A Trouble With This Forum
  • JacobFlaherty
    Posts: 286
    Respectfully, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I decided to check out this forum this evening and it might be the last straw for me. On Holy Saturday, anticipating the great Easter feast, the Day of the Lord’s resurrection, I came on and saw that the following article had 91 comments on it… ‘For those wishing to argue about the liturgical reform’

    Meanwhile, there are those of us lesser-known guys who have tried, usually many times over, posting compositions or little works or questions; it seems that unless we are one of the forum’s major players, we seldom get more than five comments. One tries to write a new hymns at Saint Joseph and you might get two or three people looking at it; one wants to complain about Latin mass people, or write about how the latest pastor/music director drama has caused great anxiety- There are some posts like this they have over 150 comments.

    The perpetual war of traditionalism versus the reform of the reform is so boring to me. How about this? Decide which side of the fence you sit on and don’t bicker about it continually, and after this do all that you can for the glory of God, making music for the praise of Jesus Christ and the edification of his faithful. Then let’s talk about music. Or should the people who are comfortable in one expression or the other just decide to create their own thing, perhaps leaving this forum to be the exclusive home of all of those who want to engage in liturgical warfare/pastor issue complaining? Sorry, folks, but this was Easter, and we had 91 people write about it… Bad form, bad timing, and not very Easter like.
    Thanked by 3Liam CHGiffen marymezzo
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,154
    @JacobFlaherty
    How valuable your work on some new Hymns to St. Joseph, should not be measured in comments. They may be good enough not to need comment to improve the text and/or music. Also we have a like button, but don't measure your work on this, very few posts ever get more than a few likes.

    Also just because some of us have time to comment, others perhaps have not been on the forum over Easter, some check in several times a day, some once a week at most.

    Also we are a broad church on this Forum, we have a very wide range of views and starting points, it is really good that we can all meet here.

    I have my own website, that I post various resources on, this is for the E.F. which is a small pond to be fishing in. When I look at the stats, I see the traffic coming from links on this forum is equal to that coming from google. This forum is very well indexed by Google, so anything posted here, is getting a wide readership, you just do not know it.

    Our reward for our efforts may not come in this world, but to be invited to join the choirs of Angels after our efforts in the world of sacred music is our ultimate goal.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 371
    Also we have a like button, but don't measure your work on this, very few posts ever get more than a few likes.
    Right! And I do like(!) very much the fact that in this forum the button reads Thanks - I regularly hit it at postings that I do not especially like, but get me to rethink earlier statements.
    Confusing criticism with attack is all too common...

    I myself am 'guilty' of mainly commenting on threads about controversial topics - but that's because I appreciate so much that these discussions are possible in this community of promotors of traditional liturgical music! Furthermore, they are usually constructive and I learn from them.
    Our reward for our efforts may not come in this world, but to be invited to join the choirs of Angels after our efforts in the world of sacred music is our ultimate goal.
    This.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CCooze
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,278
    Some posts and comments open up related, or even non-related, areas that are very interesting. I call it the expansion of knowledge. Some topics are not as closed and defined as some would find comfortable. Church music and the EF vs OF wars, are like the blind people touching then describing an elephant. The part you focus on will give you different conclusions as to what is there.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,576
    Truth... I assume most people on this forum are on the search for truth... You might call It a war VO vrs. NO, But I don’t see it as a war at all. I see our discussion (even if they get heated) As a grappling for truth, a Reaching out for God himself. The liturgy is central to our faith and to our profession as musicians.

    I share my compositions here all the time, and the comments or acknowledgments are very few. It does not alter the intrinsic value of my work, which is my life’s devotion to sacred music and art.

    On the other hand we are the Church Militant, and we are in a war that determines eternal life and death. My perspective has changed over the years moving from the Novus Ordo to the Vetus Ordo, a journey which has personally caused significant pain and suffering while at the same time hopefully gathering wisdom which I can share with others to prevent them from traveling the same difficult path.

    All is done in love and devotion for Our Blessed Mother for the salvation of souls and in the end attaining heaven for as many as possible.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 987
    Jacob, I started coming to this forum because I had a desire to learn more about Gregorian Chant. I'm really don't know a lot about music theory, so I don't usually comment on new compositions. I belong to other fora and was a moderator and co-administrator on a now-defunct instrument forum. In my experience, those topics which are most controversial get the most responses. A new musical piece isn't usually controversial and will get only a few responses.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,468
    I didn't look at the post with the long argument, but often it is the same few forumers that post and repost on those anyway. I can barely figure out what is going on in them, hence why I don't read them. I much prefer hymns to St. Joseph!
    Thanked by 2Andrew_Malton tomjaw
  • JacobFlaherty
    Posts: 286
    In my experience, those topics which are most controversial get the most responses. A new musical piece isn't usually controversial and will get only a few responses.


    Right, my point exactly! It seems that this forum is really good for people who want to complain about the pastor or who want to literally write a post merely for the point of starting an argument thread... even if it is Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and the great Easter Sunday. And that's fine, but it seems that people should know before they get going if that's the focus of this group. Something like "We call ourselves a Music forum, but really we are a controversy forum. If you have serious musical questions or compositions to share, go call three or four of your buddies and talk to them; that's about as many people on this forum as are actually going to pay your work any heed, anyway."

    What I've noticed on here as a result of this focus is that it actually lessens the music. I've written what seemed, in hindsight, to be a few clinkers - pieces that were just not that great, or recordings I posted that seemed exciting to me but which were just not that good. But what happens when we talk about controversy so much is that the people on here who actually bother to listen or read through a new piece are too flowery with praise when it may actually not be right to give. It's almost as if the forum were so starved for actual...music... that the reaction to said music is not as thoughtful as it could be, but rather a kind of "thank goodness" we've got SOMETHING to talk about rather than Novus Ordo vs. TLM again or how all Latin Mass parishioners are x, and all Novus Ordo priests are y, etc...

    There are many good souls on here, and I am thankful for you. But the timing of this 'Liturgical warfare' post and too many people's willingness to jump on during the holiest days of our calendar was just indicative of what I see as a major weakness of this forum.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,382
    If you have serious musical questions or compositions to share, go call three or four of your buddies and talk to them; that's about as many people on this forum as are actually going to pay your work any heed, anyway."


    I think that this is patently unjust.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Jacob,

    Having posted several of my pieces here and received comments on them from those who wished to comment, I can't say I agree with you about posters ignoring compositions. I've even asked for help, and received it. Some receive more comments and some fewer, but that's the nature of offering one's music for comment.

    Now, to your general point about people who want a controversy forum rather than a music forum, I see how you come to your conclusion, but I don't think it's a fair one. Education takes place in part by argument. Being reassured that one is not mentally unhinged sometimes comes by posting a frustration with which others can sympathize (or not) or offer clarification. We're also demonstrating the highly divided condition of the Church in this country in our age. What some poster thinks is just bang-up wonderful makes others cringe or rant, or respond thoughtfully but firmly about the wrongness of the situation described.

    Here's a perfect example: musicians are directly impacted by the present restrictions on music at Mass. It's a perfectly sensible topic to discuss here. Some posters firmly believe that cooperating with the restrictions will make them go away faster, and let us get back to "normal" music making conditions. Others disagree. Some posters have used the restrictions to abolish certain kinds of music in parishes.

    One aspect of this forum which I particularly like is that it's not a single echo chamber, in which some dominant opinion gets to shut out anything which disagrees.

  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,713
    While it's been my practice and that of my predecessor to allow lots of free discussion, I should say that I did not appreciate the idea of starting a thread expressly for the purpose of encouraging people to complain about the liturgical reform during Holy Week. It's not as though the thread started with an insightful post about the subject.
  • jcr
    Posts: 96
    It is highly unlikely that any large group of musicians will achieve unanimity on any musical subject. There are some areas where we may come close to widespread agreement, but in almost every area of musical endeavor there will be differences of opinion, some of which will generate a bit of heat. Given the inability of a majority of people in our culture to actually argue the argument at hand it has become increasingly difficult to discuss any of these subjects in a clear and reasonable fashion. I submit that the level of discussion here is well above the level we encounter in the culture around us. (Of course a bit more discipline in arguing the argument would be a good thing.) I am a reasonably well educated musician who has received a good deal of worthwhile information and have certainly appreciated the relief from the idea that I am the only one who has suffered at the hands of the remarkable parish situations out here along with the many other trials and joys of "music ministry. My thanks to those who join in these discussions for the stimulation and camaraderie you provide. God bless you all as we continue to discuss these things as long as we can legally do so.
  • JacobFlaherty
    Posts: 286
    Hello, all. I'm not advocating that we can't have discussions or argue about controversial things, but the post I originally cited really wasn't about anything, but more just with the seeming hope that something juicy would come of it, as if it was a sport to watch. Additionally, this was done on Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday, the holiest days of our calendar. I am saying that this Board, or at least too many people on it, seem to only come out for "Fight Night" and not enough on what a Musica Sacra Board should be about - the music - and how it integrates into the holiest of all things, the Mass.

    I stand by my original statement. I hate no one and only want to see Christ more known and loved and that His beautiful majesty might be on more lips and in more minds because of the work we do. My abundant thanks to those of you who lead in this way...
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • marymezzomarymezzo
    Posts: 234
    Jacob, I hope you don't leave. There is a great deal of snarkiness on this forum--but also a great deal of charity and wonderful gems to be found here and there.

    The snark always gets more attention.

    Hmmm--sort of a microcosm of the human condition . . .

    I suspect that most of us here simply want to do everything we can to create beautiful sacred music to the honor of Almighty God.

    And on a personal note, I'm deeply indebted to you for the Lenten Gospel acclamation you posted. I love it, and my choir loves it.

    I did make some recordings, and if any of them sound decent, I will send them to you via private message.
  • Jacob,

    Since it appears that you're referring to my post, I'm sorry that my intent has simply failed to be evident. If I recall the sequence of events, someone said that there should be a forum for those who wanted to debate the liturgical reform in another thread, so as not to drag the original thread off topic. I immediately created a thread saying, in effect, "those of you who want to debate the merits or lack of merits of the liturgical reform should do so here, rather than cluttering up other threads". I didn't mean it to become a sewer. I didn't intend to spark a mere gripe session, but if such developed, at least it wouldn't clutter/disfigure other threads.

    I think a proper airing of the real benefits (if any) of the liturgical reform and the real shortcomings (if any) of the liturgical reform would be an entirely suitable topic for this forum, on any thread which could sustain it, and the fact that these discussions might take place during the Triduum isn't, in itself, either inappropriate or un-Christian. If we stop to think about the meaning and the significance of the three days, and ask whether the reform brings them into sharper focus, this (surely) isn't a bad thing.

    Let me give you an example. If this were an architecture forum (or if we were discussing architecture as it relates to music and thus directly impacts our work as musicians and the lives of those whom we strive to draw closer to God) and we discovered that every newly consecrated parish should be named St. Mary Magdalene (because "They have taken My Lord away, and I don't know where they have put Him") or Admonition of Saint Paul (because "I am become a loud, clanging cymbal"), there wouldn't be anything wrong with acknowledging (in that context) that the work of musicians has sometimes contributed to drawing attention away from God. This wouldn't be griping, but a severe mercy, a proper examen.

  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,576
    I think a proper airing of the real benefits (if any) of the liturgical reform and the real shortcomings (if any) of the liturgical reform would be an entirely suitable topic for this forum, on any thread which could sustain it, and the fact that these discussions might take place during the Triduum isn't, in itself, either inappropriate or un-Christian.
    I totally agree with this mindset. There is nothing wrong in our discussions... just because it is 'holy week' does not mean our discussions should stop or be curtailed... let's be honest and not hide behind a smoke screen of sort.

    And if you don't like to read or participate in the thread that is being discussed then don't enter the thread... but to put that attitude on the rest of all who do participate is basically an insult to our (my) intelligence and our freedom to say what we think. We are all passionate and devoted to sacred music, so to try to stifle discussion is a bit like the cancel culture that is trying to silence the voice of many who deserve to be heard and allowed to speak.
  • JacobFlaherty
    Posts: 286
    Francis, I never said people weren’t ABLE/FREE to write what they want. The difference between “being able” and “should“ is significant. That is why I was pondering if there is another place for those of us who want to be in community but not have the constant barrage of controversy. I have talked to another musician on the matter, and he concurred - The post’s timing was very poor and the fact that it garnered 100+ responses during the holiest days of our calendar sends up huge warning signs to me and others. Christ had not yet even been taken down from the cross, (Good Friday) and discussion about controversy had commenced. Sounds like another group of people we read about for whom the inscription ‘INRI’ threw them over the edge. Of course anyone can take any position they like, but would it not be better for us, as individuals in this forum, to take the Saint John the Beloved’s posture at the foot of the cross and and actually mourn our Savior in anticipation of His glorious rising rather than spend those 3/365 days doing what we do every other day?

    Anyone on here is free to participate as they want to but likewise being free I am within my right to question if this is the right group for me, which is essentially what I was doing.

    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,728
    I think it was a brilliant move. The snark was all diverted into one thread, leaving the other three-quarters of posts for constructive charity.
    Thanked by 3francis tomjaw Elmar
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,576
    Yes... we are always tripping over each other with charity here... if I may be so bold to ask, why didn’t you close your browser for three days? Personally, a number of us spent 4-6 hours per day in the Triduum chanting the pre 55 liturgy including the full tenebrae in vest.... and very little time on the forum.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Elmar
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,278
    I probably do need to spend less time on the internet, although I sometimes think charity is overrated. I don't feel charitable at all on some days. I am conscious that our Easter celebrations are a reenactment of the events, not the real thing. That real deal happened a couple of thousand years ago. However, prayer is good at any time.
    Thanked by 3bhcordova Elmar francis
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,576
    Charles... yea, it’s easy to click into curmugeoness... politically correct charity can often be an excuse to look the other way... not charity at all. Prayer... very good always!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,576
    a_f

    Are you proposing a different color for snark threads? (lol)
    Thanked by 1mmeladirectress