Sing Like a Catholic
  • imageAhead of schedule and after many long days and nights of editing and proofing, my book Sing Like a Catholic is done.

    The urgency here is the need for scholarship money to attend the Sacred Music Colloquium this summer, the training venue that is teaching parish musicians chant and polyphony so that they can help upgrade music programs in parishes around the country. All proceeds (I hope there are some!) will go to this cause, so that students, seminarians, and religious sisters can attend. Our backlog of people needing funds is long and right now, we have nothing that we can provide.

    In any case, that was the impetus for the speed. But, in the end, I think the book turned out well. I was startled at the length: 236 pages. Many of the essays herein originated with posts on NLM and published columns in the Wanderer and were improved by comments from readers on this forum. So I owe many people. No would would this be possible without this community.

    The book attempts to chronicle the rise of the new sacred music movement, inspiring the work that is necessary to keep making progress, and providing direction for the future. It explains the rationale and purpose of the chant movement, and contains many thoughts you have heard before but also some that are original. I tried to keep it as non-technical as possible, and pitched to the regular Catholic musician or layperson in the pews who hopes to see change in the local parish.

    It goes light on the negative criticism, though there is some of that, and tries to stay focused on the positive agenda for the future.

    Please consider supporting this project, and feel free to write me with thoughts. Even if you are not interested in buying a copy, please pray for the success of this effort. Again, here is the buy link.
  • Also, the book is embeded on Scribd.

    And thanks to everyone who helped on the cover, and the content, and everything else! too many debts.

    Let's hope it raises some money!
  • I gave a copy to my pastor this morning... he seemed very interested to read it... you can also order it on Amazon...
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,756
    I am reading my copy in between segments of my usual Lenten reading, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent." I am enjoying the book. It could stand a little more proofreading for words seemingly left out, and an occasional grammar glitch, but nothing that compromises the overall message of the book. The content is worth the price.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    If you feel like sending a list of changes, i can do this on the next printing.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,756
    At the pace I am reading, it could take a while.
  • alrtree
    Posts: 26
    Jeffrey, I am a proofreader by trade, and have noticed some minor glitches as well. I'd be happy to send you a list, when I am finished reading the book. Where should I send it?
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    well, I'm getting a new version out today with many fixes. Can I send another?
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    by the way, CMAA and SM needs proofreaders in general. Write me to volunteer.
  • alrtree
    Posts: 26
    You may email me the new version as a Word doc, and I can use the "Track Changes" program to make changes, which is the easiest way I know of. That way you can accept or delete my changes as you will. My email is alrtree@hotmail.com. I would consider it an honor to volunteer my time in this way. As for volunteering for CMAA or SM, it would be sporadic, since I have work, family and choir duties. I'd have to pray about that, and discuss it with my husband. Right now I can definitely get behind the book project.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Thank you, that is wonderful.

    There are many ways to volunteer for CMAA. Actually, as you probably know, it is a 100% volunteer organization. I'll see about typing up a list of all the services and talents we need.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,144
    Jeffrey:

    I am also willing to offer my design skills gratis. (about found here: www.franciskoerber.com)
  • I have greatly enjoyed reading Jeffrey's essays, and I have found myself in agreement with him at least ninety per cent of the time.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    You are very sweet to say that, Bruce!

    100% agreement would be scary.
  • jhoffman
    Posts: 29
    The image for the cover of the book is striking. Is there any plan to make that image available in poster form? I would post it several places around our parish campus if it were.
  • alrtree
    Posts: 26
    I like that idea. Use very way possible to spread the good news. I sent a copy of the Youtube video (2008) to several friends yesterday. One replied that he was happy for me, being able to go to this. I shot back that he "should be happy for the whole Church, because, God willing, this will soon be coming to a parish near you!"

    Jeffrey, in "Sing Like a Catholic" you have articulated what has been occupying my mind for some time ... things I have wanted to say but haven't had the time to sort them out. Good stuff. THANK YOU!
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Thank you to everyone who caught typos and things. New version available
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    Someone with photoshop skills could mix a live person into that image of a statue. The past as present, and present as past, across the Christian centuries.
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Speaking of that statue… St. Cecilia is she, Jeffrey? And where might that photo have been taken… what's the source?
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    I don't really think so. It is a an angel singing, and the photo I think gave the location but no more. I'll look.
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Ah, of course an angel… wings. But I'll still be curious to note the location, should you find that info.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Dodoy, you can find such conversation here: http://npm.org/
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 990
    My copy has shipped. I'm going to sit out front and wait.
  • AOZ
    Posts: 369
    About the angel. It is so funny - when I first saw it I thought it was the Mormon angel Moroni - the one that sits atop the temple in Salt Lake City! I don't think Jeff appreciated that very much - but we had a good laugh.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,756
    Nah, couldn't be a Mormon angel. He has no angel pants.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    I sort of does look like Moroni! spooky.

    By the way, why do Mormons never complain about the music at their churches? Surely there is something to complain about...
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,756
    My experience has been that they don't complain about much of anything. They are too busy with committees, church functions, family events, etc., and seem rather happy.
  • CharlesW, I have an LDS hymnal. It's kind of like Gertrude Stein's infamous observation of my home town, "There's no 'there' there."
    That said, Mack Wilberg is a very accomplished composer/arranger, Craig Jessup and Ron Staheli are magnificent conductors of magnificent ensembles.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 990
    I received my copy of "Sing Like a Catholic" yesterday. On hearing the title, my sister said, "Oh, please don't!" (She doesn't wear Bose headphones in church, but I think she's getting close.) When I explained that my dear friend Jeffrey wanted Catholics to sing like Catholics should, she was mollified.

    And I'm finding it delightful reading. The essays fit my short att(what - a bird flew by outside?)ention span. I feel ready to go out and lick the foes of good music single-handed.

    LDS music is along the lines of traditional Baptist/Methodist hymnody with a few doctrine-specific hymns. Be that as it may, BYU has an extraordinarily organized program to train organists for the LDS wards. http://www.organ.byu.edu/ Lots of LDS folks have been in the tech field and bring that ability to distance-learning.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    The Diapason (June 2009) page 8 column 2 "Here and There"

    Jeffrey Tucker is the author of a
    new book, Sing Like a Catholic. Tucker
    chronicles how the Catholic church is
    moving from a world in which "Catholics
    can't sing" to one in which singing like a
    Catholic is the fulfillment of a heritage
    that began in the Apostolic age with
    chant, continued through the Middle
    Ages and the Renaissance with the poly-
    phonic era, and all the way through the
    later centuries with orchestral and organ
    Masses. In order to continue this trend,
    a paradigm shift is needed: the Roman
    Gradual
    for the choir, the Kyriale for the
    people, and the Missal for the celebrant.
    The music most appropriate to liturgy,
    the author argues, is either that music or
    an elaboration on that music. Paperback
    book, 236 pages, 6" x 9", perfect bind-
    ing, $20.00, Church Music Association of
    America; for information (www.musicasacra.com).
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 990
    The December 2009 American Organist has a review of Sing Like a Catholic by William Tortolano on p. 112. And it is overall favorable with some quibble about the importance of the Parish Book of Chant (understandable since Tortolano himself worked to promote chant with a publication of his own). The concluding sentence: "Agree with Tucker or disagree, the book says what needs to be said."

    Since most books don't say much of anything, I think Jeffrey can take this as high praise.
  • Totolano is a tough critic. He told me on the phone that the upbeat tone annoyed him a bit - given that his struggle has been a lifetime of blood, sweat, and tears. I can see the point.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,148
    But the times, they are a-changin.
  • Jeffrey, you can list me as a reader for Renaissance articles.
  • Jeffrey, kudos to you for communicating with so many types. Its part of what Jeffrey Morse called being 'absolutely missionary' about chant.
    I pray that CMAA can continue to welcome and 'ingraft' people like Tortolano, who have labored in isolated circumstances for years. I have a hunch that such musicians with sacred leanings would find great camaraderie and support through the members of CMAA. Charles from CenCA comes to mind. :)
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    the upbeat tone annoyed him a bit

    Jeffrey,
    if you read the ingredients on the side of a soft drink can
    and find the first items have changed to something sour or bitter,
    then you can change *your* recipe.
    :-)
  • What a sweet comment to wake up to, MA. Thank you with both our hearts. We've been going through a stretch of trials of late, and I read each thread and post through the lens of friendship and camaraderie, absolutely.
    I would love to see an "ingrafting" of Paul Salamunovich for any available CMAA sponsored event. His pedigree from Roger Wagner through to Morton Lauridsen and so many SoCal sacred composers and DM's is a singularity during the post V2 era. Steadfast is the word that comes to mind.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,144
    JT

    I ordered your book the moment i learned about it. It was shipped to my old address just after i moved west and i never got it. Today i downloaded it on scribd and dumped the file into a text to speech converter, dumped the aiffs into itune and ripped them to mp3s. i synced it up to my ipod and have been listening to my computer read the book to me for an hour or two at a very quick pace. (saves my failing eyes)

    i commend you and congratulate you on an excellent piece of work. I am trying to write a small booklet and have been sifting through all kinds of books, documents and references. I have found some parts of your writing which I intend to quote. You have a great talent for writing and we are fortunate to have you doing this for the cause of musica sacra!

    kudos!