The Holy Season of Advent…
These two ditties so resemble each other, the melody should be banned for the Gloria:
* * “Glory To God” • Refrain by Dan Schutte
* * “My Little Pony” • Mp3 Audio Excerpt
The vast majority of modern music reminds me more of NYC Jewish themed Broadway, than anything, as if copying the modern European origin Jewish sound takes Christians back to their roots.OUR local church in Nov. ditched the one set of terrible Broadway Gloria and Credo for exciting, new, and worse, compositions by the church music dictat....err.....director, in November. Still rolling downhill and gaining speed, here.
Sorry for repeat date, working off a small screen where lines of text above and below not visible.
And THAT, Father, is why going to Mass is usually an exercise in tuning out "music" that grates on my nerves to the nth degree. Hyper-auditory people like me suffer when this tripe is forced upon our ears. Enough said.
As for an example of how terrible the old Gloria, and subjecting the words to primacy of the lilting/wilting melody over intent of words, let me give the first line.Glory to God in highest. Glory to God in highest. Glory to God, glory to God, and on earth peace, peace, to people of good willlll.
As a footnote to our above mentioned Gloria, the Gloria is broken into stanzas, and that same butched first line text is used as an interminably annoying refrain between every stanza, making it likely one of the longer Glorias outside of "classic" renditions by major composers.As for the "classics", without any intent to detract from the beauty of some of them, or the tastes of those who enjoy the music, many of those compositions were all about highlighting the wealth of the cathedral/bishop/royalty, virtuosity of the composer/musicians, and musical sophistication of the audiences, and were essentially concert performances. And anything foatering a contemplative, introspective union with God during the Holy Sacrifice was not evwn an afterthought for anyone concerned. In short, they were trendy for times entertainment designed to please crowds, suffering the same shortcomings as our own current modern and trendy shortcomings.
You will never convince a cultural relativist like the one who frequently posts here, usually as Anonymous but occasionally under his real name, that there is such a thing as good or bad music, or that certain genres are more suitable for liturgical use than others. Such people will maintain that objective criticism does not exist and every judgement is simply a matter of personal preference.
Today people’s individual truths are sacrosanct unless you are Trump who believes the election was rigged against him!
John Nolan - First, I am not a cultural relativist. I am a Catholic, as the Church is Catholic. No one culture, with all of its elements, is or should be considered normative for Catholic worship. In much the same way that the College of Cardinals was almost exclusively a reflection of a narrow, Euro-centric understanding of what it meant to be Catholic but has now been internationalized, so goes the Church's liturgy. Get on board or get out of the way, the train is not stoppable.Second, you are a cultural fascist. Your "objective criticism" is entirely Euro-centric, and your judgments, which you suggest are without European bias, as as shot through with partiality as any. Tell us again how the colonization of many parts of the world by European powers was such a good thing and how the "savages" were introduced to the "proper" way of life by their rapacious overlords. Tell us again, what are the universal qualities of "good" music. These must apply acorss all time and all genres.
Cultural fascist? Hyperbole? Fascist, racist, tripping off people brains trivializes the truth about these descriptives.
BOMBSHELL! You have no grasp of hyperbole.
Well, anonymous, you sure seem eager to tell us off for pointing out the obvious. If the shoe fits...
Anonymous, there are very precise cultural references and standards for music. It is not Eurocentric to say that there is a tight way to play European music. Other cultures, all I have encountered, have the same rules of reference. The words come first, the melody second although it must reflect the atmosphere of the text. If that can’t be done then it should be left out.
"In short, they were trendy for times entertainment designed to please crowds, suffering the same shortcomings as our own current modern and trendy shortcomings."Whatever one may consider the proper venue for the type compositions you are referring to, they do not in the least suffer in comparison to "current modern and trendy shortcomings", although the ears of some of us are suffering when subjected to such.
The Gloria (Glory to God) in the Roman rite is one of the three great hymns that have come to us from the East. The other two being the Te Deum and Te Decit Laus. The Glory to God in the Mass of Christ the Savior (the "my little pony Mass") destroys the Eastern form of this great prayer. The Glory to God was never meant to have verses and a refrain. It should just be chanted straight through.
The failed rite known as Novus Ordo matches the failed 'nouvelle theologie', ditto the failed new 'Springtime'; and any number of other glitchy slogans invented to reassure and amuse the faithless masses still clinging to the once meaningful label Roman Catholic.Anon 5:PMYou can call a pig with lipstick pretty, but when it speaks it still come out as oink, oink.
Some day . . . Someone will post the list of OBJECTIVE criteria by which we judge music, including music used for Catholic worship, to be good or bad.Yes, we all agree that the texts should be doctrinally sound, that goes without saying.And I suspect that if we are speaking about music to be sung by a congregation, it should be appropriate for that purpose. Music that is too complex or that requires, say, a three octave span , should not be presented to folks with ordinary vocal ability.But what are the OBJECTIVE criteria that we might consider when making this judgment?One wonders...
The Church has several texts on liturgical music. They do not dictate what particular tune should or should not be played. Individual taste is not a standard but the selection of music can be informed by the preferences of educated people.
I think the objective criteria are quite simple and obvious. The point of the religion is love of God above all created things and union with that God and putting the beloved ahead of all else.This cannot be done except by an interior union and making room for God in his temple of the soul.The music at the Holy Sacrifice where we are in the actual presence of that God should and united even physically by the consumption, should foster this.Music at the Holy Sacrifice should not be about entertainment, grand belting sing-alongs, or shallow self-centered emotionalism. It should orient the heart towards God and God alone.Period. The End.
"I think the objective criteria are quite simple and obvious."And those are...?
I have only met one person who was genuinely tone-deaf in that he could not distinguish pitch and was unable to manage even the first two notes of 'God Save the Queen'. However, your average congregation encompasses a wide range of musical abilities. By no means all of them will be able to read music, but can learn a melody if repeated often enough. Hence the popularity of non-liturgical hymns.If one wants everybody (or nearly everybody) to participate in the singing of the Gloria (a non-Scriptural prose hymn of considerable antiquity) then there are problems. It is true that most congregations could sing Gloria VIII, a late non-Gregorian composition in a major key, but only because it was sung on most Sundays. The same applied to Credo III.When it comes to settings of the vernacular, it can be assumed that nearly everyone can join in with a simple refrain. So active participation is deemed more important than preserving the integrity of the original. It can be argued that liturgical music should respect not only the text but also the form of what is being set, but in the case of the Gloria this would mean learning a through-composed piece without repetitions.It is also assumed that a catchy tune in a 'pop' style with matching accompaniment will conform to most people's musical experience. It is not a coincidence that Dan Schutte's refrain sounds like an advertising jingle.Musicam Sacram (1967) allows polyphonic settings of the Ordinary to be sung by the choir (that's awfully generous of them!) 'as long as the people are not completely excluded from taking part in the singing.' How this might be achieved is anyone's guess.
Anon at 314....am feeling somewhat as the original SNL skit of news for the hearing impaired.....minus small screen typos...MUSIC AT THE HOLY SACRIFICE SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT, GRAND BELTING SING-ALONGS, OR SHALLOW SELF-CENTERED EMOTIONALISM. IT SHOULD ORIENT THE HEART TOWARDS GOD AND GOD ALONE.I would type larger for you but my little screen on my little phone might explode. The music should aid in a deeply spiritual experience of the Holy Sacrifice, much less, should it detract from that happening, or make it nearly impossible. Sorry for you, but Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is a non-starter at the gate.
John Nolan - We had two genuinely tone deaf classmates in the seminary. One was so awful that we were quite certain that if he sang standing near the organ, he would throw the organ off key!
"MUSIC AT THE HOLY SACRIFICE SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT, GRAND BELTING SING-ALONGS, OR SHALLOW SELF-CENTERED EMOTIONALISM. IT SHOULD ORIENT THE HEART TOWARDS GOD AND GOD ALONE."And what, shouting Anonymous of 6:16, are the OBJECTIVE criteria for determining whether or not a piece of music "orients the heart toward God"?
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