How Influential is CMAA Compared to NPM?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,546
    Someone asked this question in another thread... I will think about this before I post something.
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 65
    NPM, despite its shortcomings when it comes to perspectives on liturgy and music, has far more credibility and much more influence than CMAA with and on Catholic pastors and parishes. I have not been a member of NPM ever because I have many objections to their perspectives on sacred music. A quick look at their website, however, reveals they have no public forum similar to this forum on CMAA. Maybe they have a private forum for their members. But their public website does not have a forum on which uncredible voices are given a public platform. CMAA would be wise to consider this format if it ever wishes to attain even a fraction of the credibility and influence of NPM.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 671
    NPM is dying. It's already irrelevant. A relic of the 1980s. But many Catholic priests and musicians at least know what NPM was, and there are some regions of the country where NPM still has a faint pulse. (Not where I live.) Almost nobody has heard of CMAA.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    Twenty years ago, the pastor stopped paying for my membership in NPM. He said we had outgrown anything they had to offer. I had no intention of paying for it myself, so I dropped it. NPM is not relevant to anything I am doing now and my congregation is very traditional. Our folks would not have been supportive what NPM was doing at that time. Today, I have no idea what NPM does since I have no contact with them.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CHGiffen
  • TCJ
    Posts: 775
    I never heard of the NPM until after I had attended my first Colloquium. I took a look at what they were like (mind you, I didn't just read into what a couple of NPM supporters said about unrelated topics to make a decision about NPM) and decided they weren't worth looking into any more.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Years ago I discovered the CMAA precisely because my pastor (and boss) wanted to avoid the "big three" and NPM, because my instructions were to put the parish through (in his words) "detox".
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,146
    How do we measure influential... It could be very subjective such as the comment by jpnz71 who thinks people have the time to trawl through comments in a forum looking for things they don't like. (Are we on the hit list of the Southern Poverty Law Center? If not we are fine!)

    So once again how do we measure influence?
    Number of members?
    Increase in members?
    Number of parishes using the music provided?
    Number of queries and questions answered on this forum?
    Number of choirs founded by users of this Forum?
    Number of downloads from the resources page?
    Average age of readership?
    Number of children chant camps?

    I am sure that our webmaster can supply some of these numbers.
  • BrophyBoy
    Posts: 46
    One measure of “influence,” as this is a Catholic organization, has to be that the NPM does have an Episcopal Moderator. That is, there is a bishop that serves as the official liaison between the Association and the Bishops’ Conference. This seems important to me. I think it would be wise for there to be some consideration at the leadership level of the CMAA about the possibilities of this, and whether it would be desirable for such a relationship to exist for the CMAA.
    Thanked by 1Mattspmusic0320
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 874
    mind you, I didn't just read into what a couple of NPM supporters said about unrelated topics to make a decision about NPM

    Yes, I think most people can distinguish between the opinions of some members of the CMAA on topics unrelated to church music and the credibility of the organization as a whole.
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 65
    BrophyBoy - Yes, good observation and suggestion. Among many other things to do, an able Episcopal moderator, I am sure, would have time to survey this forum, and would provide a good accounting of CMAAs current credibility, and ways to improve going forward.
  • Having a forum is a good thing, even if it often (always?) allows for drift and contention. By contrast, NPM is better at having a slick message that fits with and fuels the mainstream of liturgical music. In other words, NPM is a better fit for our culture that wants easy answers, slick materials, and a clear message about what to buy/consume next. If you come to CMAA for help, you'll have to wade through a variety of perspectives and use your critical thinking to find that help. Which I think is better - but it is harder.

    That is my opinion of the forum itself. I do think, though, that the CMAA would do better and have more influence with a clearer organizational message and mission. Since Francis became pope, I have seen CMAA drift toward a more reactionary, defensive stance. In particular, the CMAA seems to me to have an identity crisis when it comes to the Novus Ordo vs. Extraordinary Form (or whichever terms you prefer). When I first became a member, back in the Pope Benedict days, the CMAA seemed like a good resource and social hub for people trying to improve the state of church music in either form of the Roman Rite. Now there seems to me to be a strong focus on the Novus Ordo itself being flawed and a waste of time. Look at New Liturgical Movement for example. Even as someone who is a member, who has published articles and given presentations with the CMAA, I have a hard time knowing exactly what the organization stands for. What I am personally interested in is better Novus Ordo liturgy/music. It is not always clear for me that the CMAA is a place for that.
  • I should add - I have nothing against the EF, and in a different life where I didn't work for the church I might even attend that predominantly with my family. I'm just saying that the picture with the CMAA is often muddy - is it here to improve liturgical music in the Novus Ordo, or is the Novus Ordo itself a waste of effort?
    Thanked by 3tandrews CHGiffen Carol
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 65
    JaredOstermann - I don't think this forum in its current format is a good thing at all. If its going to be public, then anyone who posts on it should have to use their full, real name, and have a profile that provides a short bio. This would increase the quality of postings, increase the credibility of those who post, and would do the same for CMAA at the same time. I don't think it's a good idea to make things challenging for people looking for info or answers to hard questions - this is not the place to challenge people's critical thinking. CMAA can have a clear message, easy to access information, and true substance when it comes to liturgy and music - these are not mutually exclusive. By the way, I also favor the EF. I think CMAA could be effective if it simply promoted excellence in liturgy and music in both the NO and EF, which also should not be mutually exclusive.
  • anyone who posts on it should have to use their full, real name, and have a profile that provides a short bio. This would increase the quality of postings, increase the credibility of those who post, and would do the same for CMAA at the same time.


    ....write JPNZ71.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce to you Irony.
    Thanked by 2francis NihilNominis
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 65
    Chris - You, of course, did not comment on the substance of my suggestion. Unfortunately, until such a forum as I suggested exists, I would be wary of harassment at work from people such as you if I used my real name on the forum in its current format. No irony - just extreme caution.
  • JPNZ71,

    I'll reply through PM, so as to protect your identity. If you really fear retribution from people such as me, as our moderator asserts, there may be other issues.

    Nevertheless, I find it amusing that you decide that I didn't address the substance of the post, which (surely) was that the CMAA needs to improve its standing.
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 65
    Chris - For the record, the kind of harassment I am referring to are the anonymous emails to pastors which I am sure many music directors have had to deal with. These kind of emails from upset parishioners, or upset forum members, can wreak havoc on a career, and in some cases, on the family of the music director. With the forum in its current format, I don't know who you are, or who anybody else is, so how am I to trust anyone with my life's work and my family's well being? I look forward to your PM.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • MarkB
    Posts: 671
    If membership/affiliation is one measure of influence, the following data from a survey last year is pertinent:

    QUESTION 14 What is your parish’s history with NPM? Please select all that apply.
    Answer choices Responses
    Our music director is a current member 51.5% 1326
    Our music director was formerly a member 14.9% 384
    Our music director has never been a member 26.9% 692
    Our pastor is a current member 9.4% 241
    Our pastor was formerly a member 4.2% 109
    Our pastor has never been a member 34.3% 883

    https://www.npm.org/httpdocs/assets/NPM_Landscape_Survey-Results.pdf

    Note: the survey was not only distributed to NPM members nor through NPM channels.

    Here's a link to NPM's April newsletter. Has a financial report for 2019 and outlines plans for remaining a viable organization. One impressive thing about it is that the issue addresses the coronavirus suspension of public worship. That's an agile response:

    http://www.modernpubsonline.com/0A43u46/April2020/html/index.html?origin=reader
    Thanked by 1jpnz71
  • If only half of music directors who responded are current members, in an environment in which there's a seeming monopoly, that -- surely-- sings a noteworthy note.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,546
    I would be wary of harassment at work from people such as you
    There is no credibility to someone who is not honest about who they are. You can have my career if I cannot speak the truth of the Gospel freely and openly without being... (name offense against personhood here)

    Introit (of the day)
    Gal 6:14.
    But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.
    Ps 66:2
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,687
    Being influential isn't the only consideration. One might do well to consider:

    How relevant is the CMAA compared to the NPM?

    Thanked by 2tomjaw bhcordova
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,127
    FYI... Pueri Cantores (the RC children's choir organization) also has an Episcopal moderator in the US. Bishop Zubik of Pittsburgh is the bishop attached to it as moderator. Having one gives some credibility (though not much IMO).
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 980
    jpnz71, how can you call for others to provide what you obviously are unwilling to provide? I notice that on your 'about you' section, there is no identifying information. If you are unwilling to do what you propose, why should others on this forum take you seriously?

    There are many resources on the CMAA site. I really don't know of any of them (other than the CMAA store) require you to provide any information or even be a CMAA member. If you don't like using the forum, no one is forcing you to do so.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CHGiffen
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,146
    I make no secret of who I am either, I am a former organic Chemist, working as a teacher in South London... A quick trawl through posts will show that many of those with un-descriptive names have also revealed who they are...

    I see you object to the Swiss, but they have an interesting culture (my wife is Swiss) But as you can see from the links I had posted, they link to all sorts of data, many that are main stream. I suspect that you do not like the message, but that is science, sometimes the message is unwelcome!
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 65
    bhcordova - This forum in its current configuration is essentially a wild, wild west of personalities and comments. I am not willing to put my name and reputation at stake on any such forum of any organization. Of course, there are some on this forum who are reputable, respectable, solid contributors, but there are other wild cards out there who cannot be accounted for, and who I therefore cannot trust. I don't wish to put my life and career in the hands of unknown wild cards. I think this forum as it is too unfocused both in topics, comments and people who post, and ultimately, at best, does nothing to lift CMAA into a position of influence/relevance to a wider audience, and at worst hurts the organization's credibility. My proposal would be to create a members only public forum that is visible to all, but only open for topics and comments to members who provide their real names and biographical profile. An unfocused, non-public forum for members who wish to vent and argue on all manner of topics could be set up - I'm not tech savvy - on a CMAA members only page. This would be accessible only to members, and whether these members wish to use pseudonyms or their real names would be up to them, as would the nature of their topics and comments. Of course no one is forcing me to use the forum. However, its frustrating to see public comments, threads and topics that do nothing but drag CMAA down, in my opinion. CMAA has lots of potential to be both relevant and influential. There are other aspects to address, of course, but when it comes to this forum specifically, as it is now I believe it is a net drag on CMAAs credibility, reputation, relevance and influence.
  • I'm not a member of NPM, but our Diocesan Office of Worship director kind of advocates for them so I peruse their offerings from time to time and have attended one of their conventions. They recently had a webinar addressing their NPM 2.0 which is some kind of organizational campaign at updating and improving themselves. The results of their survey previously mentioned were discussed and then they took some questions. I was actually surprised that less than 250 people even tuned in for that. I know their membership is only around 4000, but especially since most people are stuck at home anyways I thought that seemed pretty indicative.

    They really project relevance, importance, and influence, but aside from name recognition I just don't get the impression that they really matter to a lot of people. And the numbers don't lie. In the last five years alone they've lost 25% of their membership despite maintaining the same number of chapters. And the convention I went to in 2018 was overwhelmingly people of the older generation. As a then 24 year old, I felt very out of place.

    They have some interesting offerings on their website, lots of partnerships with the big 3 (now 2) and as mentioned above an Episcopal Moderator, but that's it. The more I learn about liturgy and the role of music the more I'm confused by many of the things NPM says. I think they mean well, I just don't agree with some of their fundamental notions of what Liturgy is and how music functions in it.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    I am a CMAA member as well as AGO and OHS. I will admit the thought has crossed my mind that this place is a refuge for some disaffected Trads. I think the climate has changed since the reign of Francis began and the two camps are not as ready or willing to find common ground. Unfortunately, too many of those EF folks think the rest of us really want the EF, we just are not enlightened yet.

    I am a Byzantine who works for Latins. We do the NO, do good music, and are not addicted to chant alone, although I will profess a great love for French Baroque music. I have no desire to do EF since it doesn't relate to my job. I'm not looking for more work since I still work part time with the Federal agency I retired from. I can get really bored with the sameness of chant when it isn't broken up with the other 400 years of good Catholic music.

    I am 72 years old, cranky as hell, and do my own thing. Somehow it all turns out well and good music is produced both with my choir and my organ selections. Has to be the Holy Spirit at work.

    CMAA isn't perfect but neither is NPM. If neither organization suits you, then you will just have to start your own.
  • jpnz71
    Posts: 65
    If neither organization suits you, then you will just have to start your own.

    You might be right.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    I will add that this place is a fantastic source of resources. IMSLP is administered by one of our members. The collection of music resources listed on the main forum page is something you won't find in one place anywhere else. Some of those resources are no longer in print and are actually rare. Between the forum and IMSLP, I often don't have to buy music.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,546
    Along with CHG, I would add, "influential" is only a part, perhaps even subserviant, to what CMAA is about. In my view (becoming a member back in 2005 and attending my first Colloquium, 47 people total, I believe) it was promoting authentic sacred music within the rite of the RCC. Although its members participate in both the NO and EF (as the two rites are presently dubbed), IMHO it is to the tradition of the Latin Rite that it contributes most of its energy.

    My initial take on the NPM.

    Music Counterpart to the Theological Revolution

    It is almost entirely devoted to the efforts of the New Order of mass, filling the musical vacuum once the attempted displacement of the TLM had been activated. I just downloaded the first issue of the NPM Mag which is available to the public. I suppose you could call it the manifesto of NPM. It is available from their website here. Just parsing thorugh this pub, you get a really good idea what 'credibility' (or lack thereof) the NPM has gained for itself over the years. Never joined, never will.

    However, I will admit I was sucked into its philosophy as were so many of us who were young and reaching for the "novel" in the 70s. Hindsight is 20/20.

    https://npm.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/PM Vol 01-1.pdf

    This could very well be an explanation of the theological counterpart to understanding the NPM.

    Theological Revolution

    https://padrepioandchiesaviva.com/uploads/Paul_VI.._beatified_english.pdf
    Thanked by 2MarkB tomjaw
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,358
    Perhaps one measure of influence is how likely one is to attend Sunday Mass at a random Catholic church and find the music selection therein recognizably informed by principles espoused by CMAA?
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 980
    @jpnz71 - I have been an administrator on a site devoted music (the now defunct Trombone Forum). I also belong to other fora, although only as a member. I can tell you that, in my experience, unless a forum is very highly moderated (e.g. all posts have to be approved before it becomes available for viewing) they all become
    essentially a wild, wild west of personalities and comments
    . That's because, when you have a free exchange of ideas topics will drift off-topic. That's not always a bad thing. That's the way natural conversations take place. They tend to drift all over the place.

    Most of the fora I belong to usually have a hand-full of members who do the majority of posting. They tend to be the ones who have very strong opinions about the subject being discussed. Again, this is not a bad thing. These people tend to be very knowledgeable about the subject at hand. Unfortunately, there is, as they say, more than one way to skin a cat. The most heated discussions on any forum are about the best way to skin said cat.

    I can honestly say that I have learned more about my faith, sacred music, the liturgy, and how they all come together here on this forum than I did from my CCD classes while I was in school. These people on this forum are an amazing resource for anyone who wants to learn more about sacred music.

    Also, the purpose of a forum is not to lift an organization into greater relevance or influence. A forum is a place for the members of the organization to feel free discuss ideas, techniques, problems, and solutions. To discuss those things that are important to musicians. That includes a very wide range of subjects.

    And about this forum being a drag on the mission of the CMAA, I can only speak from personal experience. I came to the CMAA website to learn how to sing Chant. I didn't think that the type of music at Mass made a whole lot of difference, as long as it didn't espouse heretical ideas. But, as I've read and participated in this forum, I have learned that there is a music that is meant to be sung at Mass. Just like there are readings and prayers that are meant to be read and prayed at Mass. If it weren't for this forum, I would have never l learned that. Seems to me that the forum is helping to further the ideas the CMAA is championing.

    Of course, YMMV
  • Speaking for myself, I like to think that the CMAA is home to the whole gamut of church musicians who are working for a more beautiful liturgy, whether EF or OF. With the continuation of the CMAA's tradition of using both forms of the liturgy at our Colloquia, including the addition of a Spanish OF liturgy at our most recent Colloquia, I'm surprised that there is any confusion about whether the CMAA supports the OF as well as the EF.

    There are many, many Catholics around the country (and around the world) who only know the ordinary form of the Mass and who don't have access to an EF Mass even if they wished to attend one (and, let's face it -- that describes the majority of Catholics today). For example, I had never attended an EF Mass before my first Colloquium in 2007.

    At the same time, we have many members of the CMAA (and forum members) who much prefer the EF and don't have any use for the OF at. all. There is room for all of us who are working to make the worship of God more beautiful wherever we are, both as members of the CMAA and/or its forum.

    This mixture of personalities and viewpoints is a strength of this forum, I think. I do know this for sure: I have never asked for help in finding the answer to some question regarding the hunt for particular music or a question on liturgy, etc. that hasn't been met with goodwill and charity by the forum members. I'm very grateful for that.

    Wishing you all a very good Holy Week. My husband and I are enjoying the opportunity to share in the liturgies offered in various places we would not normally be able to attend, due to location.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,687
    IMSLP is administered by one of our members.

    I didn't know this. But I do know that CPDL is administered by one of the CMAA forum contributors; in fact, this person has served as its president for almost 10 years, and prior to the incorporation of CPDL as a nonprofit he managed CPDL through a two year period of transition.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,146
    A look at the Musica Sacra home page sees nothing about EF vs. OF... The music pdf menu bar is more balanced to the OF. The Books menu bar is a wide collection of resources. the resources section is unrivalled.

    The Forum is not a major part of the page, and the NLM header could be considered a red flag to a certain group in the Catholic Church.

    In my personal contacts with some of the Forum members, they would not be able to participate under their own names. Any user of the Forum will have seen the many posts by music directors that have lost their jobs over their fidelity to what the Church teaches about Sacred Music... Do you want to see their voices silenced?

    As CHGiffen points out above our Forum has an amazing wealth of talent... Members are involved with or help build or run the following amazing resources, how is that for influence?
    http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/
    http://www.gregorianbooks.com/home.html
    http://bbloomf.github.io/jgabc/propers.html
    https://www.divinumofficium.com
    https://gregobase.selapa.net
    https://squarenote.co
    http://gregorian-chant-hymns.com
    https://www.ccwatershed.org
    (I am sorry for omitting anyone's project, website etc.)

    How many choirs and choir directors use the resources many of us have helped build? I can name choirs across the world that are using resources I have helped produce.

    I wish you the best of luck founding your own website and Forum.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,366
    When Virtus and other training programs were mandated for choirs a lot of anonymous accounts were opened that haven't been used since. I therefore don't think we can assume jpnz71 necessarily hasn't made on-topic musical contributions under another handle. And I have to agree that this forum has become especially embarrassing lately; things didn't go quite this far off the rails even after Charlottesburgville. Until jpnz71 urged a closer inspection of a 'Swiss' 'alternative facts' site I wasn't even aware Rwandan genocide denial was 'a thing'.

    I do not contribute anonymously myself and resist the temptation to rewrite or blank my posts. I do however commend the period and yellow square to the person suggesting that the only a liberal agenda to shame conservatives could be behind an objection to the Confederate flag.
  • Richard,

    I'm still only dimly aware that Rwandan genocide denial is, as you call it, 'a thing'. Among the benefits of having little time and less interest in trawling on the internet for such stuff is that I'm blissfully ignorant of it.

    Now, as to the Confederate flag, I'm going to avoid inflammatory commentary here, since I don't want to "trigger" anyone. Nevertheless, I want to acknowledge that there is more than one reason to object to the Confederate flag, and also more than one reason to support its continued flying. One, as you might suggest, is that we never forget the past, so as to avoid repeating the MISTAKES of those now gone to their eternal reward.
    Thanked by 2CCooze tomjaw
  • If it were true that NPM was a fading entity that would be news worthy of celebrating. However, I see little or no sign of it in the unworthy music that seems standard in most parishes and some cathedrals, As a good sign, they even had a booth for Fr Columba (RIP) and for chant at their recent conventions. What is the evidence for them becoming less influential?
  • Jackson,

    The direct influence of the organization is fading if it is losing membership. Its indirect influence, I grant you, is in evidence in many places.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,687
    things didn't go quite this far off the rails even after Charlottesburg.
    ???
    I lived for 38 years in Charlottesville (on faculty of UVa) before moving back to the Midwest in 2004.
    Thanked by 1Richard Mix
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,366
    I don't want to "trigger" anyone.
    That's charitable of my unreconstructed friend, but I don't agree that this forum should be a 'safe zone' for any content at all. When a medical opinion is sourced to a site that endorses a theory of a jewish plot to control the world a little scrutiny (and action to protect CMAA's reputation: thanks Chonak) is due.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 671
    If it were true that NPM was a fading entity that would be news worthy of celebrating. However, I see little or no sign of it in the unworthy music that seems standard in most parishes and some cathedrals, As a good sign, they even had a booth for Fr Columba (RIP) and for chant at their recent conventions. What is the evidence for them becoming less influential?


    OCP and GIA drive the NPM and Catholic music cart, not the other way around. NPM could instantaneously disintegrate and the influence of OCP and GIA on Catholic liturgical music would remain dominant. NPM does not drive the agenda; it is a water boy for OCP and GIA, and a useful instrument for them to propagandize parish musicians and promote their music. Because, you see, if a national association of Catholic pastoral musicians is heavily into OCP and GIA music, that gives OCP and GIA added credibility.

    As I said, NPM is dying. Even after it dissolves the music landscape won't change much because OCP and GIA are firmly entrenched and will still be doing what they're doing, even without NPM.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW mattebery
  • Richard,

    "unreconstructed" is, quite possibly, the most generous compliment anyone has ever paid me. Thank you.

    As to the website (which I haven't visited and don't plan to visit) I think caution is called for, nay, social distancing is called for, perhaps even sending the offenders to Coventry, but if the information contained on the site included the idea that John Paul II was born in 1920 and had Jewish friends, this would still be true, even if hosted by a collection of cranks.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,358
    But (((we))) don't have to supply oxygen to fan the gaseous emanations from cranks.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,223
    CHGiffen: I really meant to say CPDL instead of IMSLP. However, I use both and find them valuable and worthy resources.
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen CCooze tomjaw
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,332
    Unfortunately, NPM is largely run by GIA, OCP. That's where the $ is. Their conventions are mostly publicity campaigns for products by those companies. if you attend a liturgy at the convention, it is a "GIA" liturgy, where every piece of music is a GIA publication, for sale after Mass in the lobby...Oh, and the digital organ companies.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,546
    Oh, and the digital organ companies
    O yea. O my. O jeez. O help.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,687
    CharlesW, I use IMSLP a lot, too ... their old facsimile editions are often used by several of us contributors to CPDL to engrave scores for CPDL.
    Thanked by 3CharlesW CCooze tomjaw
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,691
    At least NPM has given us some great moments to remember. There was some discussion on the Cafe site, and also in a Forum thread.
  • Concerning 'influence -
    You all may pummel me with popcorn and accuse me of myopia - but, is there any influence at all in the wider liturgical scene of the Ordinariate's liturgical praxis? This question arises from genuine curiosity - not, I assure you, from any liturgical chauvinism.
    Thanked by 1ghmus7
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,687
    The only thing digital about an organ should be the digits (and feet) with which it is played.