Singing the Hosannah filio David for Palm Sunday with new recording


Palm Sunday begins with the triumphant processional chant ‘Hosannah filio David.’ I am told by my learned friend Stan, this chant has its roots in a second  century Greek chant.

Have a listen to a brand new recording of Hosannah Filio sung by Scholae Scholasticae.

Hosanna filio David

Written in Mode 7 with its trademark opening fifths, this mode Juan de Espinoza tells us is the mode where both pleasure and sadness meet. We hear the triumphant leap of joy at the beginning and then repeated on the second Hosannah only to hear the melody fall on the final ‘in excélsis’ forewarming of the events to come.

I would recommend starting this chant on D or Eb.

The liquescent on the opening fifth points to the importance of singing the fifth deliberately. The notes on Ray should be strong. This happens again on the ‘ra’ of Is – ra – el. In that melismatic group the first two notes on ‘ra’ are light moving up to the strong ray.

Be careful not to sing ‘qui’ to quickly, give this word it’s full length. The same goes for ‘Rex.’

Sing the final ‘Hosannah’ with more energy than the first and then lean into the ‘in’ as the mood dramatically changes.


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