Recorded Music in "Sing to the Lord"
  • Paul F. Ford
    Posts: 799
    Recorded Music
    93. Recorded music lacks the authenticity provided by a living liturgical assembly gathered for the Sacred Liturgy. While recorded music might be used advantageously outside the Liturgy as an aid in the teaching of new music, it should not, as a general norm, be used within the Liturgy.

    94. Some exceptions to this principle should be noted. Recorded music may be used to accompany the community’s song during a procession outside and, when used carefully, in Masses with children. Occasionally, it might be used as an aid to prayer, for example, during long periods of silence in a communal celebration of reconciliation. However, recorded music should never become a substitute for the community’s singing.
  • No. 94 is a cop out and opens a pandora's box. IMO.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,084
    Michael, if you put all the bishops end to end... Unlike the economists, you would reach a conclusion but it would pander to every bit of nonsense out there.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    Is there a cure for "fear of a cappella music"? We need to show people that singing without accompaniment is both possible and enjoyable.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,084
    I don't have a fear of a cappella music, I just find it tedious after a while. I am fond of choral music from the Anglican tradition and enjoy the interplay between the voices and the organ. Not being a singer probably creates some bias on my part, although I do enjoy listening to good voices. But I don't find voices any more noble or holy than good sacred organ music. If I had a set of 10th century ears, I might think chant was the only way to go. However, I have heard plenty of good sacred music for voice and organ that was composed since then. But don't singers always think it's all about them? ;-)
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Yes, 94 is a problem, because, if you parse it carefully, it says that recorded music is permissible at "Masses with children" and I suppose nearly every Mass has children present or possibly present. I've also wondered how all this plays into the issue of digital pianos that include hardware that accepts software with pre-recorded hymn accompaniments courtesy of the usual suspects. this is more common that is usually thought.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    Charles - I would never suspect you of "a cappella fear." Besides, my definition of a cappella includes shape-note and a variety of other unaccompanied music well before, beside and beyond chant and traditional polyphony.

    What I'm puzzled by is people's belief that they simply "can't sing" unless they have something to sing along with. People are always offering to bring their boom boxes to May crownings.

    On the pre-recorded front, I remember a church where the music director was fighting with the pastor and had taken on another job playing for the Baptists down the road. He recorded all the Mass parts and hymns at the early Sunday Mass on the digital organ with its recorder and then decamped for the Baptists. The choir and cantor came out at the next Mass, popped in the disk, and sang along. I almost had a fit, unable to decide whether to laugh or cry.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,084
    Well, I did belong to a choir in college that did mostly a cappella music, but that was a long, long, time ago. Also, a fair amount of early American music I have done was not accompanied. So I am not against a cappella by any means. I understand about having to have accompaniment for everything. Although I do have choir members who can change keys with accompaniment - not the same key as the accompaniment but keys of their own making. I have encountered a similar situation to your ecumenical music director. There is a local priest who is a fine musician. He routinely records music on the digital organ and plays it back during mass. That church doesn't pay well and, dare I say, he a bit difficult to work with - as in no one can do anything that's good enough for him. Consequently, he is sometimes short a live organist. He keeps the remote under his vestments and punches the "start" button when the next mass part comes up.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Jeff: my understanding would be that it refers to Masses with children in the spirit of the "Directory for Masses with Children".
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Yes, of course it does, Gavin. But in a real time setting, these phrases are cited without the expectation that there is an opening for clarification. The vagueness here is employed to its greatest use.
  • What about for those of us that think we're children?!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,084
    Exactly! :-) I am 60 on the outside, but 12 on the inside. :-)