Top tools for TLM Music Directors

Life for church musicians and music directors is hectic. Often musicians are volunteers and balance work, family and church commitments while striving for the best quality of music for the liturgy. The demand of the liturgy is staggering. Secular choirs that I have worked with will take several months to prepare a concert, while we produce a whole hours worth of material every week!

Here are some resources and tools which I find to be essential in assisting singers in their preparation each week, especially when rehearsal time is limited.

Chant Tool

This is by far my favourite. It is available as a website and as a free app that is able to operate off line. Not all of my singers have a copy of the Liber or are completely familiar with how to navigate it yet. With drop-down menus for both the Traditional and Novus Ordo calendars, Mass Ordinaries, Propers and additional chants, this is a one stop shop for liturgical singers. It is possible to select full chants or to have them sent to a psalm tone, if required. Each week, in addition to publishing the music list, I set everything up, hit ‘Share Current Settings’ and forward the link generated to my schola. The chant tool plays the chant to you when you click on the score and the whole thing can be made into a pdf. You can even change the font size etc. Some of my singers use this for preparation, and some even use the app, with all the settings I shared, and sing from their phone. (We are out of sight!) The same site has a psalm tone tool too. I can’t recommend this highly enough.

Square Notes

This is also a great app that plays through the chant but it is not yet as comprehensive as the chant tool and it doesn’t have the additional chants available. The bookmark feature is good. Sometimes I use this on my phone for the ordinary of the Mass and my Liber for the Propers to save on page turns while playing the organ.

ICKSP website

Amazing website with PDF downloads of the Kyriale and Propers for every Mass of the year.

Booklets for the Office

I am very fortunate to be in a job where Sunday Vespers is sung and compline is sung monthly. While it is okay to sing the office from the Liber, as soon as a feast day occurs, it can be very difficult to navigate things, especially at the organ. These booklets make things a lot easier.

If you know of any useful resources for liturgical musicians that you would add to my list, please do get in touch!