The seven great hymns of the mediaeval church/The Alleluiatic Sequence

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THIS famous Sequence, which may be regarded as the parent of every Hallelujah Chorus that has been written since, was composed by Godescalcus, prior to the year 950—the year of his death. The little that is known of him is given by his translator.

"There is only one thing," says Dr. Neale, "with respect to the use of any of my hymns that has grieved me—the rejection of the noble melody of the Alleluiatic Sequence, and that for a third-rate chant. What would be said of chanting the Dies Iræ? And yet I really believe that it would suffer less than does the Cantemus cuncti by such a substitution. Further, be it noticed, every sentence—I had almost said every word—of the version was carefully fitted to the music, and the length of the lines corresponds to the length of each troparion in the original."

"If it be said that the original melody is difficult, I can only reply that I have frequently heard it sung by a choir of children, of ages varying from four to fourteen; and never more prettily than when, without any accompaniment at all, in the open fields—the very small ones joining in for the greater part with the whole of their little energy."—Mediæval Hymns.