable, and optional notes are both marked, though only for those tones actually used in the Manual.
  3. The specimens of insertion and omission of notes. (These are only in the small edition, since the larger edition is fully written out.)
  4. The initial versicles and responses, for Mattins and Evensong.
  5. The litany.
  6. The canticles for Mattins.
  7. The canticles for Evensong.
  8. All the pdfs, as a single tgz file of pdfs (15 MB), and the source, including all marked-up texts for the psalms, and Lilypond source for the rest (140 kB).
  9. The psalms, individually (psalm 119 in sections of 8 verses each), on A5: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119a, 119b, 119c, 119d, 119e, 119f, 119g, 119h, 119i, 119j, 119k, 119l, 119m, 119n, 119o, 119p, 119q, 119r, 119s, 119t, 119u, 119v, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150.
  10. The psalms, individually (psalm 119 in sections of 8 verses each), on A5 imposed on A4; these may be useful if printing on A5 is inconvenient: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119a, 119b, 119c, 119d, 119e, 119f, 119g, 119h, 119i, 119j, 119k, 119l, 119m, 119n, 119o, 119p, 119q, 119r, 119s, 119t, 119u, 119v, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150. Note that with these, a psalm of 1 or 2 A5 pages is printed twice, on the assumption that you would want multiple copies, and will cut the A4 sheet in half to give 2 identical A5 sheets. Those of 3 or more pages are arranged so that printing on A4 landscape double-sided will give a sheet or sheets which will fold as a booklet.

A few remarks

Prerequisites for rebuilding

If you want to regenerate the PDFs, you'll need Lilypond. Currently the mop input is for Lilypond 2.10; it will probably also work with 2.8, since very few changes have been made since. You'll also need, for the psalms, the expand_pointing program I wrote. This is released and documented separately, although I originally wrote it just for this project.

I'd strongly advise having psutils installed too -- very useful for e.g. printing the A5 output onto A4.

Makefiles are included, but they won't be a great deal of use unless you have a Un*x-style system. They were written to be used with GNU make.

Hyphenation

One small aspect I do not think is right here is the hyphenation. Where I entered words manually and the Manual had hyphens, then I followed it. But do not understand the system behind its hyphenation. For the psalter I used a hyphenation dictionary originally generated by getting TeX to hyphenate the words of the psalter, manually expanded to hyphenate all syllables. The program which uses this gives a warning every time it finds marked-up text with a hyphenation different from that dictionary; there are many such warnings at present and I have not attempted to resolve them. In some cases the Manual is inconsistent within itself in its hyphenation.

Other tones for the psalms

If you wish to choose a different tone for the psalm, it should be easy to change the markup of the psalm_nnn.txt file, and run the program yourself to produce the Lilypond input. I say `easy', but this does require familiarity with running programs from the command line, and you'll need Lilypond and Python installed.

It should similarly be possible for you to provide a different translation for the psalms, mark it up and then use the program to generate the Lilypond input.

The text input used here was entirely English. It would not be hard to adapt it to (e.g.) Latin. The hyphenation dictionary would need to be replaced.


David Stone
Last modified: Fri Aug 28 17:45:52 BST 2009