The fifth annual Musica Sacra St. Louis conference will explore “The Beauty of the Mass Ordinary” and “English Language Adaptations of the Mass Propers”. Instructors include Dr. William Mahrt, Associate Professor of Music at Stanford University; and D…
Archive for the ‘Music’ Category
About a week ago, there was a brief lull in my work day when I was reconfiguring an old laptop to serve as a supplementary computer in my school office. I needed something to do that wasn’t a real project as I needed to monitor the computer processes. So I decided to look at the upcoming issue of OCP’s “Today’s Liturgy” periodical. Normally the amount that we receive is parsed out to music leaders with about half remaining unused and round-filed. So I opened it up, skimmed through the pages looking for any title that might be interesting (self-fulfilled prophecy: none) and then noticed, “Oh, the annual survey is in this issue.” Over the years I’ve done due diligence and not only checked off boxes thoroughly, including my assumptions about what other leaders under my management are likely still using, but I’ve often exceeded the survey by attaching reams of attached notes of why do you cut this out and let this in, or what is the real process you use to create the next Frankenstein’s creature known as “Breaking Bread” or “Music Issue?”
Personally, I don’t believe that OCP (the “Hidden Hand”) of the Liturgical Industrial Complex will soon disappear from the landscape of pew racks in any foreseeable future. If the books do, then the images from them will be projected upon walls and screens. Feh and meh, so what? Over decades I’ve dreamed of various schemes to get their attention, or someone else’s attention that they really need to pay attention and serious heed to the evolving reform of liturgical paradigms, particularly as regards musical responsibilities and repertoires of the Roman Rite. Those would include my grandest idea: the boutique hymnal, designed by local See’s and their music gurus, specified and forwarded to Portland, and mocked-up by the mainframe servers on East Hassalo Avenue within a day, printed and shipped like Amazon for arrival next Tuesday. This idea is premised upon the obvious “anything Bartlett/Ostrowski/Rice” can do, we can do bigger, faster, better!” I don’t want to debate that little bon mot.
So what am I now proposing that is of interest to a chant-inclined readership? How does the lamb expect to approach, much less to lie down with the Lion whose leash bears the inscription: Supply, meet demand?
Well, the readership of the Café, MSForum, NLMovement, CCWatershed and other like minded sites, though maybe no more than 10-15% of the demographic size of NPM, comparing Colloquium to convention, is still a very powerful and influential voice in the RCC sacred music community. And as is often mentioned, demonstrably growing in both clerical and lay constituencies. So, how do we flex muscle and influence to the seeming hard-hearted mercenaries (joke, people, joke!) of Big Three editorial boards?
Up close and personal is the answer. And nicely, by the way, not “in your face, talk to the hand” style.
Compose a brief letter of introduction of yourself as an authentic, endorsed staff member in charge of music for your parish/cathedral, and what music resource of the publisher from which the list was culled. Then copy and paste in your list to the letter. Perhaps you might want to preface the letter after the introduction with some “happy talk” expressing your own appreciation for what the publisher does, and the dedication we all expend together in helping the Faithful, etc.
Unfortunately, the video ends prematurely, so the full text is not included here
I’ve mentioned a number of times here, from points abroad, that English is the world vernacular. As Latin was in the West, and Greek was in the East, so now English is, everywhere.Our Holy Father’s recent apostolic voyage was an opportunity for him to …
As people who have sung with and under me probably know, I’m not a fan of the overuse of psalm tones. Chanting psalms in the office? Great use for them. Singing the gloria patri during the introit? Fantastic. Psalm verses during communion? Wonderful. But replacing a gradual? Please no! Psalm tones are great for supporting psalm verses, but not for primary melodies. It is always such a shame to hear propers reduced to psalm tones, especially in the ordinary form where the graduale simplex could be used, or even many english propers.
Don’t get me wrong, it is better to hear propers sung than not. If you’re struggling to put together a gradual with your choir, you should check out the Chants Abrégés! I don’t currently direct a schola, but last year when I was getting one off the ground, we used it frequently to pull together the gradual, when we weren’t quite ready to pull off the full versions in a reasonable amount of time. As we grew in skill, we moved beyond it, and only used it occasionally when we were faced with more difficult chants and limited time. It also has simplified alleluias as well, though the verses are set to psalm tones.
Thanks to the CMAA, this book is now back in print! If you are in a schola who has trouble with graduals, check this book out!
Tonight I attended a local parish’s Assumption evening Mass. This isn’t an FSSP parish, or a “designated” parish for the Missal of Pope John XXIII. It’s just a regular, territorial, parish church, and this was a normally scheduled Mass for a Holy Day o…
Sometimes the beautiful seems irrelevant, in the face of all that is urgent. When brutality meets us at every turn of the tv channel, how can we possibly make liturgical song the center of our working lives?Now, more than ever, the Church needs to witn…
Thanks to Chuck Giffen to help me find this!
Over at MSF I’ve reported that our parish quietly heard its first EF (Low) Mass via a funeral request. That was effected by a former vicar who’s now the pastor of a parish in a neighboring town who offers the EF every Thursday evening. I went to join a…