Introit



Mass/Office: Mass

Ordinary/Proper: Proper

Text Setting: Neumatic

Form: Antiphon - Psalm Verse - Lesser Doxology - Antiphon


In an Introit, the Antiphon (which is sung at the beginning and end) is an individual melody, usually neumatic in style. In the middle there is one verse from a psalm, sung to a mostly syllabic formula used for all Introits in this mode. Then the Lesser Doxology is sung to the same music as the Psalm Verse, and the Antiphon returns.

There is usually more than one possible ending to the psalm formula. The one to be used is represented in the music by the abbreviation EUOUAE, the vowels in the Latin "saEcUlOrUm AmEn" (the final words of the Doxology).

NAWM 3a, Puer natus est nobis, is an Introit in mode 7. To find the mode of an Introit, be sure to look at where the Introit actually ends: the end of the Antiphon (before the Ps. that indicates the Psalm Verse).

On the NAWM recording, the four sections of the chant are heard as follows (click on each to hear the recording):

Antiphon - Psalm Verse - Lesser Doxology - Antiphon

As in most chants, the opening word (up to the asterisk in the modern edition) is sung by a soloist to set the pitch, and the choir joins in on the second word. In an Introit, the opening of the psalm verse is often sung by one or two soloists. This responsorial manner of performance replaced the earlier format of the Introit, which was originally sung antiphonally.

There was a different Introit in the second edition of NAWM (3a). As you listen to the online copy, see if you can hear the beginnings and endings of the antiphon, psalm verse and Lesser Doxology.


M401 Chant Page

M401 Home | About M401 | Schedule | Listening List


Last updated: 6 September 2010
URL: http://www.music.indiana.edu/som/courses/m401/Introit.html
This page was created by Patrick Warfield and is maintained by J. Peter Burkholder
Copyright © 1997-2010 by J. Peter Burkholder and Patrick Warfield