• Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,444
    Non religious, very funny parody of pop music:

    I will pay GOOD MONEY to anyone who creates a similar recording that goes through the canon of Contemporary Catholic music from the last 40 years.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,517
    Why did they have to include the F words? Jerks.

    Adam: How much will you pay? I will start with "Gather Us Into The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald"
  • Sorry, Francis,
    Whatever faults from which GUI suffers, four chord syndrome is NOT one of them. Plagarism, maybe, if you got tons of money to burn on lawyers, or Pelagian/narcissistic implications, etc.
    The harmonic medium MH employs is clearly modal, not tonal. Sure he uses both a major dominant and a minor dominant, but "Heart and Soul" it clearly ain't.
    FWIW, I've not programmed the tune for over two decades, at least.
    But technically, the foundation of the tune is boatloads more intricate than the entire Carey Landrey library alone.
    I'm going tangential now, sorry Adam....

    What popular secular music groups/songwriters of the following list do you consider having had the most profound impact upon post V2 sacropop composers?

    Peter, Paul and Mary
    Bob Dylan/Pete Seegar/Roger McGuinn
    The New Christy Minstrels
    Sondheim/Galt McDermott/Stephen Schwartz
    Karen/Richard Carpenter
    Carole King/Judy Collins/Joni Mitchell
    James Taylor/Jackson Browne
    Jimmy Webb
    Burt Bacarach
    Dennis Wilson/Beach Boys
    Peter Frampton/Fleetwood Mac

    Feel free to add your own "seminal" influences. State your defenses.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,444
    Why did they have to include the F words? Jerks.

    I agree. Not central to the comedy at all...

    Adam: How much will you pay?

    It won't be much money- it will just be good. You know- valid US Currency. Probably like... a couple bucks.... ?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,444
    Not Sondheim. Not at all.

    I would definitely add Elton John.
  • John Denver.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,690
    John Denver's Calypso came on today while I was in the grocery store and I couldn't help but yodel along with him in my head.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,486
    Sometimes I get my guitar and jam with the organist on the G-Gsus4-G-Gsus4 songs.

    (Please pay me twenty dollars.)
  • francis
    Posts: 10,517
    I will make a video to noc your sox off.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,444
    Yes to John Denver!
    My wife and I were on a long car trip a few weeks ago, rockin' out to our CD collection. We could switch from John Denver to David Haas to Elton John without a problem.

    The Chieftains
    Jimmy Buffet
  • francis
    Posts: 10,517
    I like Enya
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,444
    I like Enya

    Me too.

    In fact, I like (almost) all that music.
  • What popular secular music groups/songwriters of the following list do you consider having had the most profound impact upon post V2 sacropop composers? Feel free to add your own "seminal" influences. State your defenses.

    As much as I would like to state that the genius of the Beatles or Paul Simon was appropriated and emulated (from just a musical POV) I would say that the prevalent influences were closer to the Jimmy Webb, Carpenters and Stephen Schwartz (Pippin/Godspell) formulae. Traits of those most evident would include sentimentalism, accessibility to short term memory while also timebound and easily forgotten and discarded (how many of us remember Webb's MacArthur Park?), emotionally visceral then shallow, totally dependent upon melodic/lyrical hooks rather than a "holistic" concept of an entire musical concept, etc., etc. John Denver would fit into that mold easily as well.
    Would that, if we had to travel through the DMZ between Tin Pan Alley/Broadway and post sixties genres, we would have adhered more closely to the traits that made the Beatles catalogue so magnificent or the trademarks that have kept James Taylor so fresh and vibrant.
    I suppose thats why we prefer Palestrina to Pitoni, or Hassler to Handel as well.
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    "I suppose thats why we prefer Palestrina to Pitoni, or Hassler to Handel as well."

    Well, aside from a centuries-long history of elitism, hero worship, etc., etc. :-)
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    "how many of us remember Webb's MacArthur Park?"

    I remember Weird Al's "Jurassic Park".
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,444
    "how many of us remember Webb's MacArthur Park?"

    I remember Weird Al's "Jurassic Park".

    I was thinking the same thing!
  • Realizing this whole thread is pretty irrelevant to our cause celebre, you guys are kind of making my point for me. By citing the great Yankovic's parody, I'm reminded that many of us have chuckled at similar parodies of hallmark sacropop tunes. "One bed....." "YoooooHooooo....." et al.
    Outside of the "Rutles," (an inside job by Beatles associate Neal Innes) I can't think of any major comedic assaults directed at the Beatles, or Paul Simon, James Taylor etc.
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    Hero worship? Hmm.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,206
    Not Sondheim.

    Strange you say that, as I've heard (lately) a LOT of 'church' music which sounds exactly like Sondheim's work. I can't tell you titles, as I deliberately erased the experiences from my mind as I left the church.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,444
    I've studied Sondheim in great detail, and I'm very familiar with the Contemporary Catholic repertoire.
    I'm hard pressed to find any connection (other than, you know- they both have notes and words and often a piano).

    Soundheim's music is harmonically dense, contrapuntal, lyrically virtuosic, and harshly chromatic. His influences are primarily classical (his favorite composer is Ravel) and he thinks primarily in terms of counterpoint and harmony, rather than melody. He once said that his favorite chord is "the 13th." His music changes meters constantly (although a casual listener would never notice) and he generally eschews traditional song forms (except when he is deliberately parodying them, such as in "Merrily We Roll Along"). He doesn't care at all about singability, and his music has been roundly criticized for not having any "hummable tunes."

    Contemporary Catholic Music, for the most part, exhibits none of those characteristics.

    The one connection you could make (maybe, possibly, slightly) is that Sondheim often mimics particular styles to evoke moods or periods within the play (see especially "Assassins"), which Pop-Church composers try to do from time to time (but not often).

    I'm very curious both what church songs you've heard, and what Sondheim songs you think they sound like.
  • Adam, I think you were taking the attribution of Sondheim, alone, too literally. You'll notice that the purveyors of "Hair" and "Godspell" were alluded to as well.
    But, off the top of my head, I can name two or three RC composers of note whose vocabularies line up with your analysis: Ralph Verdi, Thomas Savoy and my old classmate, Leo Nestor. Not to mention that, on occasion, Tom Conry dabbled with density. And, vis a vis "Into the Woods" one might make a case for more serious Joncas as well.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,444
    Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Children of Eden, and Wicked) and the morons who wrote Hair (can't remember, and don't care enough to look it up) are not really anything like Sondheim (or like each other, for that matter).

    One could make the argument that contemporary Catholic music sounds like "showtunes" generally (and I think that's sometimes true), or some composer specifically (I'm thinking of Schwartz in particular- but often Webber and a few others). But, on the grounds of musical scholarship, I just don't think it's fair or sensible to say:
    1. Webber, Schwartz, Sondheim, Hammerstein, Guettel, or Brown (Jason Robert) really sound similar.
    2. Contemporary Catholic Music sounds anything like Sondheim in particular

    (BTW- I like ALL that music. And I know it pretty well. I don't think it's insulting to CCM to compare it to Sondheim. Perhaps insulting to Sondheim, but he can take it. Mostly I just find it to be untrue).

    It is common for Traddies to draw these comparisons to bolster their case on the "it's not appropriate for Mass" front. But a song by Joncas or Haas or whoever is appropriate or not appropriate based on it's own merits and the criteria of the Church, not based on the appropriateness of some other body of music that it doesn't even sound like.

    And I think you hurt your cause when your argument includes something so obviously untrue.
  • Adam, first of all, what's with the confrontational posturing? I don't have a "cause, argument or dog to fight." This line was just for fun. Ask anyone who's been to colloquia with me, I don't fit into any category, and any category that would have me I would refrain from joining.
    Sorry, but "hurt" was never part of my equation. OTOH, if you want to hurt my notion that you are less an aesthete than a regular, informed, and witty fellow, do carry on as such, mon ami.
    Wow. Re-read. Chill.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,444
    Sorry- wasn't trying to be confrontational. Especially on what was supposed to be a "fun" thread.
    I guess I'm just tired of "Oh, ha ha, this David Haas song sounds just like the theme song from Happy Days" and music snobs who think that wildly different composers sound alike.

    I like that you think I'm witty, so I'll stop before I disabuse you of that notion.

    In other news...

    I put all the titles from the Four Chords song into Pandora and now I have the GREATEST PANDORA STATION EVER. IT is, quite literally, ALL the music that was popular when I was in high school, plus a few pieces from the 60s-80s. And on that note, because it just showed up there, I have to add to the list:

    Simon and Garfunkel. Like, really really.
  • Maureen
    Posts: 673
    One of the lines of "We Shall Overcome" sounds like one of the lines of "O Sanctissima". Apparently this was a Big Meaningful Factoid back in the day.

    Re: parodies of the Beatles, James Taylor, etc.

    Are you kidding me?? The Beatles are the MOTHERLODE of parody material. And I heard parodies of most James Taylor songs before I ever even heard of the songs themselves! Where do you people live, that you never hear this stuff parodied?

    Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
    Who never to himself hath said,
    'This could be sung to "Yesterday"'?

    In general, the better the song is, both as a song melody and as meaningful lyrics, the easier it is to parody. And if the song has depths, you can play your parody off that with great effectiveness. Savagely satirizing some forgettable piece of trash is like shooting rotten fish in a barrel; it's easy enough to do, but too unpleasant to do it.

    Of course, if you're talking about recordings of parodies, it's generally considered impolite to parody certain songs in recorded form without seeking permission first, and many groups and songwriters always refuse to give permission. The secret reason for all this politeness is that "To the tune of" and private songs at private gatherings are a lot more protected than the right to buy a mechanical license and record a song with different lyrics than those it was born with.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,517
    Yea... I could listen to Enya at Mass if she would set her music to the Propers.
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    Interesting comments about parodies, Maureen, because there is a lot of ongoing debate about parodying and fair use. It's very murky legal water indeed!
  • Hair! Who is foolish enough to bring up HAIR in the august presence of this group.

    Having been musical director and on stage band member of one of the German touring casts (there were three) I resemble that remark. The drug police spent a lot of time backstage.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,444
    Yea... I could listen to Enya at Mass if she would set her music to the Propers.

    now there's an idea....
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,444
    More influences on Contemporary Catholic Music
    especially once you get out of the 70s (SLJs) and into the 80s and 90s (Haas, with Jeannie Cotter piano accompaniment):

    Windham Hill records, especially pianist George Winston.
    And Yanni, let's not forget Yanni.
  • Adam, I can name that tune in two notes, which will doubtless make more than a few people here squirm:
    The ethos of this Paul Winter/Paul Halley magnum opus has so many indicators of the Boomer/New Age/Windham Hill modality present in late 20th/early 21st c. "contemporary composition" that now we've shifted the demographic over to a Hillsong/Spirit and Song model, it almost seems quaint and archaic.