Reading 27: On the Cantor
The abbot shall instate a cantor, who is to regulate in chapter whatever is to be sung or read in church. On his tablet (notice board) he shall write down those who ought to read or sing according to their rank , or perform their weekly offices (or duties), and nothing is to be changed, except through him or a superior. If one of those who have been appointed is absent he (the cantor) should charge another to complete the service of the absentee. If something in the church singing is wrong or a matter of doubt, either in the setting of the tone or in any other way, no one shall pass judgment on him (the cantor), but what he has started, no one shall confuse by making a new beginning. Whether in the raising or the lowering of the song, whether in the hastening] or the repetition, all shall follow him. He must end the tones. He shall listen to the lessons and the responsories and the verses (i.e. when those who are going to sing them try them out for him in a kind of "dress rehearsal"). And if he has doubts about anything in the service, he should seek advice from a senior, and if necessary he shall have use the help of a senior to listen to the lessons. When he who is in charge of the choir begins the antiphon, the cantor shall intone the psalm, and he shall repeat the invitatory antiphon for the (the invitatory psalm) Venite . He also ought to arrange the processions, enjoin what is to be done, correct those who do not proceed rightly, and place them in a different way. If on short notice anything is to be either sung, or read, or changed, or hastened or slowed down, this is to happen under his regulation. He ought to note the anniversaries of the brothers [i.e. the dates of their deaths] and of others in the chapter book, and he ought to make corrections of the books of the church, especially those that bear on daily use. If, beginning something, he makes some mistake, as long as it may be tolerated, he should not easily be reproached, but [this reproach] must be reserved for chapter. If, however, it may not be tolerated, he should humbly be corrected. He ought to correct false readings with the prior and sub-prior.