Alleluia Project

 Alleluia is a Hebrew phrase that means "praise God," a sentiment that is fundamental to congregational song and that requires no translation in many situations. Our project focuses upon the ways in which this word has been sung for centuries upon centuries in the Christian West, taking phrases from musical theoretical understandings, the psalm singing of the hours of prayer, and the chants of the mass liturgy. We have organized the melodies by mode and by degree of difficulty.

Alleluia has been set and reset countless times and often to discrete and beautiful melodies, easy to teach and readily singable. Children and congregations who learn to sing Alleluia in these ways will have introduction to the modes or scales of the Gregorian repertory, and once these are learned and loved, can begin to learn other melodies for singing in the liturgy.

There are even broader implications for our project. We seek to bring the melodic treasures that belong to all to the broadest possible number of worshipping groups, helping to develop ways of use, reuse, adaptation and enculturation. Alleluia can be interdenominational within Western Christian traditions; it can involve the churches of the Christian East; and it can be inter-faith. We are starting with simple melodies but our hopes are many: from congregational singing, to jazz renditions, to intercultural praise and worship.

The website is easy to use and free to all, as long as the Program in Sacred Music is acknowledged. The music cannot be used for commercial purposes.

- Margot E Fassler, Director of the Program in Sacred Music, University of Notre Dame
- Jeff Cooper, Master of Sacred Music in Organ (2012), University of Notre Dame


The use of the ancient Hebrew praise-word alleluia has persisted in every stream of Christian worship. The Alleluia Project draws upon several diverse medieval manuscripts to collect chant antiphons which have simply alleluia as their text, usually in several repetitions. The first and simplest layer of these is based on the echemata, or intonation formulas, which we have retexted with alleluia. Building on these are the original antiphons, ordered by mode and complexity. At a more advanced level are the alleluia responds used for mass; we will include several of the oldest and most frequently used of these. Any and all of these can be integrated into a program for teaching chant, singing, or music-reading to children or adults. Their potential for use in liturgical worship is also great, since that these antiphons epitomize the depth and attractiveness of the Gregorian chant tradition while sidestepping the difficulties and potential complications of Latin-texted chant. Finally, we have produced a set of recordings of most of the chants as a tool for quicker learning and reinforcement; these can be accessed below in MP3 format.

Level 1: Echemata

Level 2: Double and Triple Alleluias

Level 3: Quadruple Alleluias

Level 4: Responds for the Mass

Mode Echemata Retexted Double Triple Quadruple Mass Responds
1 Echema 1 1a 1b 1c    
2 Echema 2 2a   2b 2c Dies sanctificatus
3 Echema 3 3a 3b      
4 Echema 4 4a   4b 4c Excita domine
5 Echema 5 5a   5b 5c  
6 Echema 6 6a 6b 6c, 6d    
7 Echema 7 7a   7b 7c Adorabo ad templum
8 Echema 8 8a 8b 8c   Ostende nobis


Alleluia Project by Notre Dame Program in Sacred Music is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.