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Not to be contradictory -- the program might be decent, and really something like this is really needed -- but in watching the first 15 minutes, I saw some problems:

[o] Father continually associates Do with C and Fa with F. This is only the case, of course, if one wants to make Do = C. Chant does not use a fixed pitch system, and setting Do as C would often place certain chants well outside singable range. Even when he corrects this and discusses the ability to shift the pitch, he then keeps talking about C as Do and Fa as F. The consistent comparison will fix this idea in a viewer's mind, even with a caveat.
[o] Father says that "Si" is used instead of "Ti". This is actually rather uncommon. Every training session I've attended has used "Ti" for the normal pitch one-half step below Do, and "Te" fr the pitch a full step below Do.
[o] The graphics are horrendous, and very difficult to read. Not only the handwritten stuff, but especially the whole wavy music and moving background.
[o] A piano is used, but a percussive instrument is very bad to use for chant since it suggests a choppy performance. Better is an organ, or an electronic keyboard set to a woodwind MIDI instrument (French Horn is typically very good).

I'm already excited about this video series.  I'm thus far very impressed and happy to see this being taught.

The first thing I noticed is the interactive nature of the course.  It's more professionally produced than most of the university videos of seen.

I find the other user's comments to be absolutely baffling.  Let me address them one by one.

Father mentions around the eighth minute that the "do" is movable.  But when you're teaching people who are only familiar with modern music, you can't throw too much information at them at once.  References to C and F are used as bridges to help students' understanding at this early stage.  This is good teaching, not misinformation.  At any rate, Father does mention it and even prefaces with apologies that he doesn't want to get too complicated in the first few minutes.

I have been taught Si.  The fact of the matter is there are two standards.  In this course, one standard is being used.  Father once again mentions the two standards.  Just because it's not what the other user learned doesn't make it wrong and it's hardly appropriate fodder for criticism.

Graphics look great to me.  You may want to check your connection or go see your eye doctor.

The piano is teaching tool and absolutely suffices for the purpose of playing notes, which is all that is required here.  Furthermore, it's familiar to the students.  This is a lecture-classroom setting, not an actual church.  Make a large donation and perhaps they can afford to put an organ in every available lecture room.  I for one think that's impractical and unnecessary.  Last time I checked, this content was free and I'm darned impressed at its quality.

Great job so far and I cannot wait for the next installment.
One correction, only the first episode is free. The rest will be available on CMTV's premium channel. I hope that when it's completed, CMTV puts out the DVD for an affordable price. They tend to sell their DVD sets for ridiculous prices.
(01-05-2015, 03:51 AM)withextraonions Wrote: [ -> ]Father mentions around the eighth minute that the "do" is movable.  But when you're teaching people who are only familiar with modern music, you can't throw too much information at them at once.  References to C and F are used as bridges to help students' understanding at this early stage.  This is good teaching, not misinformation.  At any rate, Father does mention it and even prefaces with apologies that he doesn't want to get too complicated in the first few minutes.

Agreed, but having been a music teacher and a choir and schola director specializing in Gregorian Chant for many years and an organist, I find the way it is presented far more complicated than necessary.

When teaching I would first teach the scale (quick and simple), then introduce the idea of Do being able to be at any pitch. I would not introduce modern musical ideas until very late, and then only if necessary.

Perhaps it's just a pedagogical different from experience, but I've found that mixing discussion of chant and modern music tends to actually confuse things far more than necessary, not serve as a bridge. In fact it is often harder to break trained modern musicians of their habits that do not translate to chant, than it is to teach one unfamiliar with music how to sing chant well.

I do understand that the presenter mentioned a movable Do. I mentioned that above. But he does so briefly and at 8 minutes in, after talking for a while about Do as 'C' and Fa as 'F' several times, throwing around modern clef names and theory, and then immediately after the movable do idea, switches right back to Do = C and Fa = F terminology.

(01-05-2015, 03:51 AM)withextraonions Wrote: [ -> ]I have been taught Si.  The fact of the matter is there are two standards.  In this course, one standard is being used.  Father once again mentions the two standards.  Just because it's not what the other user learned doesn't make it wrong and it's hardly appropriate fodder for criticism.

In over 20 years of modern musical training, over a decade of early music training, and a decade of teaching, directing and performing, I've not met common usage of 'Si' in chant or early music circles.

I would not presume to say it cannot be used, or is wrong. Rather, it is merely not as the presenter suggests -- he is very clear that 'Si' is used in chant and 'Ti' is not. That's not correct.

It is one more thing that potentially complicates and is bound to cause confusion with others later.

"We will use 'Si' in this course instead of 'Ti', though they mean the same thing," would be a fine, unconfusing, way of presenting the issue. I don't think this part was done well.

(01-05-2015, 03:51 AM)withextraonions Wrote: [ -> ]Graphics look great to me.  You may want to check your connection or go see your eye doctor.

The graphics look like they were from late 1990s infomercials. They're dated and badly done.

Whenever the chant is placed on the screen there's this odd moving parchment background. It's distracting and kitchy.

Whenever many chant pieces are brought onto this moving parchment background they comes in shaking back and forth like a poorly-chosen slide transition from PowerPoint 95.

There are very good typography programs for printing chant, instead, the presenter used a painting program that creates neums that are hard to see.

That, in my opinion, is not "professional", but rather looks very amateurish. (Add to that the 1990s era stage setup ... not as bad as Michael Matt's fake catacombs, though ...)

Again, in years of teaching I tried lots of different methods of writing chant in class. They absolute, bar-none, hands-down best: chalk and a chalkboard -- it's fast, accurate, legible -- school supply houses still sell the musical staff making tool, a small piece of chalk on its side makes clear accurate neums.

There are plenty of great learning videos that use chalkboards.[/quote]

(01-05-2015, 03:51 AM)withextraonions Wrote: [ -> ]The piano is teaching tool and absolutely suffices for the purpose of playing notes, which is all that is required here.  Furthermore, it's familiar to the students.  This is a lecture-classroom setting, not an actual church.  Make a large donation and perhaps they can afford to put an organ in every available lecture room.  I for one think that's impractical and unnecessary.

A grand piano costs several thousand dollars. A fairly decent synthesizer: $100. Advantage: the syntheziser can plug into the sound board, negating any need for miking, and for chant, especially for teaching, it does a far better job.

Familiarity to the students has nothing to do with the piano.

The problem with a piano and chant is that it very naturally teaches the singer to sing the notes in a staccato or at least separated manner, because that's the only sound the piano can generate. This is decidedly not how chant is meant to be sung.

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To be clear, I'm not saying this video is worthless. Having seen the first episode, and having teaching experience myself, I see lots of little problems. Those problems make the video and method unnecessarily confusing and not very user-friendly. I also see problems that can lead to teaching people bad habits when singing chant.

If this is paid content (indeed, it seems it is), I would not pay for it.

Such video series, done well, with professional credentialed presenters are very much necessary -- I just don't think this is one of them.
On Ti vs. Si, Si is the way it is done in countries which speak the Romance languages (since Ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation is based on Italian). My father is from Italy and I remember him always saying that he learned Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Si Do.

Wikipedia also agrees:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solf%C3%A8g...lf.C3.A8ge

Here's another link:
http://www.studybass.com/using-the-site/...rminology/

Father is also Italian as you can tell by his name. He also has a bit of an accent, so I'm sure he learned Si rather than Ti.