Gloria




Mass/Office: Mass

Ordinary/Proper: Ordinary

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" (Holy Spirit).

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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 "bonae 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
URL: http://www.music.indiana.edu/som/courses/m401/Gloria.html
This page was created by Patrick Warfield and is maintained by J. Peter Burkholder
Copyright © 1997-2006 by J. Peter Burkholder and Patrick Warfield