Author Topic: Questions about schola  (Read 228 times)

Online Daniel

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Questions about schola
« on: November 02, 2020, 01:25:41 PM »
Why does the schola stand in a circle rather than all facing forward? And why does the schola stand at the back of the church (and/or in the choir loft)? Are these things symbolic, or is there some sort of practical reason?

Also, why is there always one guy in the schola sort of "flailing" his arms? I take it he's the leader, and he's giving hand signals to the other singers or something? What exactly is he doing?
« Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 01:29:34 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline The Harlequin King

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Re: Questions about schola
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2020, 02:17:51 PM »
Why does the schola stand in a circle rather than all facing forward?

It's a singing method to allow everyone to hear each other better and project each other's voices into a "ball" of sound in the center. It is not a required or universally used position, though. If I use an oversized folio, then we all sing facing the same direction, all looking at the same giant book.

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And why does the schola stand at the back of the church (and/or in the choir loft)?

The practice of having singers in the back of the church, or in a rear loft, was introduced after the 1600's to accommodate the then-new use of female singers, who began to replace the soprano voices formerly sung by boys. At the time, female singers were tolerated as long as they were outside of the sanctuary/chancel area. Today, the great majority of Catholic parish churches in the US are not built with choir stalls for singers. However, in the rare event that choir stalls are present, I usually put my schola chanters in them.

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Also, why is there always one guy in the schola sort of "flailing" his arms? I take it he's the leader, and he's giving hand signals to the other singers or something? What exactly is he doing?

He is directing the pace of the other chanters through the use of hand gestures.
 
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