Bogota, Colombia 2003
Chironomy is the conductor's gestures
of the hands in order to show the rhythmic elements of the musical
work and their different shades; the purpose of Chironomy is to
achieve the most perfect interpretation.
The chironomy of gregorian chant is based on the indication
of the compound times as they are those that allow to perceive
with more clarity the pulsations of the rhythmic movement. (1)
The two fundamental movements are those that describe
the arsis and the theses.
The arsis is represented by an upward curved movement
from left to right, and its beginning coincides exactly with that
of the compound time.
The succession of compound arsic
times is meant by upward undulant movements in spire:
The thesis is represented with
a descending curved movement from left to right. The inferior
part of the curve coincides with the beginning of the compound
The succession of compound thetic
times is meant by descending undulant movements:
The movements are combined according
to the requirements of the form of the rhythms:
When the piece begins with a
simple arsic time, the simple time of elision serves
as a preventive movement, either that the following time be arsic
When the piece begins directly
with a compound time, the time made up of elision serves
as a preventive descending movement when the first compound time
is arsic, and upward when the first compound time is thetic:
When a dividing great line is
part of an arsic compound time, she is constituted in the beginning
of the upward circular movement:
When a dividing great line is
part of a compound thetic time, and the following period begins
with a compound arsic, the dividing line can be taken as a
preventive simple time of that compound arsic time.
If the period that follows the
dividing line begins with a compound thetic time, the dividing
line can be considered as a preventive simple time of
that thetic compound time, with an upward wave:
The chironomy which is
based on elementary rhythms has two fundamental movements:
an upward right movement for the arsis and a descending right
movement for the thesis, represented graphically in pyramidal
form, so the beginning of the arsis coincides with the peak:
some cases in which the employment of this resource possesses
a. - In the succession
of paroxytonic words, when the music coincides with the accentuation
of the words, that is to say, high sound for the syllable of tonic
accent, and low sound for the final syllable. The chironomy enhances
the effect of this coincidence.
b. - In the clivis and other
neumes succession when, exceptionally, the episema is not in the
first sound of the neume. The chironomy enhances the contrast
effect between arsic high sounds and thetic low sounds.
c. - In the cases of elementary rhythms with two simple
times as arsis, the chironomy can highlight the effect of that rhythmic
disposition. The arsis bends it means with ascending curve after
the simple thetic time that is marked with adjusted horizontal
movement to the duration of that simple time:
There are occasions in which
it is possible to mark simple times, if some expression factor
or uniformity is required, using the modern way of beating times.
Chironomy that includes marking for
graphically in pyramidal form.
(1) JUSTINE WARD. Canto
gregoriano, p. 41, Nestlé & ci., Rome, 1938.
JACHINO, CARLO. Ritmo musical.
Enciclopedia Italiana, Vol. XXIX.
LIBER USUALIS MISAE ET OFFICII.
Desclée & Socii, Bélgica, 1956. All examples
have been taken in here.
MARTÍNEZ SOQUES, FERNANDO,
Sch. P. Método de canto gregoriano. Ed. Pedagógica,
RIEMANN HUGO. Composición
musical. Ed. Labor, Barcelona, 1923.
RIEMANN, H. Fraseo musical.
Ed. Labor, Barcelona, 1928.
RIEMANN, H. Teoría
general de la música. Ed. Labor, Barcelona, 1945.
SUÑOL, GREGORIO MARIA,
O.S.B. Método completo de Canto gregoriano,
9ª. Ed., Monasterio de Monserrat, 1952.
WARD, JUSTINE. Canto
gregoriano. Desclée & Ci., Roma, 1938.
Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the author's
Bogotá, Colombia. 2003