The tide is turning.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I read the screed fairly thoroughly, as well as most of the coherent commentary. Very little of it bears any real relevance or similarity to the evolution/devolution of Roman Catholic worship music. An author who generalizes so much, particularly by citing the biological solution as a right eugenic outcome due CCW, or CWM, is likely incapable of delving deeply into specific citations that could easily disprove his/her foundational premises. His enfatuation with Luther and "feste burg" also calls into question his own issues with de gustibus.
    Like many of the commentators mentioned in other words, the article was facade masquing as real architecture.
    "The tide is turning" by the sounds like "sands through the hour glass" as the world and worm still turns.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    Maybe I've spent too much time with Protestants, but I thought at least in that context, the article was saying something true (if not particularly useful).

    From a Catholic perspective this could be at least mildly heartening in that a gradual return to traditionalism in Protestantism might help with a gradual return to traditionalism in Catholic worship.

    On the other hand, the more likely case is that the gradual return to traditionalism in Catholicism is part of the larger cultural phenomenon that is driving the same in Protestant worship, and that (to the extent that the two strains are impacting each other) it is the Catholic dog wagging the Protestant tail, not the other way 'round (which, in itself, is a welcome change from 20th century "ecumenism").

    But it's easy to write these cute little blog posts about how things are changing, or how they need to change, or what not. What compels me to throw my lot in with CMAA and Friends is that this is a network of people who are trying to do something about it, not just talk about it.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Cantus67
  • I thought that #6 was particularly true: most of the complaints/requests that I get regarding this issue come from people over a certain age.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,951
    I don't know, I am a people over a certain age and I never liked that stuff. The noisy get the attention, while the majority of us either keep quiet or leave.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Wishful thinking.
  • Yeah, I was afraid it wasn't going to be clear: I wasn't stating that ALL people over a certain age complain about/request contemporary music, just that the complaints and requests that I get regarding the use of "contemporary music" almost always come from people over a certain age. I've just noticed that in my dealings with people. I've had a grand total of probably six in the last year or so (considerably small percentage considering the average age of the parishioners in my church), but it's always been someone over a certain age making the request. Also, in my situation (YMMV), it's usually women over a certain age making the request or lodging the complaint.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,473
    Not sure what these words mean anymore, especially to those in the pews. I think many of up would regard Haugen and co to be contemporary music. However, for most church goers, Sacro-folk is traditional music and praise band-life teen-spirit'n song is contemporary. They dont have a working category for traditional hymnody, some thing they only experience sporatically and as a carryover from protestants (at least in my state).
    And these things change slowly over generations.

  • Contemporary music is just that! It's temporary. It's what most people listen to and think is 'modern'. It isn't. When, if ever, they hear music that is actually modern most of them like it far less than even Beethoven or Bach. Con-temporary = 'with the times' = here (hear?) today and gone tomorrow... unless its admirers grow old and then think of it as traditional, which it isn't. Like truly modern music, if they heard truly traditional music they would likely not like it. What irony! We are the most powerful and wealthy nation in history with some of the world's finest educational and cultural institutions and 90% of our population are cultural illiterates.
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • That's the problem, MJO, cultural illiteracy.
  • I've seen it all over the place. The new young generation of Catholics love the more traditional aspects of Catholicism. I've successfully trained complete newbies to sing Gregorian Chant, with the support of simple organ accompaniment. It may be a long time before we go with completely unaccompanied Gregorian Chant, but it is making a revival.

    I've also noticed the trend away from the "contemporary" songs. Partly because fashions change so quickly these days, much of this stuff is now considered "unfashionable" and people would rather stick with "golden oldies" because they never go out of fashion.

    Quite a few young Catholics also love the fact that they can sing the same songs with their grandparents and their parents. Young Catholics are very family-focussed these days and using older music acts as a sort of inter-generational bonding.

    That's not to say that there isn't a place for newer music, which builds on tradition. Quite a few very popular hymns amongst the generations date only from the mid-20th century such as "Help of Christians, Guard This Land" - a staple Marian hymn for the Catholic Church in Australia (I'm surprised that the rest of the English-speaking world doesn't also sing it.) And "Christ Be Our Light" published in 1993. Quite a few other hymns have become quite popular because they are sung to old hymn tunes such as "Christ Be Beside Me" to Bunessan, and to the same tune "Baptised in Water, Sealed in the Spirit."

    "Traditional is the new trendy."
    Thanked by 1StimsonInRehab
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Same old same old, gentlefolk.
    The article dealt with a specific type of music that doesn't correspond to con-temporary Cathoic music output in the last half century as we've experienced it. The closest body style might be the "Spirit and Song" repertoire, but that is hardly pervasively used beyond Youth Ministry based music programs.
    Each shall be judged by its own merits. It is likely that we could audition Kevin Allen's TANTUM ERGO to any 16 year old and the response would be "kewl." But afterwards ask the same teen what they think of the song "Awesome God" or "Lord, I lift my hands on high" and they'll salivate and exclaim "That's the best music ever!" You can't legislate these biases away.
    Ask the same teen about "All that is hidden" or "In every age" (Sullivan-Whitaker) and they'll likely go "huh?"
    The last genre of repertoire is what we argue about most of the time, and we ought to get over the Sturm und Drang about. Some of it will survive for many generations. YMMV
  • Opinion is the issue. We care too much about what people think. The Church has stated in her documents what she wants us to do. The problem is when we ask ourselves, "what will people think of that?" or "will they like that?" or if we say to ourselves, "they won't like that," or "they won't understand it," or "I'll get complaints." Remember, Jesus got complaints: a lot of them.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,951
    Reality check ahead. I think it goes beyond complaints and what we are supposed to do. In most places, musicians are not in charge. We all work for someone who may or may not support what the Church has stated. So what is the reasonable solution? Change the priest's mind? OK, if you can do it but that doesn't always work. Poison him? Worked for the Borgias but could cause serious problems with the civil authorities. Leave? Many have been in that position at least once.
  • Yes, Charles, exactly, although I wasn't totally clear on what I meant, sorry about that. What I meant by "we care about what people think too much" is just the general idea that people's opinions are more important to the decision-making process than they should be sometimes. There are many times when the opinions of the PIPs and others can be helpful in making a decision (whomever is making it, be it priest, bishop, Pope, etc.), and also times when opinions of others should not matter in making a decision. The frustration here is that it seems that there is no difference sometimes, and that opinions are always considered as important to the process. I understand that it makes people feel like they have a say and are giving their input (and can be a good administrative move, because then you can say you've consulted outside authorities, or polled the population, or just generally "considered the options"), especially because there are people for whom it is important that they give their input (we've all known people like that in our lives), but the reality of it is that sometimes, this input is not always necessary, valuable, nor appropriate: one does not always get a say.