New music for the Ordinary Form
  • Heath
    Posts: 928
    I'm in the midst of reading Fr. Anthony Ruff's excellent book, "Sacred Music and Liturgical Reform" (highly recommended). After finishing his chapter on "The Liturgical Composer", I began dwelling more on compositional needs for the reformed liturgy (Ordinary Form).

    I've seen some fine compositions floating around this forum and others from some publishers. I feel, though, that some of these compositions are not filling some holes that I see in the music for the liturgy. For instance: though I commend all composers that attempt to use their God-given creativity to produce music of beauty and integrity, do we really need a whole new slew of "Ave Maria" settings? "Ave Verum Corpus"? There are literally hundreds of the former and when it comes to the latter, I'll probably never stray from the 3 settings by Byrd, Mozart, and Elgar. I'm also not sure we need more settings of the Ordinary (both congregational and choral) that will go largely unused outside of the composer's own parish.

    I would like to encourage composers on this forum and beyond to pray about "filling in the gaps", so to speak; to create some dignified settings of items that we currently have a paucity of. A few things (with commentary) that I see:

    --Choral Gospel Acclamation verses: Assuming many parishes are using congregational refrains for this item, I think settings of the verses between refrains could be done by the choir.

    --Choral settings of the Proper Offertory texts: Though there seem to be a fair amount of settings of these for Advent, Lent, Christmas, and Easter, how many settings of the Ordinary Time Offertories have you come across? Browsing over at CPDL, usually the only ones you'll come across are those wonderful, but darn hard 5-part settings by Palestrina. This is a part of the Mass that is often done by the choir, and some quality SATB settings of the Proper texts are much needed.

    --Choral settings of the Proper Communion texts: I love the idea of doing a choral embellishment after chanting the Communio from the GR. Prof. Mahrt introduced a setting of Isaac's "Amen Dico Vobis" during last year's Colloquium that put the chant melody as a cantus firmus in the soprano line. Isaac set many of those texts, but it would be nice to have more options (especially since Isaac's are hard to find).

    --Music for the Rites of Christian Initiation: Haugen, Haas, et al. jumped on board quickly by setting much of the music for these rites, but I haven't seen much in the "traditional" style. These seem to be an afterthought, for whatever reason, by traditional musicians.

    --Choral embellishments for the Chant Ordinary: This will come across as anathema to some, but I like the idea of enhancing some of the congregational Ordinary chants with some choral work. Especially if you're using the Missa Jubilate Deo practically year-round, it may be nice to spruce up these settings with some compositional techniques.

    There's more that others can share. Please do. I'd also like to suggest to the moderators of this forum to put together something (if possible) similar to Yahoogroups where people could download their compositions to this site and others could easily browse through them. I know some had attached PDFs earlier (which was great), but they'll soon get sent to the bottom of the archives as more and more people post. This is a variant of what I had discussed last year at the Colloquium with some folks about starting a "Liturgical CPDL", with mostly new compositions and links to CPDL containing old classics.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,532
    can you contact me?
  • Heath, I think this a liturgical CPDL would be a great idea. What would people think if we started precisely that? Perhaps under the URL: ?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,532
    I am praying very hard right now about a 'new model' as a publisher that supports the church with new excellent music, but truly represents and protects the composer's interest and livleyhood. I am also wrestling with whether or not I ever want to compose using English anymore (for the RC liturgy).

    (added) Latin is the universal language for the church. I think we all agree that it will never go away. Why should I restrict my composing to just English speaking people when we already have a global language? When I composed a Mass a few years back (in latin) everyone jumped to use it. it quickly found a premier in Lisbon, Portugal. We ALL know what the ordinary text is. And in my opinion, it cannot be more beautifully said than in the latin language. And with ICEL and the inherent problems with English translations and the constant 'adjustments' being made, I think it will all go by the wayside sooner or later.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I don't like the idea of a "liturgical CPDL" because it fragments the music availability. If I need ANY choral music, I go to CPDL. I should have to scour the internet, finding all the various hosting sites and then search each and every one of them.

    What I WOULD suggest is some liturgical indexes at CPDL for the Ordinary Form, Extraordinary Form, and Revised Common Lectionary. Have it contain for each date a listing of works which set the texts proper to the day and those which are in some wise well suited to the day. I think that would go a lot further than hiding works on the CMAA's website.
  • Heath
    Posts: 928
    Actually, I think CPDL is wonderful, but can be unfriendly to someone trying to find music from a liturgical perspective. Think about, with all it's suggestions of choral music for particular liturgical days; now think about it with links to all the pieces that they suggest. Pieces could classified by a moderator, suggestions for repertoire could be posted by others, Aristotle's Propers spreadsheet could gain a wider audience . . . I think it could be a terrific resource for folks in our profession.
  • I was reminded of a post I wrote four years ago on this very topic.

    Gavin's point about fragmentation of music availability is well-taken. I would also like to point out that fragmentation of knowledge concerning liturgical music — and popular erroneous assumptions that result from such fragmentation — are obstacles that musicians working in both forms of the Roman Rite have to overcome both now and well into the foreseeable future. Mr. Penkala's efforts to overcome these are to be lauded.

    If a "liturgical CPDL" were to add any value over and above CPDL, it would need to, among other things:

    • Address things from the perspective of the rite in question (in our case, the Roman Rite, regardless of form)
    • Highlight, as neutrally and as explicitly as possible, the degrees of precedence outlined by the latest General Instruction of the Roman Missal and other guideline documents
    • Have an interface that makes it as simple as possible for people to download music
    • Make it easy for choir directors to select music based on the abilities/limitations of their choirs.
    • Provide appropriate repertoire (free and non-free) to organists of all skill levels.
    • Be accessible to the inquiring layman.
    • Be publicized widely and often.

    So, I'm envisioning something that also delves into musical/liturgical catechesis. If such a site was ever created, CPDL should definitely remain the primary repository for all of these works, with the "liturgical CPDL" providing the proper liturgical context.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,532
    who runs cpdl? or perhaps a better question is who controls it?
  • I believe that a gentleman by the name of Rafael Ornes is the creator of the site: his contact information is here.

    As for who controls it, basically all of the users control and edit it.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,532
    Can anyone post a work there?
  • Absolutely. I created an account specifically to upload my work without needing to contact anyone. The 'gatekeepers' edited my page for layout consistency.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Ah, I see your point, Aristotle. And I think that is a good project, but still I have to object to another site with scores on it. Maybe you could link to relevant CPDL scores or something. I've often thought a "Sacred Music Wiki" would be handy, but the point still remains that we shouldn't go hiding music on the Catholic corner of the web, if for no other reason than that many liturgical protestant church musicians could benefit from more polyphony and such on CPDL.
  • Gavin: Your objections are valid, and I share them. I'd be much more inclined to link to external sources myself if this project were to be commenced.

    It's funny you mention liturgical protestant church musicians, since it was a high-church Episcopalian who introduced me to the Renaissance masters.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,532
    I personally don't see anything wrong with being focused on music exclusively composed for the RC Mass and other devotions. I don't know of any other publishers doing this except CN. Do any of you? For many years I was told (by 'Catholic' publishers) that my own compositions were always "too Catholic", and therefore not marketable (generic) enough to warrant publication.

    BTW... I don't think we could ever compose enough Ave Maria's from the beginning of time until the end. She deserves at least one from every composer that ever lives! (please see my post on latria, dulia and hyperdulia)
  • Gavin, is not a repository of scores that stands alone. It is also integrates in its index a large number of scores created and saved by others, bringing together what was once a fragmentary and hard to locate number of libraries of music in one place, nicely categorized.

    What IS needed is a wiki of music for the Catholic Mass that is acceptable in text. It could easily envelope the music we need to write as well as serve as a directory to that music in that meets the requirements. And it could also have links to works such as the Berlinner Messe of Arvo Part that, though it is under copyright, links to it could make it easier for people who want to seek it out.

    As such it could of even more value than

    noel at
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Yes, one could link to any music posted on there from CPDL. That's another option.

    I suppose I'm less interested in arguing over what it should be and more interested in asking who's going to make it? Where's Pes when you need him?
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    (enter cavalry)

    Pes is here! Just utterly swamped at the moment. Look, do you all really need a home-grown system? How about proposing to that they add a "liturgical" field to their database?

    Oh, and I'm writing an "Ave Maria" at the moment. Arguably, there are only two to choose from, currently: Gounod's and Schubert's. I challenge any engaged couple to name more than those two. Lauridsen wrote a typically soft, major, lushly gorgeous thing, but it was a festschrift kind of thing and not really within the reach of the average SATB choir. At least, I don't think it is without seeing the score. So my current exercise is to write a nice Ave in F major to complement the Missa 'Dixit Maria' by Hassler. Some of the harmonic moves are similar, and I'll probably weave some Hassler motifs into an extended Amen at the end.

    Yes, there is a vast, immeasurable treasure-trove of sacred music out there. That doesn't mean that every contingency has already been covered. Far from it. That said, my enthusiasm doesn't come from the perception that "hey, Scrutinies during Lent require a Sunday 'sending forth' musical thingie during Mass, for which we have to compose everything from scratch!" I don't think that moment requires music, frankly.

    But criminey, there's a ton of music to compose.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,532

    I would love to hear your Ave! What else have you composed? Where can I hear/see it?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,532
    I think JO is attempting something like this, isn't he? He has even invited other composers, but I am not aware of who else might be a contributor. Does anyone else know?
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    Hi Francis, well, I'm the equivalent of a second-year comp student, so it's no great shakes. (Yet!) When I complete a draft that gets past my tutor, I'll post it. All I can say at this point is that it's my first attempt to write for real liturgy rather than the ears of a teacher or the 'people.' The text is the Latin version, which is beautifully sonorous and rhythmically interesting. The music is mostly 3/4 with a mainly step-wise melody. Harmony is largely homophonic with only one imitative section (so far). Overall, it has a Lydian sonority with a fair bit of minor in the middle ("peccatoribus" etc.). I'm in the middle of a tripartite Amen at the end to balance things out and counteract the gravitational pull of the middle. I'm thinking of the piece as something to be sung at a wedding by a decent choir willing to venture some interesting harmony. So far, my tutor approves -- her role to this point is to push me harmonically (to write pure music), and my role is to resist and only take the best ideas that come out of that. I'll post it, and you'll all go, "Hunh. Well, interesting, but it's not Bach/Gounod."

    But we already knew that. :-)
  • francis
    Posts: 10,532

    You at least have the ears of your teachers. Mine stuck their tongue out and held their stomach as if to chuck lunch whenever I showed my teacher my latest works. Then again, he was an athiest and an avante gardist, so what do you expect?! I am always ears to hear anything from my contemporaries, especially from this board. Have you heard the Ave I put on this forum (somewhere)? It was composed for the same reason. It was the conference hymn for the Marian Conference of Baltimore in 1992. We have kind of worn out the Shubert and the Bach/G. (I also kept strictly to the prose of the actual prayer.)
  • Francis: Indeed — check the St. Noel Chabanel Responsorial Psalm Project psalm listings to see who else has contributed their settings.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,532
    Thank you, Aristotle. Yes, I have been there numerous times, but cannot find the part about other composers. I emailed Jeff too, but he hasn't gotten back to me yet.
  • Hi Francis...

    (I could, of course be wrong, but from my experience) I don't believe there is any listing where you can look up compositions by composer... rather, as you look at the music available for a particular week of the liturgical year, you will see choices by several different composers for the same week with different settings...

  • "Arguably, there are only two to choose from, currently: Gounod's and Schubert's. "
    Dear Pez, now really! If the chooser is a Bridezilla and her mom, maybe. Schubert's gets mangled more often than does Mozart's "Ave verum" on any given Saturday or funeral. As Dr. O'Connor often trumpets, or in his case, euphones: try good ol' Arcadelt. I personally think that ol' Jacque's setting is genetically transmitted to all RC's upon conception, in the DNA so to speak. If you have the horses, do the Biebl setting. If you live in home of the brave, try the Igor Stravinsky setting! And there's oodles more out there. Oh, and the chant's pretty cool too.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,532
    ya cant beat the chant! thanks, janet... o charles, yes, the arcadelt, catholic musical dna... thats very very good... (believe it or not, i never heard that one till a couple a years ago). Have you heard the one by (i think it's) Bruckner? Quite nice!
  • G
    Posts: 1,396
    Off-topic, but as to Ave Marias at weddings, in the past two years I have had several requests for the Arcadelt and, (don't faint now....) one for the Gregorian setting, (and the latter was at a wedding that was otherwise pure velveeta, which just goes to show...although I am not sure what is shows.)

    Save the Liturgy, Save the World!
  • G
    Posts: 1,396
    Incidentally, Heath, thanks for the recommendation on the book.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • Chris
    Posts: 80
    I play for about 50 weddings a year at Saint Mary's, and at my semi-annual planning sessions, I offer to couples the Arcadelt, Schubert, Gounod and chant settings. About 35-40% of them pick the chant! I know this may be off topic, but I though it was worth noting. Perhaps we could start another thread on the subject of how, at some level, even the most uneducated, or more perhaps more correctly stated, the wrongly educated PIP's still, at some subconcious or other level, have an appreciation for or at least a recognition of worthy, transcendent sacred music.
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    I must be in the minority here, because I find the Arcadelt a little too perfunctory, like a voice-leading exercise. Victoria's setting is beautifully imitative but rather dark for a wedding. Parsons' is gloriously imitative (wow!) but probably too difficult for heavy rotation. Gounod hit the sweet spot in that respect. Moreover, and call me odd, but I never warmed up to the Schubert. I find it too operatic. What I'd love to hear is a setting by Palestrina -- or Durufle' -- if they exist. As for chant melodies, there are several, some breathtaking.

    The thread here is about new music for the OF, and to pull it back in that direction, I'd like to say that the "Ave Maria" -- along with the "Salve Regina" -- represents an opportunity. All the Marian antiphons, really. It depends what we mean by "for the OF." Personally, I think new compositions should help pull the OF back into the universe of the sacred. There is plenty of opportunity for that, both in Latin (starting with the simpler texts, like the Marian ones) and in English.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,532
    I never liked the shubert. Too shmultzy and operatic for the liturgy. Pes, I see what you are saying about the Arcadelt... as far as composing for the OF, well, after I read an important book on it's way to my door (Iota Unum), I will let you know what I think then.
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    By the way, Heath, that's a greatly stimulating post up there.
  • Regarding these two proposals advanced by Aristotle-

    *Address things from the perspective of the rite in question (in our case, the Roman Rite, regardless of form)

    *Highlight, as neutrally and as explicitly as possible, the degrees of precedence outlined by the latest General Instruction of the Roman Missal and other guideline documents

    At the risk of advancing a notion that doesn't help advance some basic precepts of CMAA philosophy, I think that a concerted effort to set the propers for Sunday Mass in the vernaculars (I'm actually just advocating English at this point) and in fairly metrical rhythmic and complimentary harmonic structures. I think that we have the benefit of being able to see how the great "collectors" of indigenous musics, such as Vaughn-Williams, Holst, Stanford (especially), Kodaly, Dvorak et al managed to impart an aesthetic that was at once sacred and "known."
    I do realize this is easier said than done, because we're currently dealing with ICEL versus "?" issues of translation of the Latin antiphons and psalm verses, but I think it's an idea worth pursuing. The folks at LitPress, it seems to me, have rushed to judgment and failed with their product PSALLITE, which is an effort similar to my idea, but musically all over the map, or trying to be all things to all people.
    Between existing hymnody that have metrical formulae and new texts with new hymntunes, wouldn't this be an interesting project for a new consortium of RC composers who visit these familiar forums?
  • Pes
    Posts: 623

    Interesting. You're thinking then that the congregation would sing the melodies? If so, I can see the metrical approach. What you're suggesting sounds like "English propers set like classic hymnody." Didn't Christoph Tietze do this with the introits? I don't have his book yet.

    If it's just choir alone, then a more conversational rhythm with melodic/textual sensitivities (a la chant), all accompanied by modal harmony, would be very interesting. It would be very interesting to see how we'd deal with the different genres/functions of the propers: introits would not be treated the same way as communios, and so forth. Working out melodies analogous to (not duplicative of) those in the Graduale would also be challenging but rewarding.

    Why don't we just create a thread for this? We could upload attachments of drafts, just to see how things might go.
  • "Interesting. You're thinking then that the congregation would sing the melodies? If so, I can see the metrical approach. What you're suggesting sounds like "English propers set like classic hymnody." Didn't Christoph Tietze do this with the introits? I don't have his book yet."

    Yes, Pes, congregational accessibility was my thrust. I'm not familiar with Tietze, will google.
  • Palestrina
    Posts: 362
    One thing that I would like to see more of is new music that is appropriate for either the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. I would love to see situations where the Extraordinary Form of the Missa Cantata could be introduced in a way where the congregation already had some familiar points of reference (ie. Mass Ordinaries etc) so that the experience would be less foreign to them.
  • Friends,

    I think much of what you seek has already been accomplished here:


    As the ADOREMUS article about this says, other artists are encouraged to contribute, and many have already. I am amazed at the different styles, notations, and compositional techniques employed by the various "modern, traditional, liturgical composers."

    In Christ,

  • Dear Jules,
    I think most of us who frequent "the boards" are quite familiar with Jeff Ostrawski's huge contributions, which of late are also branching out beyond the Psalter.
    Just for clarification, I suppose I was pondering the viability of compiling a graduale of similar intent as BY FLOWING WATERS, except that the settings of the propers would be more "hymnic," if you will. And I know that very concept flies in the face of many concerns championed by CMAA and others globally.
    This thought might cause great consternation, but I think there will long be significant resistance by a majority of "people in the pews, aka PIPs" to aspects of the re-reform that at first blush seems to leave them out in the cold and disengaged. I actually think my perspective is similar to Ms. Ballou's portrait in her recent article. So, if composers could bridge the gap between the replacement of "alius cantus" with proper settings that are solidly based in sound text and musical forms that have been on the landscape for 500 years, perhaps blended with a measure of our native forms of chant tones and some select polyphony, I suggest that might lessen that resistance over a couple of generations.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    The Tietze "Intoit Hymns" would be very useful indeed if it weren't for the awkwardness of the text. There are half rhymes, eye rhymes, and non rhymes all over the place, as well as language that seems either non-native (I'm not sure if English is his first language or not) or at times more archaic than the older hymns that they are supposed to replace. Perhaps a second edition will come out with some "improvements" based on suggestions of those trying to use the otherwise worthy resource. Another difficulty is the choice of tunes. Not every congregation knows the same 30 tunes that another might consider standard. I'd find a collection of metrical texts, which could be used with any tune, to be more useful. But as it is, in order to use this resource legally, you'd have to write for permissions, then reset all the texts to tunes your congregation knows, then print them in bulletins. It's a lot of work for a practice that many would consider to be "transitional" at best. I think I would prefer to see something along the lines of BFW, but that was based on the GR rather than the GS.

    And, on topic, why don't composers write new motets of Qui manducat, Panis quem, Ego sum, Gustate and the general communion antiphons from the GS rather than so many new settings of Tantum Ergo, Ave Verum, and O Salutaris. Sure there's a use for the latter, but there is a need for modern settings of the propers in Latin as well as the vernacular.
  • Charles in CenCA,

    I agree: I am not sure what has taken us so long!!! But I think very good times are here to stay!!!

    In Christ,

  • francis
    Posts: 10,532

    Because you haven't asked us! (composers)

    Please see other posts about composers unite, etc.
  • JDE
    Posts: 588
    The Schubert isn't really appropriate for Church IMHO. Why? It wasn't intended as an Ave by the composer himself, who had a "difficult" relationship with the Church in general.

    Take a look at Schubert's original text:

    Ave Maria! Jungfrau mild,
    Erhöre einer Jungfrau Flehen,
    Aus diesem Felsen starr und wild
    Soll mein Gebet zu dir hinwehen.
    Wir schlafen sicher bis zum Morgen,
    Ob Menschen noch so grausam sind.
    O Jungfrau, sieh der Jungfrau Sorgen,
    O Mutter, hör ein bittend Kind!
    Ave Maria!

    Ave Maria! Unbefleckt!
    Wenn wir auf diesen Fels hinsinken
    Zum Schlaf, und uns dein Schutz bedeckt
    Wird weich der harte Fels uns dünken.
    Du lächelst, Rosendüfte wehen
    In dieser dumpfen Felsenkluft,
    O Mutter, höre Kindes Flehen,
    O Jungfrau, eine Jungfrau ruft!
    Ave Maria!

    Ave Maria! Reine Magd!
    Der Erde und der Luft Dämonen,
    Von deines Auges Huld verjagt,
    Sie können hier nicht bei uns wohnen,
    Wir woll'n uns still dem Schicksal beugen,
    Da uns dein heil'ger Trost anweht;
    Der Jungfrau wolle hold dich neigen,
    Dem Kind, das für den Vater fleht.
    Ave Maria!

    This is a German translation of the Hymn to the Virgin from Sir Walter Scott's The Lady of the Lake. Here is Scott's original:


    Hymn to the Virgin.

    Ave. Maria! maiden mild!
    Listen to a maiden's prayer!
    Thou canst hear though from the wild,
    Thou canst save amid despair.
    Safe may we sleep beneath thy care,
    Though banished, outcast, and reviled--
    Maiden! hear a maiden's prayer;
    Mother, hear a suppliant child!
    Ave Maria!

    Ave Maria! undefiled!
    The flinty couch we now must share
    Shall seem with down of eider piled,
    If thy protection hover there.
    The murky cavern's heavy air
    Shall breathe of balm if thou hast smiled;
    Then, Maiden! hear a maiden's prayer,
    Mother, list a suppliant child!
    Ave Maria!

    Ave. Maria! stainless styled!
    Foul demons of the earth and air,
    From this their wonted haunt exiled,
    Shall flee before thy presence fair.
    We bow us to our lot of care,
    Beneath thy guidance reconciled:
    Hear for a maid a maiden's prayer,
    And for a father hear a child!
    Ave Maria!

    The text is beautiful, yes -- bordering on POD. But is it an Ave Maria as such? Not really. However, it is clear that Schubert's original intention was not to write an aria for Church use. That's why it was published initially as Ellens Dritter Gesang and not as Ave Maria.

    If you have a soloist with the chops for the Gounod, that would be preferable; but there a zillion solo settings of the text, including a handsome version by Cherubini, so there's no need to feel deprived. There is great music out there if you are diligent enough to look.
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    Yurodivi - I don't see myself following your lead regarding composers' original intentions as being a driving factor behind hymn selection. The fact that the US national anthem tune began its life as a drinking song does not reduce by one iota the impact on one's thoughts when you hear it played while deployed in a foreign land.

    One could make an argument that every composer who ever sold a song/hymn was doing so for the money rather than God and should therefore be avoided. But I would rather evaluate the music on what it is rather than what it could/would/should have been.

    That being said, if I have a choice between two equals I might recommend a Catholic composer if for no other reason than to support his work and encourage other Catholic musicians to follow suit. But if I plainly find one better than the other, for whatever subjective/objective reasons I might consider, that is where I will go.
  • JDE
    Posts: 588
    Is there really a comparison between To Anacreon in Heav'n and Sir Walter's poem? If I had my druthers, so to speak, I would sing the Schubert in English, because the text is beautiful and devotional. But nobody will stand for it, so I sing the Gounod instead.

    Another point against the Schubert, from the aesthetic perspective, is the way the Latin was cobbled onto the tune after the composer's death. It doesn't fit the rhythm of the melody very well; hence the emphasis on "o-RAH pro no-BIS" in the final verse. And the fact that there are three strophes in the original, so you either cut one verse from the music or repeat the text from the first go-round.

    Still, if I had a nickel for every funeral or wedding where I've sung it, I'd have enough for a couple of cases of beer. But it would be good, high-quality beer, at least.

    As to choosing a catholic composer over a non-catholic one, I would choose Bach over Zipoli most of the time. Being catholic does not constitute being a good composer. And, to paraphrase Luther (i think), "Why should the [Protestants] have all the good tunes?"
  • francis
    Posts: 10,532
    Why would God care about the state of anyone's mind, body heart and soul, be they artist, composer, musician or hole digger? Don't you think that he only cares whether or not their entire being, (effort, etc.) was put into the quality of the things they produced and that should be our single reason to endorse or not endorse any(one or thing)? (And Bach was supposed to be a Catholic, but humanity screwed that one up too! Cantatas are nice, but imagine if we had that many Masses from him!)
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Actually, despite my pro-anyone-who-writes-sacred-music-Catholic-or-otherwise stance, I'd say that music by Catholic composers, all else being equal, should be preferred in Catholic churches for the sole reason of heritage. I'd say the same about German music for German parishes, Polish for mine, etc. But I'd say that's a bit of common sense.
  • john m
    Posts: 134
    "--Music for the Rites of Christian Initiation: Haugen, Haas, et al. jumped on board quickly by setting much of the music for these rites, but I haven't seen much in the "traditional" style. These seem to be an afterthought, for whatever reason, by traditional musicians."

    I have two neo-renaissance motets currently under second review at CanticaNova, for the rites of initiation at the Easter Vigil. The first is a motet on the text "Springs of Water" for the blessing of the new water. The second is a setting of "You Have Put On Christ", in the RCIA to be sung following Baptism.

    I have yet to find any settings of these texts that go beyond a simplistic and forgettable acclamation, so decided if I wanted these texts to receive a substantial musical treatment in the Liturgy, I would have to write the settings myself. Although the rubrics state that these are sung by "the people", this is problematic as these texts are sung only once a year. I set them for the choir alone on the premise that the choir is genuinely a part of "the people".
  • francis
    Posts: 10,532
    texts, texts, texts... always the source of our (composing) [and praying] issues!
  • john m
    Posts: 134
    I am a strong advocate of substantial settings of the texts in the vernacular Missal. IMO we cannot afford to leave these to the usual suspects in the pop song genre whilst we concentrate on settings of prayers that have already been worthily treated many times over. I look at a modern Missal text and try to think "If this prayer existed in the classical Missal, what are some of the ways it might have been treated by respected composers?" While I treasure the Latin repertoire, still a text need not be in Latin to be treated beautifully, as witnessed by the works of the English renaissance masters.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,532
    I can appreciate your sentiment and advocacy, John, as I have been one of its forging members for many years, and I have come to the sore realization that it has gone terribly awry. I am like the musical "Paul" who has been struck down off his horse (maybe even Trojan... see my other posts) and now have come to know the one that for far too long I have persecuted.

    While the vernacular may be commendable in itself, in reality (in our time and culture) the machinations of the media industry devour any and every 'new and novel thing' which quickly degrades and then spawns a syncretistic (worship) activity which I will no longer partake in. I am only thankful that 99% of my works (and I have four cardboard boxes full of them sitting behind my chair as I type) were not 'sold (published) OR signed off (transferred in copyright)' to the contingent that peddles an erroneous and destructive force against the OHCAAC. (And NOT the one on the Wikipedia!)

    And to end on a positive "note", incantu, here is your work that you requested. I stayed up until 4am this morning to finish this one for you. The cover is the Miraculous Luciano Eucharist (which is heart tissue). Hour.htm

    When you sing this piece, sing from your heart and to the glory of His Flesh!
  • john m
    Posts: 134

    The first thing I ever submitted was accepted and published by a member of that contingent; that was before this particular publisher's catalog took a decided turn to the left. Everything I have submitted since has been slung back very quickly, and I must say I am rather gratified and relieved than otherwise to know that my more recent work is not seen to fit with this publisher's musical output.

    I think the liturgical music publishing industry is scrambling just to stay alive in the face of the explosion of online and public domain resources. To that end it is tapping into just that destructive syncretistic worship market of which you speak, and is no longer terribly concerned about being of service to the OHCAAC.