We have met the enemy and he MAY BE us.
  • Pope Francis concerning ICEL:
    The work of the Commission has also contributed significantly to that conscious, active and devout participation called for by the Council, a participation which, as Pope Benedict XVI has rightly reminded us, needs to be understood ever more deeply "on the basis of a greater awareness of the mystery being celebrated and its relation to daily life" (Sacramentum Caritatis, 52). The fruits of your labours have not only helped to form the prayer of countless Catholics, but have also contributed to the understanding of the faith, the exercise of the common priesthood and the renewal of the Church’s missionary outreach, all themes central to the teaching of the Council. Indeed, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out, "for many people, the message of the Second Vatican Council was perceived principally through the liturgical reform" (Vicesimus quintus annus, 12).


    Have we as musicians failed to compose, discover and perform music for the Church in support of this work or have we instead railed against change and permitted mediocrity and junk music to exist instead?

    ICEL worked to put this into effect, realized that they went too far and then revised to the latest translation. Has the Church failed to understand the need for a musical ICEL to do the same for music which could have possibly worked to prevent this mess?



    Thanked by 2Jani CHGiffen
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,350
    Musicians don't run parishes. (Usually.)
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • (?)
  • The quoted statement is boilerplate. Read it carefully. It doesn't say anything. Lot's of "helped" and "contributed". Like the US Postal Service in the "global war on terror".

    As for musicians generally, perhaps the main thing is to work to minimize harm done. The modern liturgy lacks sufficient coherence for Catholic musicians generally to have a clear purpose. It all depends on the situation.
  • If we truly believe that the Pope is elected by the Holy Ghost....this is gold-plated boilerplate. I doubt the Francis would write or speak anything that he does not believe is true.

    The fruits of your labours have not only helped to form the prayer of countless Catholics, but have also contributed to the understanding of the faith, the exercise of the common priesthood and the renewal of the Church’s missionary outreach, all themes central to the teaching of the Council.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,641
    I'm not sure anyone truly believes any Pope is elected by the Holy Ghost. He, most certainly, is elected by Cardinals. We hope that the Holy Ghost has guided their votes toward the right man.
  • As I recall, Cardinal Ratzinger didn't believe the Pope was elected by the Holy Ghost.
    Thanked by 2jpal IanW
  • Remember that God has both a positive will and a permissive one.

  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    If we truly believe that the Pope is elected by the Holy Ghost....this is gold-plated boilerplate.


    The Holy Ghost guides, yes. That doesn't me He isn't frequently ignored.

    I doubt the Francis would write or speak anything that he does not believe is true.


    I don't know. Some of the statements made off-the-cuff by him, have made me wonder if the cardinals elected Joe Biden as pope.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,349
    Ain't this Church grand!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    Yup! ;-) Never a dull moment.
  • Oremus pro Papa ad Deum qui elegit eum in ordine episcopatus...
  • Pontifex dixerat, Petrus dixerat.
  • Possibly the enemy is not us, but the lack of a commission, like ICEL, to deal with the music issue.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,050
    Be careful what you pray for; you might get it and regret it.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    I think we'd benefit more from good example in parishes, and then dioceses, rather than hoping for a top-down solution.
    Thanked by 3melofluent Liam IanW
  • Maybe we need to write a guide so that we might prepare the priest who thinks he wants better music but is unaware of what is going to transpire when he gets it...

    And for these young priests who are going to be dealing with unhappy people and a pastor who will probably listen to the people.
  • Be careful what you pray for; you might get it and regret it.


    If there were set guidelines - no matter how they were written, people could fight - the total lack of recent guidance - Sing to the Lord is not guidance, it's blanket permission.
    Thanked by 1ryand
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,641
    The best guidelines are to look at what your Cathedral is doing and use that as the example...

    As long as your Cathedral is doing what it is supposed to be doing.

    If they're not, then do what the Cathedral in Phoenix is doing.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    The best guidelines are to look at what your Cathedral is doing and use that as the example...


    Oh my, Mat-tieux, dat was a good one!
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,641
    Well, I suppose I've just been lucky and lived in two great dioceses since immigrating.
  • Weirdest thing about San Diego is that our cathedral is not used by the bishop and has no supported music program. It's a decent, though neglected cathedral. :(
    I'm praying this changes with our new bishop.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Maybe we need to write a guide so that we might prepare the priest who thinks he wants better music but is unaware of what is going to transpire when he gets it...


    We have enough documents to tell us what we are supposed to do, the problem is clergy and musicians choose to ignore them.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,109
    If there were set guidelines...
    ...no one would have to ask the question "are hymn interludes allowed?"
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,050
    What's a hymn? What's an interlude? What's a hymn interlude? What isn't?

    Documents are like the Lernaean Hydra: resolving one question merely begets more to resolve. Herakles' solution would be to refuse to answer any of them. (Which is kinda the approach the Eastern churches take.)
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,641
    Yes - asking for more guidelines is just asking for problems. Look to Canada and the national hymnal of Canada.

    We have history, we have the liturgy documents, we have (hopefully) good taste and ideas of aesthetics. Now let us go forth in peace.
  • @Contra, the main issue is the clergy not accepting the documents, because even if the musicians would bring up the docs, it's up to the clergy to permit their implementation and enforcement in the parish.
    Thanked by 2ContraBombarde ryand
  • I believe that we could create a "family tree" chart showing each priest who is wishing to implement traditional music and show who which priest influenced him...
  • Do we need a Pittsburgh-style diocesan commission?
    http://www.ccwatershed.org/media/pdfs/13/10/20/13-09-25_0.pdf

    Pretty detailed in terms of expectations of organists, no female choristers, number of people required for non-unison singing, etc.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,350
    >>number of people required for non-unison singing

    How is that a thing?
    "In circumstances where there is only one person singing, we strongly urge unison textures."
  • I don't know, Adam. Some singers have overtones and quarter-tones that add all kinds of interesting flourishes.

    Has anyone else been guilty of violating any of the Pittsburgh guidelines? For example:

    #20. Church Choirs of fewer than Ten, Fifteen and Twenty volunteer members are
    forbidden to sing music for Two, Three and Four Voices respectively.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    I've sung very nice two and three voice music with three voices...
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,350
    #20. Church Choirs of fewer than Ten, Fifteen and Twenty volunteer members are
    forbidden to sing music for Two, Three and Four Voices respectively.


    That is, perhaps, the stupidest musical guideline I have ever seen. Ever.

    Who wrote that? Dilbert's boss?
    Thanked by 1Andrew Motyka
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,350
    That document... wow.... it almost reads like parody.
  • It's not that dumb (on that one point). Have you ever heard a choir - that is NOT the Tallis scholars, anonymous 4, and maybe a few others - try to sing "one on a part" in four part polyphony? Even with PROFESSIONAL singers, not commonly found in parish choirs, the sound can be scary and quite unstable.

    My own rule is "one person doesn't make a section." i.e., at least two on a part, please.
  • The Rev. Carlo Rossini was, at one time, chairman of that diocesan music commission. I just came across a couple GIA "Table Talk" articles that weren't particularly fond of Rev. Rossini's legacy:
    http://www.giamusic.com/sacred_music/tabletalk/142.cfm
    http://www.giamusic.com/sacred_music/tabletalk/323.cfm

    Another view:
    Carlo Rossini, an Italian priest and composer, worked in Pittsburgh, United States of America. Father Carlo Rossini was an Italian born and trained priest who was invited by Bishop Boyle, (Pittsburgh), to implement the ‘reforms’ of Pius X in his diocese. Though some of Fr. Rossini’s music may seem ‘dated’ to us now, and perhaps lacking some originality, he provided countless parishes with suitable music for their weekly high Masses. The state of music in many churches c. 1900 was horrible. Though not explicity heretical as most modern church music is, a good ammount of music ‘pre-Moto Proprio’ was still unsuitable for Divine Worship, being theatrical and cliched. Fr. Rossini addressed this problem by arranging and composing simple music that even the most incompetent and mediocre choirs could successfully sing. I’m sure it was quite a task to wean choirs away from the music they were used to singing, and in many cases the only option he had was to do it ‘with force’. Anyone who reads the Moto Proprio knows that Pius X intended to be obeyed, and that he expected the Bishops and Diocesan officials to employ whatever suitable methods were needed to ensure good music for Mass. To sum, Fr. Rossini did his part, (small or large as it may have been), in getting parishes to do suitable music for Mass.

    Author:
    M. Walter

    Source:
    http://www.cantemusdomino.net/2004/05/25/catholic-church-music-forty-eight-years-later-part-i-of-a-series/
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    No, not the pointy haired boss, Adam. I believe that was written by the head of Health and Human Services.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    Isn't it wonderful that no one left GIA in charge?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,370
    17. It is forbidden to sing or play in church any music from secular sources, or music in use in Non~Catholic churches, like the Ave Maria's by Schubert, Gounod, Millard, Rosewig, etc., "0 Promise me," "I Love you truly," etc.; "Nearer, my God, to Thee," "Face to Face," "The end of a perfect day," etc.; Wagner's "Lohengrin
    March", Mendelssohn's "Spring Song" and Midsummer Night's Dream," "Chopin's
    Funeral March," etc.

    24. Masses and other music by the following composers are forbidden for church use: Ashmall, Battman, Bartholomeus, Bordese, W. Brown, Concone, Durant, Farmer, Giorza, Gounod, B. Hamma, Kalliwoda, Kahn, Lambillotte, LaHache, Leonard, Loesh, Luzzi, Marzo, Mercadante, Millard, Poniatowski, Rosewig, Schubert, Sorin, Stearns, Weigand, Wilkes.

    Oh wow.
  • Today's list would have a couple of h's.

    We have enough documents to tell us what we are supposed to do, the problem is clergy and musicians choose to ignore them.


    You mean, like, Sing to the Lord? Without clear guidance from above...
  • jpal
    Posts: 365
    Masses and other music by the following composers are forbidden for church use: Ashmall, Battman

    Wait, so I shouldn't be doing "Mass of the Caped Crusader"?
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Chuck's point is truly important to absorb. I know I have pointed it out a few times elsewhere. It is a very risky business for musicians to name "names" rather than specific "titles." If those quotes are from Rossini/Pittsburgh, he's only one among other self-appointed sheriffs (my most irritating, N. Montani) who used their substantial publishing and composing reputations to blacklist composers whose musical offerings were in some cases arguably better than the sheriff's. OTOH, imprimaturs, nihil obstats and "white lists" that are deliberated and promulgated by musicians and clerics of impeccable credentials by conferences, sees and even parishes would go a long way to improving the climate.
    That's why, for example, Fr. Krisman "manned up" (as a GIA client) after a blanket criticism of an OCP composer. It just isn't worth the huffing and puffing trying to codify, banish, or extremely filter out the compositional horizons to narrow canons. YMMV
    Thanked by 1Andrew Motyka
  • 10. Gregorian Chant must be rendered according to the rhythmic method of the Benedictine School of Solesmes. Such method has been authorized and endorsed by the Holy See. Consequently: (a) books containing Gregorian Chant without rhythmic marks are forbidden for church or school use;


    Wait, aren't the books without the rhythmic markings (the editio Vaticana) the only ones that have actually been approved? Solesmes owns a practical monopoly on printing, but rule #10 completely misunderstand the origins of the Solesmes editions. Calling Jeff O...
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    There were actually quite a few good points in that document. Thanks for posting it.
  • Speaking of my predecessor Fr. Carlo Rossini... some may find the following of historical (or hysterical?) interest (reprinted from our Pittsburgh diocesan church music history book):
    In his quest for musical excellence in parishes of the Pittsburgh Diocese, Fr. Rossini began the publication of the infamous “Black List” in 1931. This was a weekly column in the Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper that listed the churches and organists who failed to comply with the diocesan music regulations. Although it was criticized at times as an unfair and uncharitable technique, its effectiveness was without doubt, as the appearance of a name on the list almost always brought conformity. It was said that the publication of the Black List strengthened the circulation of the Pittsburgh Catholic, as did reports of controversies about musicians and non-approved music programs.
    Thanked by 2expeditus1 chonak
  • I find it really funny that Fr. Rossini made a black list.

    One of my tasks when I took up my current position was to slowly and systematically teach the Schola the authentic propers and wean them off the Rossini propers ASAP. So it seems that Rossini's own propers were on our parish black list...

    I'd bet they were useful at one time. But who aspires to utility music. To my ear, Rossini's propers are one step down from psalm tone propers in that they are neither great music of the era nor do they come close enough to the originals. My secret delight was packing up the Rossini propers books in a box and storing them out of sight. Bwahaha.
    Thanked by 1Richard Mix
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,308
    He's not the only figure to have produced a black list. The St. Gregory Society published one in 1922, and it was apparently updated at least through 1946. It disapproves some Masses by Gounod and all by Turner and Lambillotte, and also names the St. Basil Hymnal, May Chimes, and several other choir books.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,510
    God save us from the self-styled purists and music experts!
  • I'd bet they were useful at one time. But who aspires to utility music.


    Good point!

    Unfortunately, 99.9% of Catholic churches fail to even consider utility music...much less aspire to it.

    If music is a tool and Rossini Propers then a sledge hammer, Palestrina the tiny little hammer of rubber a doctor uses to test reflexes, then what is the music that most churches use? Weapons of mass destruction?

    The Rossini Propers were sort of like the Chabanel Psalms of the day. They were all in one book, they were singable and they got people actually singing the propers, which increased the income of the priests. Remember, daily high masses and Sunday high masses increased the stipend charged.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    The Rossini Propers were sort of like the Chabanel Psalms of the day.

    Apples to Passion Fruit nonsense. The point is taken, FNJ, very well, but one has to engage upon the details. But again (like Chuck), you're right to point out that this cycle of remediation is likely to be perpetual well into the Church's future.
    Example: I think Proulx's Community Mass is a banal utilitarian setting, whereas his Mass for the City and even his Responsorial Mass (save for the Bartok accompaniment/SATB) much more aesthetically moving. I won't/don't need to defend that opinion here and now. What I don't DO is condemn Proulx, blacklist Proulx, categorize Proulx.
    As far as Fr. Chepponis' predecessor (why are these guys always....nevermind), yeah public shaming is always a gospel-valued tradition in our 2K year history. I mean, even Bill O'Reilly said our Lord had more than a few tizzies besides upsetting the money-changers' and dove sellers' tables and carts. And don't forget his upbraiding of Judas I after Mary gave him the proper welcome with oil and tears.
    I think we should all go back to the Swain interview linked in Kathy's article over at the Cafe and take to heart the realities he outlines and then stop kvetching about every darn thing.
    BTW, if we need a hero, I nominate Richard Rice! What cannot the man do?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,350
    Wait, so I shouldn't be doing "Mass of the Caped Crusader"?


    Na.
    Thanked by 1Andrew Motyka