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I need an unbiased opinion from some professional musicians:

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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-13-10 01:24 PM
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I need an unbiased opinion from some professional musicians:
One of the on-going attacks within the Catholic church against Vatican II reforms is the charge that the new Church music is infantile, crude, ugly, vapid, trite, etc, etc.

Now lyrics aside,(there is an entire second argument over the theology of the lyrics!) what do you think of these samples? I am in a church choir; we rehearse and present five hymns and four prayer settings in four part harmony every Sunday. I tried to pick videos of these songs in actual use rather than professional versions. I was rather surprised to see this music used throughout the English speaking world; Canada, UK, India. I thought this was used only in the US:

Gather us in - Marty Haugen

Gloria. Creation Mass. Marty Haugen

Celtic Alleluia
by Christopher Walker, Fintan OCarroll

One Bread, One Body
by John Foley

Hail Mary: Gentle Woman
by Carey Landry

We use the Gather Comprehensive hymnal

I suspect that much of the criticism comes because we now sing a lot of "Protestant " music.
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tjwmason Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-21-10 04:55 PM
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1. I can't to be totally unbiased...however, a couple of points
The first point is that much of this music is simplistic (a very different concept to simple) and often trite as well.

However - with what are we comparing it?

When I say that I'm comparing it with pieces such as:

Jean Langlais - Messe Solennelle (here the Gloria)

Tomas Luis da Victoria - Requiem (what I hope to have for my own funeral)

Robert Parsons - Ave Maria

Charles Gounod - Messe Solennelle de Sainte Cecile (here the Sanctus)

I could go on all day.

This, clearly, isn't what a typical parish will be singing on a Sunday morning...never was and never will be.

If we compare what went before the Council with what is around now, the typical Catholic then (at least in Britain and the U.S. and probably in Australia as well due to the Irish influence) would have had low Mass with hymns...and the sort of hymns that would have been sung were "Soul of my Saviour", "Hail Queen of Heaven" and so forth, similarly musically trite.

My view is that one shouldn't despise simple music merely for being simple - it doesn't get much simpler musically than plainchant which was specifically called for by the Council, it can also be sung congregationally as witnessed by the Salve Regina from Lourdes
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