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Past Subjects

  • Organ Accompaniment of Gregorian Chant [Part I] ... click for description

  • Organ Accompaniment of Gregorian Chant [Part II] ... click here

  • A Festival of Lessons and Carols: How to Plan Your Own ... click here

  • Anglican Chant - Roots, Historical Performance, and Liturgical Applications ... click here

  • Saint Ambrose of Milan - His Life, the Liturgy, and the Chant ... click here

"May I view recordings from past lectures?"

We at the ICA know that people learn best in an enjoyable, interactive learning environment. The ICA classroom is a safe, fun, nurturing and professional atmosphere, born from live relationships between real people. Live class attendance is the standard at the ICA. 

We understand that life happens, however, and occasionally will make exceptions to this policy, particularly if a subject might not be offered again for awhile. Out of respect to those who have already paid full tuition, as well as our commitment to the gold standard of live instruction, we limit recording access to those who are willing to pay the same tuition as a student who attended the lecture live. 

To request access to a recording, fill out the application linked here.

Organ II
Organ I
Lesson and Carols

Organ Accompaniment of Gregorian Chant [Part I]:

To Play or Not to Play, That Is the Question

Examining organ accompaniment of chant, styles and principles, plus tips to craft your own.

60-minute live, online lecture by Dr. Horst Buchholz. Read bio...

The subject of chant accompaniment is a topic of lively discussion in the chant community. When might one wish to accompany chant? What does accompaniment do to the chant? These and other questions will be investigated, especially with regard to the relationship of organ support to congregational singing.

The bottom line: there are many ways to accompany chant depending on the situation, and there are a number of critical factors that will determine your success. We will explore these factors: whether or not to play the melody, how to determine chords and inversions, alternatim singing of schola and congregation, use of organ stops, manuals and pedals (or manuals only), observations about male and female voices, and improvisation.

Lecture will provide items of interest to beginning and experienced organists alike, and study materials to “take home". Several demonstrations will be included, with a Q and A session to follow.

Organ Accompaniment of Gregorian Chant [Part II]

Techniques for crafting your own organ scores for the accompaniment of Gregorian chant. 

60-minute live, online lecture by Dr. Horst Buchholz. Read bio...

Part II builds upon the basic techniques of chant accompaniment learned in Part I, expanding with harmonic coloring and transposition of chants. Freer forms of organ accompaniment (e.g. without melody) and melodies in the left hand (tenor cantus) will also be examined. Q and A session to follow.

prerequisite: completion of Part I

A Festival of Lessons and Carols: How to Plan Your Own

Tune your parish into the spirit of the Christmas season with this popular alternative to the traditional Christmas concert.

60-minute live, online lecture by Dr. Horst Buchholz. Read bio...

One of the most popular alternatives to your traditional Christmas concert during the Advent season is a Festival of Lessons and Carols. While many think of this as an English (or Anglican) invention, the roots of a service with readings, music, and prayer are much older. The most famous Lessons and Carols is from the Anglican tradition, sung annually at King's College in Cambridge, but there are many possible variations of this service. Even the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops has proposed a model for it to be used in Catholic churches.

The readings may be geared toward Advent or Christmas, depending on the date of the celebration, and an Epiphany Lessons and Carols is even possible. The musical choices are endless and can include "carols" in many different forms: choral, congregational, and instrumental. We will examine a few models for this beautiful celebration which is neither a Roman Catholic liturgy, nor a concert, and leaves many options to tune yourself, your choir, and your congregation more deeply into the spirit of the Christmas season.

Q and A session to follow.

Anglican Chant - Roots, Historical Performance, and Liturgical Applications

The historic development from Fauxbourdon to Anglican chant and practical options in the Roman Rite.


60-minute live, online lecture by Dr. Horst Buchholz. Read bio...

The musical form of chant has extraordinary ability to breathe life into a sung text. Since each language has its own distinctive characteristics, a challenge naturally arises: How does one fit the text of one language to a chant tone or melody that was developed for use in another language? More to our purpose: How does one align texts in English (a language with far more single syllable words than Latin, lacking consistency in word accents, and exhibiting sizable range in sentence length) to chant tones and melodies which were composed for use with Latin texts?

We will trace the historical treatment of this problem, from the development of fauxbourdon (a harmonized form of chant) into today’s Anglican chant. An analysis of the workings of Anglican chant will ensue, followed by practical applications: how to fit an English text to an Anglican chant setting, and special considerations for accompaniment and conducting of the chant. We will also touch briefly on other tones which are better adapted to the English language than their Latin counterparts.

Lecture will conclude with a Q and A session and an abundance of digital materials for further study.

Saint Ambrose of Milan - His Life, the Liturgy, and the Chant

An introduction to the life and legacy of this Italian saint, combined with an overview of the Milanese Rite, and multiple samples of Ambrosian chant.

60-minute live, online lecture by Dr. Horst Buchholz. Read bio...

A spiritual giant in the Catholic Church, Saint Ambrose is credited with writing such timeless hymns as the Te Deum and Veni, Creator Spiritus. He also introduced many significant alterations to the Liturgy in Milan during his reign as bishop in the late fourth century. His enduring influence through countless generations has contributed to the survival of the ancient Milanese Rite into the present day.

This lecture will highlight unique characteristics of the Milanese Liturgy, and bring insight to the distinctive nature of Ambrosian chant. While these chants seem overshadowed by Gregorian chant, the Ambrosian repertory remains untouched by the many revisions and codifications which were imposed over history upon the Gregorian repertory, mainly because the Ambrosian Rite was so geographically limited. In spite of its ancient origins, and its adherence to a modal system which predates the traditional eight modes, Ambrosian chant exhibits a musical form freer of strict rules and systems, and includes melismas which surpass even the most complex of Gregorian chants.

Several samples of Ambrosian chant will be examined, as well as some liturgically appropriate ways to incorporate this distinctive form of chant into the Roman Rite liturgy. A Q and A session will follow, and students will receive a number of PDFs for further study.

Anglican Chant
Ambrosian Chant
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