Project Description

The Gregorian Chant School

The Gregorian Chant School

The Gregorian Chant School, now in its 7th edition, consists of a series of study and in-depth courses of the greatest European musical and cultural heritage, as well as singing proper to the Roman Catholic Church. The initiative, launched on a national scale, boasts prestigious sponsorships and responds to a growing demand for art and beauty to which Accademia Corale Teleion, in collaboration with Cantori Gregoriani, has responded by activating various initiatives including themed workshops and the Summer Course of Gregorian chant. From this seventh year, the School enters the more articulated planning of AERCO Academy. This proposal – addressed in particular to choir directors, organists and singers – intends to deal in a systematic and rigorous way with the ancient manuscript sources of Gregorian chant. Ample space will also be reserved for executive practice and group exercises, aimed at singing the Holy Mass on the 6th Sunday of Easter, preceded by Vespers, at the Basilica of Santa Barbara in Mantua.

Each year of the Triennium can be repeated several times, finding the contents resubmitted, but applied to examples that are largely different each year. For those who wish, it is possible to enroll only in the theoretical online courses of Introduction to Gregorian Chant, Gregorian Semiology or Gregorian Paleography or to each single masterclass.

At the end of the three-year period, it will be possible, and highly recommended, to take the final exam useful for verifying one’s actual understanding and revision of what has been presented. It will consist of an interview with the teachers on the contents addressed during the three-year period, to be carried out during one of the three weekends in the presence of the third year according to the procedures communicated by the Commission itself. Students who have successfully passed the final examination of the three-year period will be able to enroll in the annual Master the following academic year.

From this year, the Yearbook of the Gregorian Chant School, published by AERCO, will also be activated, presenting articles by the teachers of the School. They will also propose an essay in the drafting of which the students of the Triennium and the annual Master can actively collaborate.

At the end of each year of the School, the Summer Course of Gregorian Chant is organized, according to methods made known in time, in which all students are encouraged to take part in order to complete the training.

It will be possible to obtain a certificate of participation having registered at least 70% of the attendance; the same minimum percentage is essential to be admitted to take the final three-year exam.

Gregorian Singing School (every year): 200 euros (100 euros for AERCO and Schola Gregoriana Ecce members)
Online course only: 50 euros (30 euros for AERCO and Schola Gregoriana Ecce students)
Single Masterclass (weekend Saturday-Sunday): 70 euros (50 euros for AERCO and Schola Gregoriana Ecce members)
Payment details (by bank transfer, credit card and PayPal) can be found on the registration form

To register, simply fill in the following form


Artistic director of the Gregorian Chant School: Luca Buzzavi
Artistic collaborator: Michael Guastalla

Diocese of Mantua – Liturgical office
Diocese of Ferrara – Liturgical office
C. G. Andreoli Foundation
Teleion Choral Academy

The Study Programs

1st year (three years) 2nd year (three years) 3rd year (three years)
Online Theoretical Courses Lesson modalities
Introduction to the Gregorian Chant 0 20
Gregorian Semiology 0 20
Gregorian Paleography 0 20
In Presence Theoretical-practical Courses
Repertoire of Proper and Ordinary P 12 12 12
Repertoire for the Liturgy of the Hours P 12 12 12
Vocalità Gregoriana P 9 9 9
Practical-theoretical Monographic Seminars P 9 9 9
Gregorian Notation Software A 10
Total hours 72 62 62

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Online Theoretical Courses Program

10 meetings, 20 hours: 1 meeting per week of 2 hours each, on Saturday afternoon from 2 to 4 pm, on the Zoom platform.

October 2020: Saturday 3-10-17-24 (no Saturday 31)
November 2020: Saturday 7-14-21-28
December 2020: Saturday 5-12

Teacher: Luca Buzzavi

The purposes
Provide the necessary knowledge to be able to access general exercises and in-depth courses.

Field of Study
Excerpts from the proprium missae, ordinarium missae and the Office’s repertoire will be analyzed.

Through the projection of synthetic presentations, illustrative images, plays and articles to support the lessons, the students will be accompanied through stimulating itineraries to take the first steps in the study of Gregorian Chant.

Topics and Exercises
The program will follow the following themes:

1 – Orientation on the tetragrammaton and Vatican notation

  • Tutorial: analysis of passages in square notation

2 – Forms and styles of Gregorian Chant (proprium, ordinarium and repertoire of the Liturgy)

  • Practice: stylistic-formal analysis of pieces from the Gregorian repertoire

3 – Structure of the adiastematic notations of Sangallo and Metense: from the monosonic neuma to the neumes of three sounds. Notes on conduction neumes and liquescence. Mode elements.

  • Exercise: simple retroversions and searches in the main adiastematic codes

4 – The text in the Gregorian Chant

  • Exercise: recognition of the types of textual interventions and research among the sources of the Antiphonale Missarum Sextuplex

5 – Elements of the Liturgy

  • Exercise: structuring of liturgical-musical programs.

Teacher: Angelo Corno

To deal with the main themes of Gregorian Semiology and to be able to perform retroversions with the Sangallese and Metense notations.

Field of study
Excerpts from the proprium missae, ordinarium missae and the repertoire of the Liturgy will be analyzed.

Clear didactic units will be addressed in the form of investigation and research itineraries in order to stimulate the students to learn the theoretical and practical contents.

The topics and exercises
The program will follow the following themes:

1 – The neumatic articulation

  • Exercise: analysis of passages, retroversions and research in the main adiastematic codes

2 – Liquescence

  • Practice: analysis of passages and research in manuscripts

3 – Special and conduction neumes

  • Exercise: analysis of passages, retroversions and research in the main adiastematic codes

4 – Neumes in unisonic contexts

  • Exercise: analysis of passages, retroversions and research in the main adiastematic codes

5 – Plurisonic neumes and sangallese and metense retroversions

  • Practice: analysis of passages and retroversion exercises

Teacher: Giorgio Merli

Provide the necessary knowledge to be able to analyze musical manuscripts of different eras containing repertoire of Gregorian liturgical chant and local rites surviving the period of unification of the Carolingian era, identifying: The location of the sheet examined (feast, time and liturgical moment) The type of manuscript as a function of the content (gradual, antiphonary, etc.) The type of notation, its dating, provenance and possible influences of mother notations.

Field of study
The analysis will focus in particular on the manuscripts of the various geographical areas starting from the first adiastematic testimonies, but some later testimonies up to the first printed editions will also be examined, limited to square notation and Gregorian chant).

The essential theoretical discussion will be as limited as possible: we will try to make immediate reference, for each topic, to the handwritten testimonies through specific exercises. The “in-the-field” investigation aims to make the discussion of topics interesting that otherwise would risk appearing dry.

Topics and exercises

1 – The various types of liturgical books with musical notation (gradual, antiphonary, missal, hymnal, processional, etc.)

  • Exercise: analysis of manuscript pages with the aim of identifying their typology

2 – Notes on the theories about the birth of musical notation. The classification criteria of a notation. Specific characteristics of the sangallese and metense notations, useful as a reference for the other notations.

  • Exercise: analysis of manuscript pages with the aim of identifying the main characteristics of the notation

3 – Analysis of the main notational families divided by geographic areas (Paleofranca, German/Sangallese, Metense, Breton, Mozarabic, Aquitaine, French, Italian): first evidence and subsequent developments. Theoretical notations.

  • Exercise: analysis of manuscript pages of the various notational families

A self-administered course in Gregorian Notation Software will be available to all students of the Gregorian Chant School in the form of a tutorial.

Presence Course Programs

Three weekends, Saturday-Sunday, indicative times (some changes may be made due to logistical needs)

Saturday: 10-13; 15-19
Sunday: 9-13; 15-18

20-21 February 2021 (Mirandola)
20-21 March 2021 (place to be communicated)
8-9 May 2021 (Mantua)

Docenti: Teachers:  Corno, Giorgio Merli, Luca Buzzavi, Michael Guastalla

Lessons for homogeneous and ensemble groups dedicated to the performance practice of the repertoire of the Proper and the Ordinary, with particular attention to the pieces that will be performed on the final weekend in Mantua. Elements of Gregorian choral conducting.

Teachers: Angelo Corno, Giorgio Merli, Luca Buzzavi, Michael Guastalla

Lessons for homogeneous groups and as a whole dedicated to the performance practice of the repertoire of the Liturgy, with particular attention to the pieces analyzed during the online theoretical courses. Elements of Gregorian leadership. In the Repertory modules, topics related to: textual composition, liturgical contextualization, Gregorian forms and styles, modalities will also be addressed.

Teacher: Roberto Spremulli

1 – Phono-articulatory and respiratory system: physiological aspects; breathing zones and their conscious and functional use to the repertoire; sound production area; vocal cords and larynx; sound amplification zone; spaces of resonance and development of harmonic sounds.
2 – The voice and the registers: conscious and functional use of the repertoire; chest register; center register (mixed zone); head register; falsetto register.
3 – Vocal behavior of the single chorister, of the group and intonation; aspects related to the speaking technique; aspects related to the quality of phonemes and single vowels; aspects related to modal / tonal growth and to the individual and group ear; aspects related to the ability to develop functional intervals for vocal intonation.

Vocality and performance practice: semiological experience, attack, detachment, legate, vibrato, repercussion, correct diction, comprehensibility of the text, syllabic articulation and liquescence, voice and dynamics, use of breathing in the interpretative context, passages to acute and grave.

VOCALIZATION PROPOSALS: functional to the repertoire and performance

COLUMN DEDICATED TO CONTEMPORARY LITURGICAL COMPOSITION: each year a polyphonic piece written specifically by a contemporary composer active in Music for the Liturgy will be proposed within the repertoire of the School. For the year 2020/2021, a voice will be given to the motet Et Resurrexit by Giovanni Geraci, director of the Musical Chapel of the Cathedral of Verona, published by Edizioni Carrara.

A guest Gregorian expert will participate in each weekend in presence of and will hold a theoretical-practical seminar concerning the repertoire under study. For the 2020-2021 academic year the following are envisaged:

Seminar 1, curated by Matteo Cesarotto
The repertoire of San Giovanni Battista: a network of citations

Seminar 2, curated by Franco Radicchia
The Laudario of Cortona

Seminar 3, curated by Angelo Corno, Giorgio Merli, Michael Guastalla, Licia Mari
The repertoire of the saints of the main Mantuan churches.

The essential text will be the Graduale Triplex.

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