Thursday, September 15, 2011

The New Missal and Chant

An excellent article regarding the place of chant with the new Roman Missal: The Musical Transition to the New Missal. A snippet:

What happens to a large community of people who are barely getting by as it is and then are asked to change toward something that is arguably more difficult? They throw themselves at the mercy of the institutions promoting the familiar. This is pretty much what has happened in a large number of parishes, as the old-line publishers who have learned ways to flatter amateurs with settings that get them through the day are thriving once again.

It’s possibly true that ICEL, the USCCB, and Vox Clara all overestimated the capacity of average Catholic musicians to adapt and sing what strikes experience liturgical musicians are ridiculously easy chanted settings of the Mass text. Even so, it could be the case that even this material is too difficult for their current abilities - or, at least, this is what many singers believe.

What about sending teachers out to parishes to get them going? Many of us have done workshops and worked with singers. We’ve made youtubes that have received as many as 7,000 views. We’ve produced editions in four-line staves and modern notes. But all our efforts combined are dwarfed by the influence of the large publishers, who have lobbied hard at every Office of Worship in this country (“you should have one Mass setting for the entire diocese and it should be the one we sell”), done non-stop seminars all over the country, and promoted proprietary music at every stop.

There are teachers among us...