REPERTORIUM: Building our Future from our Past

A new three-year project named REPERTORIUM has been awarded a 3 million euro Horizon Research and Innovation grant by the European Commission and will commence on January 1, 2023. The project was ranked first out of 55 applications received and given perfect marks. The evaluation praised the project, saying, “The ambitious aims of the project are excellently presented and highly credible… Cutting-edge technologies and research contribute exceptionally well to identifying ways of effectively promoting common European interests at a global level, leveraging resources of European Musical Heritage and forging closer cooperation between cultural, creative and economic partners.” The Linares School of Engineering heads the project consortium, comprising participants from 8 countries (Spain, Holland, Italy, Finland, Germany, United Kingdom, France and Lithuania). Partners include the University of Oxford, the Complutense Institute of Musical Sciences in Madrid, the Polytechnic of Milan, the University of Tampere, the University of Alicante, creative marketing firm in Hamburg, the cultural technology developer ODRATEK BV, developer Spork Digital in UK, the French Association Musicologie Médiévale, the Hispanic Association for the Study of Gregorian Chant, and the Lithuanian National Philharmonic.

The project

REPERTORIUM stands for Researching and Encouraging the Promulgation of European Repertory through Technologies Operating on Records Interrelated Utilising Machines. The project operates in two primary spheres, musicology and sound processing. 

In musicology, it combines multimodal artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning (DL) solutions to perform optical music recognition (OMR) and music information retrieval (MIR) across multiple music datasets. The project will provide a technological platform for preserving European musical heritage through databases of medieval and classical works. These will be enriched through manuscript digitisation (OMR), music information retrieval (MIR) techniques, and audio-to-score (A2S) technology using AI techniques, allowing automatic data linkage with other relevant existing databases worldwide. 

Over 400.000 ancient manuscript images will be scanned and digitised from the Solesmes archive and made available for musicological study through Oxford’s DIAMM portal. Over two million musical works will be correlated for concordance amongst the Solesmes dataset and external datasets such as the Cantus Index network. Approximately 4.000 novel chants are expected to be discovered and prioritised for manual indexing. A total of 127.000 chants will be manually indexed for OMR DL training purposes. Approximately 2.200 hours of Gregorian chants sung in the Tridentine forms, corresponding to the manuscript tradition, will be recorded at Le Barroux (France). Between 1.800 and 3.000 handwritten operatic aria manuscripts will be digitised from ICCMU’s DIDONE database.

The sound processing outcomes will build upon these corpora by applying so-called “weakly informed” uses of score knowledge to DL sound spectral analysis, algorithmic beamforming techniques, and psychoacoustics models. This combination will empower technologies for state-of-the-art real-time instrument sound source separation (SSS) specifically adapted for classical music. Cost-effective audio-immersive recording tools will be built upon AI-based stochastic signal processing and spatial audio ambisonics, leveraging the system’s score knowledge, A2S, and spectral analysis results. The performance of current 3D-audio rendering techniques is limited by the number of expensive High Order Microphones used and incurs high computational costs. Repertorium will create novel hybrid solutions for sound field reconstruction that will be flexible in terms of computational and hardware requirements (combining less expensive linear microphone arrays and data-driven methodologies) and will work in real time. Metaverse-ready immersive technologies will be tested through two streamed symphonic concerts allowing the public to freely “wander about” fully immersive spatial audio sound scenes. Users will select among 360° video hotspots for a complete AV experience. 


Performance and recording of the novel Gregorian chants will bring recovered melodies to life not heard in over 1000 years. An opera will also be staged, showcasing music engraved using the OMR results of the DIDONE database. Dedicated promotional activities will be coordinated closely with relevant stakeholders, including multiple technical workshops to show the SSS and “minus-one” features in conservatories and music schools. The consortium will attend several international scientific conferences and trade fairs, publish a minimum of 15 scientific papers, and generate additional educational actions and materials aimed at the broader public. 

The project outcomes will impact both musicological and sound processing areas. Repertorium will immediately impact musicological scholarship through its digitisation efforts. Four-thousand novel Gregorian chants are expected to be highlighted for study. This impact in preserving and evaluating musical heritage will extend to future digitisation efforts worldwide through the resulting OMR, MIR, and A2S toolsets. An API will make the developed linked data model and AI-assisted semantic enrichment techniques available to other projects. These tools will also aid commercial music publishers interested in digitising back catalogues. The recordings of Le Barroux’s chants will be published through Neumz.

In terms of sound processing, new commercial products connecting orchestras and labels to the public in the most immersive 3D sonic experience yet created will enhance streaming revenues. Solutions for music students to create real-time, on-demand minus-one versions of their favourite recordings will revolutionise at-home practice.

A human-centred digital world

Overall, Repertorium will generally widen the accessibility, appeal, and knowledge of classical music heritage among the public and academics. In addition, the project represents a significant step towards creating a general musical artificial intelligence with machine equivalents for eyes, ears, memory, intellect, and imagination. Doing so is an essential first step in exploring the AI-human values alignment problem by making European cultural heritage available to machine learning solutions. The project is an essential task towards the evolution of artificial intelligence that can authentically reflect human civilisation’s values while achieving its programmers’ objectives. Repertorium builds our future from our past by preparing the ground for an AI to understand and conform to human intentions, preferences, and goals as embodied in centuries of European civilisation’s traditions and artefacts, in addition to our instructions. Repertorium will serve as a model in shaping our new human-centred digital world. 

  • Complete Gregorian Chant

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Neumz is the only complete recording of all Gregorian Chant in the world. More than 7000 hours in an App for iOS and Android

The entire Gregorian chant repertory, recorded by the community of Benedictine nuns of the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Fidélité of Jouques, in French Provence.

Each chant is synchronised with its square-note score, the Latin text, and its translation into the user’s language.

Neumz is the first and only complete recording and the first complete digital resource for liturgical materials. The contents of the Psalter, Lectionary, Collectary, Antiphonary, Responsoriary, and Gradual are assembled into a 21st-century multimedia “Liber Digitalis” chant book.



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About the Project

Neumz is the largest recording project ever undertaken.

From a hill that rises above the banks of the Durance River, this community of forty-five nuns at the Abbey of Jouques lives withdrawn from the bustle of modern life, in communion with nature and in quiet contemplation. Their life is regularized by the rhythm of ora et labora, prayer and work, the centerpiece of the Rule of St. Benedict. Their days are divided by the regular Offices of the Liturgy of the Hours and include daily Mass.

Their years follow the Earth’s seasons and the Liturgical Calendar, a cycle of feast days that celebrate the Church’s Saints through which they meditate on Holy Scripture. The complete project covers three years of recordings. It presents the entire Gregorian repertoire, including thousands of pieces (the equivalent of more than 7000 CDs).

The Chants are recorded in high resolution by engineers of Odradek Records, a non-profit, democratic, artist-ledlabelbased in the United States with astudioin Italy.


“… the recordings of clear unaccompanied voices are speckled with authentic sounds such as the creak of wooden benches, the occasional coughing or dropping of prayer books and bell chimes.”

The Guardian

“A bold idea that the American [founder] had during his music studies at Oxford. At that time he often visited his aunt, who lived as [a sister] at the monastery in Jouques, and experienced an atmosphere that all the theory at university could not convey: the mysteriously archaic, quiet and remote world of Gregorian chant. Today he wants to get the chant out of its sacred seclusion and bring it to everyone, so that they too can get to know the ‘basis of the western musical tradition’.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine

“The nuns in the community, founded in 1967, hope that the revenue from the recording project will allow them to fund better their Abbey’s daughter-house in Africa, and [that the project will] give ‘peace, consolation, hope, and a sense of communion’ to those isolated by the coronavirus pandemic.”

The Tablet

Abbey of Notre-Dame de Fidélité

Abbey of Notre-Dame de Fidélité of Jouques, in French Provence.

Abbey of Jouques

The Order at Jouques, France

The Abbey of Notre-Dame de Fidélité is a monastery of Benedictine nuns located in Jouques, near Aix-en-Provence. Founded in 1967, by the nuns from the Abbey of Saint-Louis du Temple of Limon, the convent became an autonomous priory in 1970, becoming an abbey in 1981. The growth of the community allowed them to found the abbey Notre-Dame de Miséricorde in Rosans in the diocese of Gap in 1991, and then the monastery Notre-Dame de l’Écoute in Benin (Pèporiyakou, diocese of Natitingou) in 2005. The third abbess of Jouques, Mother Marie Monique Guttin, was elected on August 3, 2017. As of 2020, the community in Jouques includes forty-five sisters, aged 26 to 85.

For more info, please visit


Abbey of Jouques

Abbey of Notre-Dame de Fidélité of Jouques, in French Provence.

Gregorian Chant

The Greatest Love Song Ever Recorded

Sung for over 1000 years without interruption

Gregorian Chant

Gregorian chant is the chant of the Western Church.
Its origins date to the 8th century, and it quickly spread throughout Europe. The Benedictine Order adopted it as its Chant repertory for its liturgy and has cultivated it ever since. Neumes, in Latin neuma, are signs that represent one or more sounds in notation.

The Monastic Day

The monastic day, which follows the rhythm of the Sun, bases itself on Psalm 113, A solis ortu usque ad occasum laudabile nomen Domini,

“from the rising of the sun to its going down,
The Lord’s name is to be praised.”

The whole day is centered around the Mass, which is its central axis, and is punctuated by hours of prayer from the Divine Office, also called the Liturgy of the Hours.

The Divine Office

In his Rule, Saint Benedict provides for a balanced division to the monk’s day, shared between the prayer of the Office – or prayer of the Hours, designated according to the progress of the course of the sun – and Lectio Divina, manual or intellectual work, and rest.

Unlike the Mass repertoire, the Divine Office is essentially composed of Antiphons (a sort of refrain) that introduce and conclude the recitation of the Psalms, as well as Responses (which can be more or less ornate), Readings, Hymns, and opening and closing Prayers. Saint Benedict stipulated in his Rule that the monks sing the entire Psalter, the book of Psalms, every week, and this has been done since the 6th century.

Neumz offers the possibility of listening to the canonical hours of the first morning prayer (Ad Matutinum), followed by lauds (Ad Laudes), passing through the so-called minor hours (Third, Sixth and Ninth) until arriving in the evening at the song of Vespers (Ad Vesperas), to end the day with the prayer of Compline (Ad Completorium).

    • Matins: 5 a.m.,
    • composed of two or three Nocturns,
    • followed by breakfast
    • and personal prayer
    • Lauds: 7.30 a.m.
    • Terce: 10.30 a.m.
    • on Feast days
    • followed by Mass
    • and then work
    • Sext: 12.45 p.m.,
    • followed by lunch,
    • rest and reading time
    • None: 2.45 p.m.,
    • followed by work
    • Vespers: 5.30 p.m.
    • followed by Chapter
    • (community reunion)
    • and recreation
    • Compline: 8 p.m.
    • followed by the Great Silence
    • of the night

Canonical hours

Canonical hours or Offices represent the division of the Christian day, with fixed prayers said or sung at particular times. They are sometimes referred to as the Canonic hours of the monastic office, the Liturgy of the Hours, or the Divine Office. A Book of Hours contains a selection of these prayers, often elaborately decorated. The roots of this practice were formalised in the 8th century, and in the 11th century the followers of the Order of St Benedict further reformed the hours to reflect the liturgy.

The Gregorian chant used to sing the offices will usually involve Antiphons based on Psalms, with more complex Great Responsories sung at Matins, contrasting with the simpler Short Responsories of the Lesser Hours and Compline.

At the end of the Office, one of four Marian antiphons is sung: Alma Redemptoris Mater, Ave Regina caelorum, Regina caeli laetare, or Salve, Regina. These are relatively late chants, dating from the 11th century, and are richer and more complex than most Office antiphons.

The Mass

Neumz offers all the parts,
sung, chanted, or recited
in Latin of the Mass and the Office.

Thus, for the Mass, the songs of the Ordinary (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei) and of each day’s Propers (Introitus, Graduale, Tractus, Alleluja, Offertorium and Communio) can be heard according to the liturgical cycle.

Structure of the Mass

The Mass is the main form of worship in the Roman Catholic Church, and is divided into two main parts: the liturgy of the Word, which includes Biblical readings and often a sermon, and the liturgy of the Eucharist, culminating in the sacrament of Holy Communion.

The word ‘mass’ comes from the Latin ‘missa’ used at the end of the service to dismiss the congregation: Ite, missa est. The word ‘Catholic’ means ‘universal’, and the idea behind the Latin Mass was to worship in one universal language that could be understood by anyone in any part of the world. Following the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s, it became more common for the Mass to be said in the vernacular.

In the tradition of Gregorian plainchant, all sections of the Mass may be sung, including the Proper of the Mass. Many of the most intricate and complex Gregorian chants are found in parts of the Mass with shorter, repeating texts such as the Kyrie and the Agnus Dei; in expansive texts such as the Gloria and the Credo; and in Offertories, some of the oldest examples of which are particularly ornate.

The Structure of the Mass (Ordinary Form)

Also referred to as the “Novus Ordo”, or the “Mass of Paul VI”.

The Ordinary

The Ordinary of the Mass varies very little regardless of the liturgical context or season, and consists of five main sections, often used in musical Mass settings: the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei.

Sunday Mass usually begins with the anointing of the congregation with holy water, an act known as the Asperges. One of two antiphons may be sung by the celebrant at this point: Asperges me, or Vidi aquam, which is sung between Easter and Pentecost. Both antiphons are structured like the Introit of the Mass: first verse 1 (which includes Alleluias during Eastertide), then verse 2 (taken from the Psalms), then in the Mass of Pius V (the “extraordinary” form) followed by the Gloria Patri doxology (which though is omitted in Passiontide and never used in the “ordinary” form of the Mass of Paul VI), and finally a reprise of verse 1. The Vidi aquam antiphon chant is usually more florid and expansive than Asperges me.

Asperges me

Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor,
Lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

(Extraordinary Form Only)

Thou wilt sprinkle me, O Lord, with hyssop and I shall be cleansed
Thou wilt wash me, and I shall be washed whiter than snow.
Pity me, O God, according to Thy great mercy.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Vidi aquam

Vidi aquam egredientem de templo, a latere dextro, alleluia:
Et omnes ad quos pervenit aqua ista, salvi facti sunt,
Et dicent: alleluia, alleluia.

I saw water flowing out of the Temple, from its right side, Alleluia:
And all who came to this water were saved,
And they shall say: Alleluia, Alleluia.

Unusually, the Kyrie is in Greek rather than Latin. In the Extraordinary Rite, it consists of three articulations of Kyrie eleison (Lord, have mercy), three utterances of Christe eleison (Christ, have mercy) and a final threefold Kyrie eleison. In the Ordinary Rite, with the exception of some Kyrie versions where the melody cannot allow for it, there are often only two articulations. Chant melodies often reflect the clear structure of this part of the Mass. For example, some melodies may set the final three pronouncements of Kyrie eleison at a higher pitch than during the first segment of the Kyrie, to create a sense that we are building to a climax or conclusion.
A doxology is an expression of praise; we have already encountered the Gloria Patri doxology. For the Gloria in the Ordinary of the Mass we hear the Greater Doxology, a longer text beginning with the words Gloria in excelsis deo, as sung by the angels in Luke’s account of the birth of Christ. Owing to the length of this text, chant settings are often broken into musical sentences that correspond with the flow of the words.

Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. Laudamus te, benedicimus te, adoramus te, glorificamus te, gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam, Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens.

Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe, Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis; qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram. Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis.

Quoniam tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dominus, tu solus Altissimus, Jesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu: in gloria Dei Patris. Amen.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God almighty Father.

Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.

For You alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

The Credo is a recitation of the Nicene Creed, a list of key beliefs originally compiled at the First Council of Nicaea (now in Turkey) in the 4th century AD. As with the Gloria, the length of the text lends itself to natural breaks in the chant. The Credo was the last Ordinary chant to be added to the Mass, so there are relatively few different Credo melodies in the Gregorian tradition.

Credo in unum Deum,
Patrem omnipotentem,
factorem cæli et terræ,
visibilium omnium et invisibilium.

Et in unum Dominum, Jesum Christum,
Filium Dei unigenitum,
et ex Patre natum ante omnia sæcula.
Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero,
genitum, non factum, consubstantialem Patri:
per quem omnia facta sunt.

Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem
descendit de cælis.
Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto
ex Maria Virgine, et homo factus est.

Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato;
passus et sepultus est,
et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas,
et ascendit in cælum, sedet ad dexteram Patris.
Et iterum ventirus est cum gloria,
judicare vivos et mortuos,
cujus regni non erit finis.

Et in Spíritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem:
qui ex Patre Filióque procedit.
Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur:
qui locutus est per prophetas.

Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam.
Confíteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum.
Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum,
et vitam venturi sæculi. Amen.

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins,
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
‘Sanctus’ means ‘Holy’ and this chant starts with three declarations of the word (deriving from the threefold “kadosh” of the Jewish prayer known as the Kedushah):

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt cæli et terra gloria tua.
Hosanna in excelsis.

Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Hosanna in excelsis.

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

The second part of this prayer is the Benedictus. The Sanctus and Benedictus are heard at the end of the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer. The clear structure of the Sanctus and Benedictus, especially the repetition of key phrases, is often reflected in the musical structures of the chants.
This poignant prayer emphasises the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ for all people: He is the Lamb of God. As with other prayers that feature repeated phrases, the chant often echoes the clear pattern of the words.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace.
These words technically belong to the Ordinary of the Mass, although they are so brief that they are often omitted from musical Mass settings, and have not been subject to the array of varied chants composed for other sections of the Mass. The Ite, missa est is the usual dismissal at the end of the Mass, replaced by the Benedicamus Domino in penitential masses that omit the Gloria, sung during periods such as Eastertide and Advent.

Ite, missa est defies straightforward translation, essentially meaning: “Go, it (the congregation) is dismissed”. The deeper implications of mission and evangelisation have sometimes been brought into vernacular dismissals. The chant for Benedicamus Domino (“Let us bless the Lord”) is often identical to that of Ite, missa est. The Benedicamus Domino is also sung as a versicle at the end of all Offices of the canonical hours. The response is Deo gratias: “Thanks be to God”.

The Propers

The Proper of the Mass encompasses other sections that may vary according to the liturgical context or time of year, including the Introit, Graduale, Alleluia (except Lent), Tract (Lent), Offertory and Communion.

The Introit or Entrance Antiphon is sung as the officiants enter. It usually consists of a refrain known as an antiphon, followed by a Psalm verse (time permitting), a repeat of the antiphon, an intonation of the Gloria Patri doxology, and a final reprise of the antiphon. The Introit’s melodies are often characterised by reciting tones, when one note is repeated many times as the words are articulated.
Graduals are sung after a reading from the New Testament. A Gradual is a responsorial chant, often alternated with an ornate verse which is usually sung by a solo cantor, and is sometimes followed by a reprise of the opening section to create a symmetrical three-part structure. Gradual melodies are often created through a process called centonization, in which stock motifs are spliced together, creating a family of distinct but related melodies.

The Alleluia is sung before a reading from the Gospel, except during penitential seasons such as Lent, when a Tract is sung. Alleluias are in two sections: the Alleluia itself followed by the ‘Psalm verse’. These are linked using a jubilus. This is a long, joyful melisma (many notes to one syllable) on the last vowel of the ‘Alleluia’; we hear the same jubilus at the end of the verse. The Tract chant, like the Gradual, is often formed using centonization and is usually based on a Psalm text.

The practice of adding words to the expansive melismata of the Alleluia jubilus is thought to have evolved into another chant form known as Sequences. These sung poems, structured using couplets, are not part of the official liturgy but represent an important part of the Gregorian repertory.
Offertories are sung during the preparation of the Eucharistic offerings of bread and wine. Before the 12th century, Gregorian chants for the Offertory often included highly elaborate verses, but this practice later died out, and the Offertory came to be structured in a similar way to the Gradual or other responsorial chants, with a contrasting verse followed by a repetition of the opening section, known as a repetenda.
Communion chants are sung during the distribution of the Eucharist, and resemble the structure of the Introit: an antiphon (refrain) with, optionally, a series of Psalm verses. Some Communion chants are tonally ambiguous and can be difficult to categorise in relation to the standard Gregorian chant modes.

More Information on

Gregorian Chant:

History of Gregorian Chant

A short introduction
How to read Square Note Notation

Differences between New and Old Rites

Structure of the Tridentine Mass
Other Chants – Western and Eastern Traditions

Catholic Rites and Variations
The Neumatic Notation Systems
     of the 9th and 10th Centuries

By Dominique Gatté


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