A long-term project in the works...and I have questions!
  • Heath
    Posts: 767
    Dear music friends,

    I'm working on a resource for Catholic church musicians new to the field, sort of an introduction and handbook. I'll be hitting up a great variety of topics and I expect that, to do this right, it's going to take this dad of five a loooong time to finish. Fortunately, I'm in no hurry!

    I would love to have the wisdom and experience of our various forum members represented. I've been at this quite awhile, but Lord knows I don't know everything and I'll be quick to ask when I need help!
  • Heath
    Posts: 767
    First question: any insight into how much the secunda pratica of the early Baroque affected the music for the Mass itself? It seems that much of this music in this style was extra-liturgical (or something like Monteverdi's Vespers, which wasn't for the Mass itself, of course...Pergolesi's Stabat Mater (though a little later) is another example).

    A lot of what's out there for church usage from these Baroque composers seem to be written in the a cappella style, still polyphonic, maybe just using an "advanced" harmonic language (Lotti comes to mind).

    Thoughts? Working on a chapter on the history of Catholic Church music and I'm not finding much specifically in regards to the Mass itself. And share resources if you can!
    Thanked by 1BruceL
  • gtastove
    Posts: 4
    Wow, Heath! I am sort of trying to do the same thing! How cool to find someone else trying to do the same thing! I am focusing more on technique and ways/types of singing that a cantor might need to be prepared for. Would love to help you if I can. I don't have that much wisdom or experience when it comes to larger churches' ministries'.
    Thanked by 1Heath
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,385
    A major question is how you define "seconda prattica". Even Masses using instruments and continuo seem to be contrapuntally oriented. You don't get a lot of vocal solo fireworks until the 18th century.

    A recent book on the Ordinary in France as a prima prattica phenomenon:
    Montagnier, Jean-Paul: The polyphonic mass in France, 1600-1780 : the evidence of the printed choirbooks. Cambridge, United Kingdom : Cambridge University Press, 2017

    I haven't read it, but: Schnoebelen, Anne: The concerted mass at San Petronio in Bologna circa 1660-1730 :a documentary and analytical study by Sister Mary Nicole Schnoebelen (Ph.D., University of Illinois 1966. San Petronio was noted for its use of instruments.
    Thanked by 1Heath
  • Heath
    Posts: 767
    Thanks, Jeffrey. I read some of Fellerer's history yesterday after I posted and it seems that indeed some of the styles were coexisting during the shift to more concerted music for the Mass.

    I appreciate the resources and I'll look them up!
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,385
    Things varied between countries and within "nations" (like Italy)
    There's a volume from the early 18th-c cathedral of Florence (on Internet Culturale) of music by their maestro Francesco Feroci and his students, for TTB voices, no continuo (but being in score, and organist could have played from it). It's very prima prattica. (editions under my name on cpdl).
    For what is more "progressive prima/conservative secunda", this is worth a listen:
    https://www.amazon.com/Cardinal-Bolis-Costanzi-Jommelli-Tessarini/dp/B01MRHU0LU/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1525978130&sr=1-1&keywords=Cardinal+king
    Thanked by 1Heath
  • Heath
    Posts: 767
    Trying to wrap my head around the particular distinctions between High and Low Mass in the post-Trent missal (and now in the EF).

    I had thought that in the Low Mass that no official texts (Proper/Ordinary) could be sung (and hence a tradition of singing vernacular hymns sprang up) while EVERYTHING (Propers/Ordinary) needed to be sung in a High Mass.

    But I believe I'm mistaken . . . excerpt from Crouan's "The History and the Future of the Roman Liturgy":

    "Thus the Sung Mass--the "normal" form of the liturgy--is presented, from the sixteenth century on, as a "Low" Mass, upon which have been superimposed the Gregorian melodies belonging to the Roman liturgy; the schola cantorum sings the pieces from the Proper and the Kyriale, which the celebrant recites in a low voice at the altar."

    (And I just now consulted a 1962 Missal guide to music by Rev. Scott Haynes and he seems to corroborate my original understanding. Hmm.)

    Any help with these distinctions would be most appreciated!

  • Incardination
    Posts: 448
    First, sometimes different terms are used which may additionally muddy the waters. Most of the time, when people refer to a "High Mass" they mean a "Sung Mass" or Missa Cantata. Originally High Mass referred to the Mass with the addition of sacred ministers, and that is still the proper distinction, although people often add "Solemn" as in Solemn High Mass and refer to the Missa Cantata as a High Mass.

    Regardless of terminology, each of the elevated forms of Mass takes what is present in the previous forms and adds to it.

    The Sung Mass, therefore, would be a Low Mass to which is added the requirement that a choir sing the various parts of the Ordinary and Proper of the Mass. Incense might or might not be used. If it is used, there are those additional ceremonies geared to incensations which are not in the Low Mass.

    The High Mass (or Solemn High if you prefer) would be a Sung Mass to which is added the requirement of the sacred ministers (deacon and subdeacon); the use of incense is mandated; additional ceremonies (such as the kiss of peace, the subdeacon holding the paten through the canon, etc.) are added.

    The Pontifical High Mass (either at the faldstool or the throne) would be the High Mass to which is added additional ministers (assistant priest, deacons at the throne if the Mass is at the throne); and additional ceremonies (such as the celebrant putting on the maniple during the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, kissing the book of Gospels after ascending to the praedella, etc.).

    I believe it is this context in which Crouan is speaking in the section you quoted.
    "... the Sung Mass... [is] a "Low" Mass, upon which have been superimposed..."
    Thanked by 2Heath CHGiffen
  • Heath
    Posts: 767
    Very helpful, thanks!
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 958
    The official distinctions, first for the EF, then current(ish):
    De musica sacra et sacra liturgia
    Instruction on Sacred Music and Sacred Liturgy
    Sacred Congregation for Rites — 3 September, 1958
    3. There are two kinds of Masses: the "sung Mass" and the ''read Mass."
    The Mass is called a "sung Mass" if the priest celebrant actually sings those parts which are to be sung according to the rubrics. Otherwise it is a "read Mass."
    Furthermore, if a sung Mass is celebrated with the assistance of sacred ministers, it is called a solemn Mass. If it is celebrated without the sacred ministers it is called a "Missa cantata."

    SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL
    MUSICAM SACRAM
    INSTRUCTION ON MUSIC IN THE LITURGY
    5 March, 1967
    28. The distinction between solemn, sung and read Mass, sanctioned by the Instruction of 1958 (n. 3), is retained, according to the traditional liturgical laws at present in force. However, for the sung Mass (Missa cantata), different degrees of participation are put forward here for reasons of pastoral usefulness, so that it may become easier to make the celebration of Mass more beautiful by singing, according to the capabilities of each congregation.

    Fortescue (Ceremonies ..., 1918) calls them Low Mass (read), High Mass (with full complement of sacred ministers), and Sung Mass (which he describes as Low Mass, but sung). In most churches of the English speaking world at that time, the principal Sunday Mass would have been a Sung Mass. But in practice most people called that High Mass. Of course even where there was a Solemn Mass, the roles of deacon and subdeacon would be filled by priests.
    Thanked by 1Heath
  • Incardination
    Posts: 448
    I think the reason Fortescue refers to the Missa Cantata as a Low Mass (but sung) is due to the late development of the Missa Cantata, which didn't occur until the 17th or 18th century. Among theologians, there initially was a dispute about whether to consider it as an elevated form of Mass. I don't think that it was really considered to be an elevated form in its own right until the early 1900's when the Missa Cantata had become much more ubiquitous. In fact, there was a time where the use of incense at the Missa Cantata required an indult from the Ordinary - one that was to be sought for each celebration, not given as a blank check.

    Of course even where there was a Solemn Mass, the roles of deacon and subdeacon would be filled by priests.

    I believe you mean "could". There were and continue to be situations where a layperson can fill the role of subdeacon (albeit with certain restrictions in that capacity). Typically this would be someone who was at least tonsured, but not always. Additionally, there would have been times when seminarians in major orders would have visited parishes and would have been one of the sacred ministers.
    Thanked by 1Heath
  • Heath
    Posts: 767
    .
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,528
    How sad that the low is proposed plus add-ons.
    Proposing the higest and subtracting due to necessity would be better.
    How differently we think about things and form attitudes due to word choices.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Heath,

    The Mass with the Bishop is normative, whether you happen to have a bishop handy or not, in the sense that the Low Mass isn't added to, but the Pontifical Solemn High Mass from which duties are re-assigned or ministers, music, ceremony and incense removed.
  • Heath
    Posts: 767
    Thanks for the comments about the high/low Mass distinction!

    Next question:

    In an absurdly brief history of music in the Roman rite...

    --In your opinion, what would be the essentials to include of the historical usage of the *organ*?

    --Among those essentials, composers and/or trends that should be acknowledged and highlighted?
  • Heath,

    You must include a paragraph each on the major developmental differences in the organs of, for example, Britain, Iberia, Gaul and Allemania.
  • ...what.... of the historical usage of the *organ*?


    The styles of organs of the various countries would, as Chris suggests, certainly be a propos. They are important because they defined and were defined by the various usages of the organ from place to place.

    Of more importance yet, though, would be a discussion of alternatim practice, which goes back at least to the XIV century, as attested to in the Codex Faenza, and later collections, such as the Buxheimer Orgelbuch and the Robertsbridge Codex. It continued until early into the XX century, when Pope________ abolished it. Alternatim hymn-singing, though, continues to this day in the Lutheran tradition.

    While alternatim practice was almost universal, those parts of the office and mass which were sung alternatim varied considerably from 'nation' to 'nation'. Some discussion of this would be good to offer. Also, very often diocesan or city customaries stipulated alternatim usage and its extent. These usages varied more or less widely from place to place.

    Also, as evidenced by the works of Frescobaldi and numerous others, the organ was used to supply either improvised or published 'interludes' betwixt the readings and at other points of the mass. The English Voluntary is an example of such improvised or published interludes. Continental equivalents of the English Voluntary would have seen similar usage.

    Alternatim was not confined to the mass, but was practiced in the office, as evidenced by innumerable Magnificat, Benedictus, even Te Deum, and office hymn versets for organ.

    Thusly were alternatim practice and interludes the chief usages of the organ in Catholic liturgy, though usage and style varied from country to country, even from diocese to diocese. Protestant usage was similar, but a robust tradition of chorale-based compositions and improvisations was practiced in those traditions which did not abolish all use of instruments. It was common for the organ to play a 'prelude' on a chorale and then for the people to sing it a capella; or, to sing the chorale in alternatim fashion. The elaborate praeludia of the Germanic areas were often used to set the tone for chorales, cantatas, or other parts of Lutheran liturgy. These organs were considerably more 'developed' than organs elsewhere - though 'developed' should not necessarily mean 'better', for all organs existed to satisfy the liturgical demands of their particular 'nations'.

    You might discuss how that the organ was highly esteemed as a technological marvel by towns and large churches, who vied with one another to have the best or largest organ. Often it was the municipality which financed the organs in churches and saw to their upkeep, and procured the services of the finest musician they could afford, the object consistently being to have a person skilled in the most 'modern' developments in music. (I hasten to point out that 'modern' in this context does not mean music that sounded like street music or tavern music (pop-music of the day), but music which represented the highest achievements of the musical craft and art.)

    The important difference between historical and modern praxis is that, historically, the organ's role was almost entirely to supply versets for alternatim singing, and, in some countries, to play interludes between readings, and so forth. They did not, as in modern usage, play what we term preludes and postludes, nor accompany congregational singing, and their use as a continuo instrument in choral works was very limited. Too, whereas in our day the organ is used every Sunday and Solemnity, its use in past eras was often, until modern times, limited to great feasts.

    Perhaps these ideas will serve as an outline and be enough to get you started. You can 'flesh them out' as you see fit.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,582
    Interludes between readings
    isn't a common term, though Frescobaldi might be imagining filling in for the Gradual in the absence of a choir. His Fiori provides for:
    Toccata avanti la Messa [Prelude]
    an embarrassent of Kyrie verses [for alternatim use, and conceivably for Ite Missa est]
    Canzon dopo l'Epistola [Gospel procession?]
    Recercar dopo il Credo [Offertory]
    Toccata per l'elevatione
    Canzon post il Comune [Postlude]

    It would never have occurred to me that the lengthy English voluntaries might find a place 'inside' the service. In Amsterdam Sweelinck was a municipal employee and if I recall correctly his contract specified concert recitals, with the purpose of drawing people through the doors 'between services'.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Yes -
    Some of Sweelinck's chorale variation settings were intended to be played at recitals through the week, to familiarise people with the tunes which they would sing a capella on Sunday.
    And, Some English voluntaries would indeed have been more 'service friendly' than others. Speaking of time, though, one can only wonder at the time an office or a mass took what with the elaborate and sometimes lengthy French versets, or, for that matter, some of the German ones, e.g., Scheidemann's magnificat versets.

    (I did not intend 'interludes between readings' to be an accepted formal signifer, only to indicate that certain pieces were meant to be played at points inter- 'within' a service.)