Looks like a good read - "Sacred Treasure" by Jospeh P. Swain
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 1,038
    . . . just published by Liturgical Press. Based on a skim of the online preview, Swain's main interlocutors are well-known to readers of this forum: Thomas Day (Why Catholics Can't Sing), Fr. Anthony Ruff (Sacred Music and Liturgical Reform) and Edward Schaefer (Catholic Music through the Ages).

    From the Preface:

    "Sacred Treasure attempts a theory for building authentic traditions
    of liturgical music for Roman Catholic parishes. It is an exercise in
    pragmatic music criticism. It explains the continuing turmoil and disappointment in the practice of liturgical music, both within the parish and throughout the world, that has obtained since the Second Vatican
    Council reformed the liturgy in 1963, and then, by providing a rational
    basis for evaluating the essential issues, it seeks to show how a spiritually
    wholesome stability might supplant the confusion."

    Hard to imagine a book like this being published by Liturgical Press five years ago.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,700
    i'm skeptical, praytell knows why
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    Francis- ?
    (link, please?)
  • francis
    Posts: 10,700
    sorry marajoy... the person who runs praytell is one of the interlocutors... hence my skepticism... i haven't read the book, so its just my pessimistic attitude that is speaking hastily... someone needs to read the book and then report.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,164
    Ummm ... methinks this work is one that we might do well to read. It is not at all what one might think at first glance. What I've read (so far) doesn't shy away from the realities of why and how liturgical music got to where it is today.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,700
    are you buying the book chg?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,164
    It's on my wish-list, and somewhere I think I have a B&N gift certificate that might make it affordable.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,164
    Grrr ... double post ... why does this happen so often!!
  • francis
    Posts: 10,700
    we await your review.

    I am reading "Papal Legislation on Sacred Music". it's the unobscured historical truth about the war on sacred music including how musicians bring the profane into the sacred space, and it is earth shattering.

    http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2006/03/book-review-papal-legislation-on.html
  • francis, please give us a review on that one when your done. It sounds very interesting.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,700
    already started a thread, but haven't commented in a while.

    Have a bunch of paragraphs somewhere on my computer that sounds like the battles we are fighting today... don't want to derail this thread, so will bump this...

    http://musicasacra.com/forum/discussion/6039/papal-legislation-on-sacred-music/p1
    Thanked by 1ContraBombarde
  • oh wow, looks like an awesome book. How much were you able to pay for it? Says it ranges from 69 - 250?
  • Just found it on amazon for $32, just ordered my copy. Thanks Francis!
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,164
    Getting back to the book in question here, Joseph P. Swain's "Sacred Treasure: Understanding Catholic Liturgical Music" ... it has just been released (June 2012).

    Joseph P. Swain is associate professor of music at Colgate University. He is the author of six previous books, most recently "A Historical Dictionary of Sacred Music" and "Harmonic Rhythm: Analysis and Interpretation."

    I'll take the quote from Professor Mahrt in the Liturgical Press blurb for the book as recommendation enough for us to consider this as serious stuff:
    Joseph Swain is among the rare scholars able to make a cogent, compelling case based upon the intrinsic qualities of music, without relying upon highly technical descriptions available only to trained musicians. The trained musician will fi nd much that is new and enlightening here, but the pastor, liturgist, theologian, choir singer, and layperson will be able to follow the argument as well.


    No need for a review from me. You can get a far better idea of what the book is about by simply reading, in about an hour or two, the roughly 65 pages (one fifth) of the book in the preview link given in the first posting of this topic. I read the preview and I am impressed.