NPM DMMD Certification Question
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    I realize that the NPM DMMD certification has been discussed at some length in the past here, but I am wondering if anyone has any experience with or thoughts about this requirement: "A scholarly paper, 20-25 pages in length, in the area of liturgical study, primary sources cited. Topic submitted in writing to Certificate Committee for approval."

    How do you think they would respond to a paper that clearly expressed CMAA values without waffling--chant having pride of place, among others?

    In all seriousness, I don't see how someone could write any paper that accurately cites Church documents without the light bulb turning on at some point. And if that's true, is the NPM as ridiculous as it is sometimes made out to be? Or am I deluding myself into thinking that maybe there are people "out there" who "get it"? Or is there a gaggle of music directors who have read and digested Church documents and wrote a paper that is still utterly clueless?
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,192
    The answer is in the question.

    The topic has to be submitted for approval. The topic must pass muster first. And, one wonders who makes up this "Certification Committee" and by what standards are topics approved or not?
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    Exactly. All good questions for which I would like to have answers!
  • OlbashOlbash
    Posts: 310
    I tend to think that if you are reasonable in your approach and use the kind of language to which they are accustomed, they would accept the paper as you describe.

    I just took the NPM part of the joint CAGO exam and answered the questions in a broad manner, including everything from chant and choral Masses to the SLJ's. I should get the results in a month or two. If they nitpick about the traditionalist points -- or even reject me because of it -- I'll let you know.
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    I am not partial to NPM, but I really thing they are fair and scholarly in their approach to things - they have a chant section, along with people involved in it who advocate an approach to liturgy that is congruent with CMAA's stated goals.

    Their whole approach seems to be "it's a great big tent, and there is room for all of us under it."
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,307
    I am not partial to NPM, but I really thing they are fair and scholarly in their approach to things - they have a chant section, along with people involved in it who advocate an approach to liturgy that is congruent with CMAA's stated goals.

    Their whole approach seems to be "it's a great big tent, and there is room for all of us under it."


    Yes. Their approach to Church Music is very much inline with the USCCB's understanding, as presented in Sing to the Lord. (Not dissimilar, actually, to my own understanding- although I like chant more, and organ less, than NPM seems to).

    I believe Fr. Anthony Ruff is teaching a chant workshop at NPM's convention this year.
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    Michael,

    Are you able to divulge what some of the questions were, even in a general way? I am trying to wrap my head around what knowledge they might expect a person to have.
  • He's also teaching the guitar workshop at Colloquium next week, Adam, and I am quite put out. As a resident curmudgeon and a senior (aging) guitarista, I'm outraged, yes, outraged (imagine my Molly Yard voice) that Jeffrey displaced me with Dom Ruff. Especially after I burned a couple o' K on a Dimebag Darrell Signature BatouttaHell Shredmeister Doubleneck Axe. I even paid for an extra seat on da plane, da plane for to seat it.

    For those of you who don't speak "MusiciansFriend/Sweetwater/GuitarCenter," the above jargon is "hooey." As is this post. I just likes Adam's style. But I am coming to PA.
    Be afraid....be....
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,307
    I just likes Adam's style.


    I can't tell if that was supposed to be an insult or a compliment, but it made me smile anyway. I, also, like my style.
  • OlbashOlbash
    Posts: 310
    Doug et al., I see no reason why I couldn't let you know what the test questions were, so here they are. The exam was e-mailed out to all the applicants on the same day at 3 p.m. EST, to be returned by 6 p.m. EST, so you could consult books, internet, etc. I presume the questions are new every time the test is administered, so I don't think I'm breaking any rules by posting them:

    * * *

    Answer one question from each of the three categories.

    I. Sunday Celebration of the Eucharist (40 points). Choose either A or B.

    A. Describe the place of music in the Eucharistic Prayer. What parts of the Eucharistic Prayer should be sung? Which parts may be sung? What are the roles of the assembly and priest in singing the Eucharistic Prayer and what is the importance of each? How can choir, cantor, and instrumentalists support singing of the Eucharistic Prayer? How do the dialogue and acclamations of the Eucharistic Prayer give expression to its theological content?

    B. Describe the place of music in the Communion Rite as a whole and in its individual ritual elements. Include two or three examples of how the choice of music for the Communion procession can express the communitarian nature of the procession and give voice to the assembly’s joy of heart. Comment on the theological purpose behind beginning the singing with the priest’s reception of communion and continuing as long as the Sacrament is being administered to the faithful.

    II. The Liturgical Year (30 points). Choose either A or B.

    A. Discuss each of the elements (baptism and penance) that give Lent its two-fold character and the ways in which these two themes are reflected in the rites and texts of the Sunday liturgies of the season. Identify some musical and ritual decisions for the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist that can support these two dimensions. How do celebrating the Rites of Christian Initiation during this season affect your choices and why?

    B. What considerations should go into preparing music for the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist during Advent? How can the choice of antiphons, psalms, and liturgical songs express the various aspects of the season as it unfolds from the First Sunday of Advent through December 24?

    III. Rites of the Church (30 points). Choose either A or B.

    A. You have been asked to plan the music for a communal celebration of the anointing of the sick during a regularly scheduled parish Mass during Ordinary Time. How would the celebration differ from the normal Sunday celebration? What parts of the liturgy should be sung? What kinds of choices would you suggest and why?

    B. Seven adults are to be baptized during the Easter Vigil. Describe the ritual and musical shape of the initiation rite (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil. What elements of the rites can and/or should be sung? What choices would you suggest and why?
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    Very interesting, Michael. It is mostly practical, but it presumes at least some understanding of underpinning theology and tests practically no knowledge of history.

    Thank you very much for sharing! (And don't worry--I'm merely a scholar, not an organist or choir director taking notes).
  • don roy
    Posts: 306
    charles
    that is hysterical!!!
    adam
    id go with the compliment!
  • OlbashOlbash
    Posts: 310
    I just got my results from NPM -- 83.5 out of 100. 70 required to pass. Hold your applause, please.

    I would've scored a little higher had I not included a sentence to the effect that "the Sanctus, on rare occasion, may be sung by a choir in the great choral tradition of Renaissance polyphony or the Viennese orchestral Masses." It was pointed out to me that GIRM #79b requires that the Sanctus be "sung or said by all the people with the priest" and that it would not be appriopriate for the choir to sing a choral Sanctus.

    I might have failed entirely if I mentioned that I thought "Sing to the Lord" got it totally wrong when it stated that the responsorial psalm is always preferred to the gradual... :)
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    I would've scored a little higher had I not included a sentence to the effect that "the Sanctus, on rare occasion, may be sung by a choir in the great choral tradition of Renaissance polyphony or the Viennese orchestral Masses." It was pointed out to me that GIRM #79b requires that the Sanctus be "sung or said by all the people with the priest" and that it would not be appropriate for the choir to sing a choral Sanctus.


    One wonders if the Pope would pass this section of the exam. I find the questions themselves betray a deficient knowledge of liturgy. Half of thee questions are about "choices" or "decisions" that a competent music direct may never need to make. To the questions concerning which parts of certain rites may or should be sung, the obvious answer is in each case "all of them."
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    At least there was a pretty quick turnaround. Congrats!