Mass in Congolese Style for mixed chorus with Tenor Soloist and Percussion
5. Agnus Dei
English and Latin Texts
Missa Luba offers western choruses an opportunity to learn something about African music by actually singing it. Due
to the efforts of Father Guido Haazen and the African singers with whom he worked, this mass was not only created but notated and recorded as well.
lt may be performed exactly as written, with or without the improvisations in the places indicated. (The drum improvisations should provide no real problem, but the vocal improvisations may prove more difficult.)
Missa Luba was originally sung by a tenor soloist with a choir of boys and men. However, the solo part may be performed by a soprano, and the treble parts sung by women. Indeed, a great deal of freedom and Imagination should be used in relation to the whole work.
As Father Haazen says: "The music of the Missa Luba is mainly the product öf a collective Improvisation. What is offered in the Philips album (PCC206/PCC606) is simply and solely a reproduction of the concrete Improvisation which took place during the recording.
African music differs infinitely from our Western rhythmic feeling. The drums, especially the tom-toms which are used es an integral part of the music, always adhere to a very stritt, inexorable rhythmic beat. This basic rhythm serves as a canvas an which the other Instruments base their improvisations, and usually opens the song. lt is indicated by
the "Sakasaka" (gourd). lt is especially recommended, when performing, to follow the notated figure.
But this notation of the Missa Luba does not imply that one must perform the mass as written! lf desired this written version on of the mass may be used as a suitable springboard for those who will venture upon their own new creation of this original African mass."
Approximate duration: 14 minutes.