Text Setting: Syllabic/Neumatic
Form: No specific form; often based on one or more repeating melodic
formulas that are varied to suit the text
The priest sings the opening phrase, "Gloria in excelsis Deo," and the
choir (or in earlier practice the congregation) continues with the
remainder. Originally sung direct, the Gloria is now sometimes sung
antiphonally, which adds variety to a very long text.
NAWM 3c is a Gloria in mode 4. There is no strict pattern of repetition, but
there are several motives that repeat in various guises. One distinctive
motive is reserved for the three members of the Trinity, appearing at "Deus
Pater" (God the Father), "Jesu Christe" (Jesus Christ), and "Sancto Spiritu"
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The fourth edition of NAWM included a Gloria in mode 8 (NAWM 3c).
The whole chant is based on a melodic
formula that is stated ten times, each time varied to suit the text and
to provide some melodic variety. The complete formula appears at the
words "Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam." This is
actually the third statement. The first statement, from "Gloria" through
voluntatis," is missing its first few notes and adds a phrase at the end,
and the second, at "Laudamus te," is missing the second note. Can you
find where the later statements begin and end, and notice what is changed
in each statement?
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Last updated: 19 August 2006
This page was created by Patrick Warfield and is maintained by
J. Peter Burkholder
Copyright © 1997-2006 by J. Peter Burkholder and Patrick Warfield