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Alabados de Nuevo Mexico 1 of 6

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Published on Nov 28, 2007

La encomendación del alma
(Offering Up the Soul)
During wake services for the deceased, this chant offers the soul to Creator.

The visuals of this video are of descansos, or memorials, along the roadways of northern New Mexico. The candelabra is used during services of the penitentes.

This is the original version of the New Mexico PBS adaptation under my favorites.

Preservation of New Mexico Sacred Chants and Alabado Melodies
Thesis Field Project Supporting Documentation to New Mexico Chants DVD presentation
The intent of this thesis field project is to capture a style of music that might be lost to current and future generations, if not preserved and shared. This project digitally recorded eight sacred chants sung by two Penitente Hermanos. The recordings in this project are a contribution to the few recordings made of traditional medieval chants, six of which are alabados.

Alabados are sacred hymns sung in the style and tradition of the Gregorian chant. The alabados selected for this project are several older melodies.

Alabados are an oral tradition. Although many alabado lyrics have been published, the musical notations of most alabados have not been recorded. In spite of modern recording technology, the melodies of hundreds of alabados risk extinction because of infrequent use and the difficulty memorizing the large volume of melodies.

Because alabados are used in religious services in almost all of the moradas (chapels) of the Fraternidad Piadosa de los Hermanos de Nuestro Padre Jesœs Nazareno (Pious Fraternity of the Brothers of Our Father Jesus the Nazarene), otherwise known as Penitentes, in New Mexico and Colorado, the melodies are considered as remaining true to their original form in this region.

The video attempts to contrast the feeling of time and place of modern northern New Mexico with the rich spiritual legacy represented by the ancient chants. By producing an electronic format of oral history, it is the my hope to expand the awareness of alabados, distribute an audio dimension of New Mexicos past, and add to the existing historical research and publications of alabados.

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