Meta: defending digressions
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    This discussion was created from comments split from: Starting to sing propers at mass.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,678

    Let's get back on the initial topic.


    This is an unnecessary thing. Doug clearly posted a secondary question - mainly about the relation between a "big" entrance hymn vs. a chanted entrance chant and its relation to a big Gloria vs. a chanted Gloria.

    This was a natural segue and not an unnatural hijacking of a thread.

    In my humble opinion online discussions should be allowed to continue naturally - especially when they are kept within the domain of socially acceptable discussion - as other topics emerge.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    I disagree.

    In real time, there is a flow to the conversation and segues make sense and seem normal.

    But many if not most readers of posts read posts in the archives, and having a completely new topic wastes their time.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,678
    This is not a completely new topic, but rather builds on the first one. Someone looking up "introducing propers" might have never thought of Doug's consideration of chanted Gloria vs. metric Gloria when doing a chanted Introit/Processional Hymn.

    This was a good point and a good topic to hold under this general umbrella.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,678
    Insanity. Someone please come digress this topic into something else, so the moderator will split the thread again.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    The moderation here is so benign that no one could possibly take offense.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    By the way, the rhetoric on this particular thread (the meta one) is peculiarly overblown. No one has accused anyone of hijacking anything or of unnaturally digressing. It's just a matter of organization.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,067
    Kathy, are you insulting matthewj? I take it personally. What do you have against Turkish pop music? Or beards? Or ex-Canadians?
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I bear no small measure of culpability regarding instigating and participating in thread digressions over the years, mea maxima culpa. So that guilty admission prompts me to ponder whether our forum should be managed as what it ought to be, what is has actually been, or a hybrid of those.

    Merriam Webster's Full Definition of forum
    plural forums also fora play \-ə\
    1. a : the marketplace or public place of an ancient Roman city forming the center of judicial and public business
    b : a public meeting place for open discussion
    c : a medium (as a newspaper or online service) of open discussion or expression of ideas
    2. a judicial body or assembly :

    From Wikipedia (sorry)- the classical "example"
    (Roman citizens)of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum.

    It was for centuries the center of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city's great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history

    As I've aged and have been correctly chastised many times here, I am far less a taciturn curmudgeon as I sneak back to the boards, save for discussions of U2 in Capella Sixtina (see what I did there?) But I'm fairly certain that my cranky side has caused many fine folk to abandon participation here, and I deeply regret that. I don't have a recommendation for policy, but will endeavor to follow one that is articulated by the quorum.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,083
    Melo, if your 'cranky side' has caused others to abandon participation here, they must have very thin skins indeed! This has to be one of the politest fora that I belong to. Sure, there are disagreements, but I've yet to see a mean-spirited ad hominum attack on anyone.
    Thanked by 1melofluent
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,083
    @Kathy, yes, topics naturally digress into other areas, but if it digresses too far, that's when a new topic needs to be started. As an admin and mod on another forum, I have split-off a topic several times.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    I enjoy discussions going off-topic. That often makes them more interesting than the original topic could have ever been. I belong to an eastern forum that is so over-moderated, nearly everyone has abandoned it. Any disagreement leads to calls for "charity" and the discussion is shut down. I hope this forum doesn't go there.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    This has nothing to do with charity.

    It's simply a matter of organization.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    Oh, I know. But must we be THAT organized in everything we do? Some things, such as this forum, are more for fun and to chat with other musicians. Usually some new information presents itself so it is often a learning experience - but fun.
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,606
    I ask permission that, after a suitable period, we always have a moment to digress to a suitable musical moment. Here's one for this thread:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGuCl25MGWM

  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    I disagree with you, CharlesW. No offense, but I don't think this forum is primarily about fun. I think it's about networking, and should be considered more about information than joshing around.

    Fun is a normal offshoot of collegiality, but fun is not the same as collegiality.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    I think my point is that they are not mutually exclusive.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,946
    I think this is being overthought.

    These oft lofty (or not) florid forum forays into the flora and fauna (a.k.a. boondocks) of our fantasies are the levity leavened flour we knead (need?) to make us whole ... wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat!
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,821
    Fun is a normal offshoot of collegiality


    For sure. Just look at the USCCB. Some days, I think their collegiality leads to them having fun with us!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    Stimson, the laugh is at our expense, that's for sure. LOL.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    What do you all think about pickles? This thread needs to be split again.

    < / purplebold >

  • I saw that first post and thought "darn, my post won't receive as many comments..."
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,946
    This thread needs to be split again.

    I thought we only did that for split personalities.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    Now that's a pickle of a different color.


  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,678

    I thought we only did that for split personalities.


    Well... I mean... it is my thread...
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,946
    Now that's a pickle of a different color.

    It was a one-eyed, one-horned
    Flyin' Purple-Pickle Eater
    One-eyed, one-horned
    Flyin' Purple-Pickle Eater
    Sure looked strange to me
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    I know you fellows are having fun, but....

    I know of a number of very serious and excellent musicians who used to frequent this forum, and now think it's rather silly.

    I don't think that perspective is a function of anyone's lack of talent, or anything of that kind, but rather a failure to self-censor. If silly is our main thing, then we might lose excellent colleagues from our conversations.

    You might say, "well, they must be stuck up sticky beaks!" But perhaps they would be valuable participants, and perhaps there has indeed been a shift of the fun vs. substance balance.
    Thanked by 1doneill
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Kathy, I don't know to a certainty whether you've considered my post above, but I'm not sure if consensus about the conduct of the forum can actually emerge. Even colloquium features a Follies session amid the wondrous beauty and earnest deliberations. I still believe the forum attracts as many new, innovative and accomplished personalities as for those who exit for various reasons. And there's ample evidence of lack of pretension and a fortress/citadel mentality that does seem to infect other boards compared to CMAA's. And both old and new voices offer some very good advice and support more often than not. It's difficult to assess the breadth of benefit versus waste unless maybe you're Chonak, who labors valiantly with little recognition. But I get your frustration and will do my part not to add to it.
  • My fellow forumeers,

    Would anyone join me in making a distinction between the natural evolution of a discussion, in which one topic logically expands or contracts to focus on a particular part of the original, and the un-natural "failure to self-censor"?

    Digressions of the first kind, it seems to me can and should be allowed. Digressions of the second kind, howsoevermuch fun they are, can and should be given pastures of their own.

  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    As CHGiffen, who has a gift for synthesis and summing things up, said

    I think this is being overthought.


    And it is. Musicians and non-musicians come to this forum for any number of reasons. Some are genuinely interested in advancing sacred music, while some are looking for an anachronistic refuge to retreat into a past that was never what they seemingly take for granted. Some are just looking for resources and we certainly have plenty including many not found elsewhere. Others show up to hawk their wares to which I have no objection as long as they offer quality wares. This place can be a marketplace of goods, services, and ideas.

    I don't know how we could ever be all things to all people. I thought some genuine progress toward the sacred was being made, but the change in administration at the top has had a less than positive effect. In some quarters the attempts at restoring the sacred went out the window with the retirement of Pope Benedict. I see "serious" musicians losing jobs for no other reason than they are holding to a higher standard.

    Yes, there are posts where a good time is had by all. At the same time, there are posts where little humor exists. We do have any number of serious technical discussions and posts that are the best examples of resource sharing. Serious musicians sometimes take themselves far too seriously and can manifest a bit of a Calvinist streak. A good way to kill any forum is to turn it into a collection of staid old ladies absorbed in meaningless civilities.

    But again, "I think this is being overthought."

    Anyone like cookies? Time for another thread split. ;-)

  • Splits should not be determined by one person alone, as there may be what seems to be a natural evolution to some but not to others. Then, things would run smoother and a discussion could take the necessary detours if it is based properly.

    That being said,

    I love cookies! Oreos the best!
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676

    I love cookies! Oreos the best!


    Ah, but we joyfully digress! LOL
    Thanked by 1Casavant Organist

  • Bang, I have more posts than the liturgical dance post! lol
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,067
    Kathy, some of those people not coming here is rather a result of hyperbole and lack of charity (often on the part of other forum members), not digression.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    My last item- is this "debate" not only overthought, but overwrought?
    It is a peculiar point whether any of us can distill why folks come and go here. Anecdotal information isn't necessarily empirical evidence always. And hyperbole (the greatest thing, ever!) and charity (you talkin' to me?) mean different things to different people. YMMV.
    I also question whether it is always desirable to Strunk&White everything down to a succinct, but anemic lexicon.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    My own observation, borne out by experience on forums of a different nature, is that interest in them overall has declined. The numbers are down nearly everywhere. There are faster ways of getting information - let me rephrase that. There are ways to get bullet points and shallow summaries that don't require the same investment of time and effort.
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    I would blame the Google, except that I love the Google.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    St. Google, the Magnificent. Guide to the enlightened and beacon of knowledge.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,821
    This cookie discussion has the possibility of merging back into an earlier Oreo/Tim-Tam digression. Has a thread ever been re-merged into another thread?!?

    [Admin note: Yes, but it's rare.]
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    Has a thread ever been re-merged into another thread?!?


    Isn't that similar to apostasy or, as the Baptists say, backsliding? LOL
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,083
    Who cares about cookies? I'm still waiting for Hot Dog Thursday!!!!!
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,678
    Having celebrated Hot Dog THURSDAY with the founder of the feast, I will contend that it's worth waiting for. But you should bring your own mustard and refuse the bun. Also pickled vegetables for the side.
    Thanked by 1BruceL
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    When people start a thread by posting a question looking for information or advice, I'd like to see us be helpful and be friendly and be competent toward the questioner. When you put those together, that's basically what it means to be "professional".

    Being helpful implies answering the user's question first. The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve. We can imitate that by serving the questioner and holding back on our impulse to entertain ourselves or to pursue some side issue.

    Being friendly implies treating the user with respect: occasionally people are tempted to respond to legitimate questions with answers that chastise the user, or his assumptions, or [in the extreme cases] his terminology. And generally we are pretty good at this.

    Being competent implies sharing knowledge and experience, and here there are many people who generously share these, and even set a fine example by distinguishing between facts and opinions about what is required and what is permitted.

    And you all have my admiration as you generously contribute to the musical life of the Church.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,606
    Isn't today Mentos Thursday?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BFqw1r2mAA

    (Or is Sunday Mentos Thursday Sunday outside the Northeast...)
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    I do enjoy the Orthodox Hot Dog Thursday - as it was originally intended.

    Why you would impose secular mustards and reject the sacred pretzel buns is beyond me.

    Although, I do much enjoy the Phoenician Rite (which is loathed by Orthodox HDT folk)
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    Isn't today Mentos Thursday?


    Except for the Socialist Democrat leaning dioceses in the NE U.S, Mentos Thursday will be celebrated on the following Sunday for the good of the faithful.
    Thanked by 2Liam StimsonInRehab
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    I do enjoy the Orthodox Hot Dog Thursday - as it was originally intended.


    Old calendar rules! If it was good enough for Holy Russia...
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,606
    Is outrage!

    There's always Mentos Himmelfahrt.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW chonak
  • doneill
    Posts: 204
    I certainly thought that my comment was related to the initial comment about how the proper chants are received. Fritz Bauerschmidt mentioned a particular reaction to that issue by not singing Glorias at all, and I believe that comment was also related. Then it seemed to digress to a point where the discussion was about the travesty of not singing Glorias, a point nearly everybody on this forum would agree with. In defense of the frivolity, we all have to deal with ridiculous things in our work every day, and having fun with like-minded people is a good outlet for dealing with those frustrations. Some of us don't have people nearby we can lay our burdens on. I try to exercise caution, however, considering that it is a permanent public forum, lest anything I say be held against me in the future.

    I also ask that we give people the respect of the benefit of the doubt. I realized from reading follow-up comments that my comment could be construed as saying that I do not think chanted Glorias are festive. On the contrary, the Gloria can't possibly get any more festive than the Missa de angelis Gloria. The misconception was partially due to the way I wrote it, partially the ambiguous labels, and partially the very real psychology of musical perception.

    That subject of how the brain perceives music is complicated, but very much related to the initial posting about how chanted propers are received by everybody.

    The only advice I have regarding that is this: just do it. Seriously. Yes, catechesis is required. Yes, the pastoral factor is important. But just do it, and make sure that the clergy are on board, because they are the ones likely to have to respond to people asking what is going on. And make sure they won't backtrack when people complain (I tried my hardest with the educational aspect, and still I had that happen). Just do it. They will get used to it. Sorry if that comes off as insensitive, but ultimately all it takes is courage.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,676
    Fritz Bauerschmidt mentioned a particular reaction to that issue by not singing Glorias at all, and I believe that comment was also related. Then it seemed to digress to a point where the discussion was about the travesty of not singing Glorias, a point nearly everybody on this forum would agree with.


    It amazes me that some don't sing it.

    Some of us don't have people nearby we can lay our burdens on


    If you are Catholic in East Tennessee, very true. There aren't many Catholics to discuss music with. A handful of serious musicians, more folk group types, and the Protestants in the local AGO who don't have a clue about much that is Catholic.

    But just do it, and make sure that the clergy are on board, because they are the ones likely to have to respond to people asking what is going on.


    We have sung the Gloria, Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, Amen, and Agnus Dei for so long, the people would think we had lost our minds if we didn't sing them. The priests expect them to be sung.




  • For Chonak's comment, I did indeed get my question answered and I had no problem seeing the thread drift into something else. What it drifted into was related to my first question, and the occasional funny post wasn't that bad.

    On the topic, we had our school mass today, and it was an absolute gong show. Only 2 hymns sung, both contemporary, and no mass parts. No Gloria, as we celebrate Ascension on Sundays.
    Thanked by 2chonak CHGiffen