The melodic index

A more thorough explanation (in English) of the fingerprint method, including a validation of the method and a comparison with other methods can be found in:
Ton Meijer / Martin J. M. Hoondert / Menno M. van Zaanen: "ChantFinder: A melodic index to Anglican chants", Jahrbuch für Liturgik und Hymnologie 57. Band, 2018 p. 216

In this melodic index to the Anglican chants, chants from a number of chant books are included. The index is based on the succession of (semi-tone) intervals in the melody rather than the relative position with respect to the first note (as used in The New Saint Paul’s Cathedral chant book). This sequence is called the "fingerprint". The example below illustrates the method for an F-major Single chant. The resulting (full) fingerprint is: 0 2 2 3 -2 -1 -2 0 -2.


The fingerprint is fully independent of the actual key in which the melody is composed. Even though many chants in the various chant books are transposed, they still give the same fingerprint. Since the first few notes of a chant are usually sufficient to identify the chant, in this index only the first five intervals are used as the fingerprint. For the example, the fingerprint used in the index is 0 2 2 3 -2. In addition to the fingerprint, the actual key and the first note are given for each occurrence of a chant with a particular fingerprint.

In certain chants grace notes or other embellishments are used. This means that chants that are basically the same, but have different embellishments in the various chant books, may have multiple fingerprints in the index. In this index grace notes have been omitted, but passing notes (and, if applicable, suspensions or anticipations) are included, the smallest note value used being one eigth note. Whenever a whole note is used in a measure (apart from the reciting note) two half notes are included in the fingerprint.

The numbering of chants in the chant books can be very different. Some chant books (e.g. The Anglican Psalter) use continuous numbering for all chants, others (like Bennett & Marshall) use the same number for the major and the minor (if present) version. In the latter case both major and minor are also listed under the same number in this index, with a suffix (m for minor, M for Major). Some chant books couple chants to a particular psalm, without a number for the chant itself. For the purpose of indexing, these chants are numbered per page: left-to-right and top-to-bottom. In other chant books the assignment to psalms is more rigorous and there the chant is assigned the number of the psalm. Where necessary, this is further explained in the specific information for that chant book (move the cursor over a reference to that book).
In chant books where chants are assigned to psalms, these chants may occur several times. For long psalms often several chants are used, which may recur within the psalm. In such cases each chant is listed only once for that psalm, with a suffix within that psalm. In case a chant re-appears for a different psalm, the chant is listed again.

The reference numbering used in the index is "b-p-n(-s)": "b" is the number of the chant book (refer to the list of chant books), "p" is the page number, "n" is the chant number, either continuous or per page, depending on the chant book and "s", if present is the suffix for the chant within the psalm. For the above example the index shows that this chant in the key of F major is composed by Richard Farrant and listed as number 2 on page 1 of Bennett and Marshall (1-1-2), but also appears in several other chant books. Note that in certain chant books the pages are unnumbered. In such cases an "*" is displayed for the page number in the index entries.
If the cursor is placed over the "b"-reference, the full book title is displayed in a pop-up window. Clicking on the reference transfers to the page with additional information and the table of contents of that book.
When the cursor is placed over the "p-n"-reference (without clicking), a pop-up window displays further information. If the reference is printed in blue, clicking on it will play the (midi file, four-part setting) for the chant. If the midi file is not available, the reference is displayed in black-italic.
Note that this may not work on all browsers, sometimes you have to download the file -- try it for Farrant's chant: 1-1-2.

To facilitate searching, a search form is provided (use link below). In this form the fingerprint can be entered and the page for that fingerprint will be displayed. An additional index is provided based on the internal reference number for each chant. Each entry in this index will also transfer to the relevant fingerprint page.

Go to the list of                Go to the search form             Go to the reference number index