Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Liturgical Movement Article

Jeffrey Tucker has another great article about Sacred Music and the various paths that can lead us to appreciation of the musical treasures of the Church. Check out his article here:

My path to appreciation of Gregorian chant: I only had a vague idea of it, having never actually heard it (that I could recall) in my growing up years. Yet, when still living in the mountains east of Albuquerque, I began to start looking for information about it. I ordered two books from GIA (ironically, I later discovered that those initials stood for Gregorian Institute of America -- perhaps GIA will find its way back to its roots someday). I purchased the book Cantus Selecti and a book about learning to read the notation. After attempting to figure out the notation on my own, I gained an intellectual understanding of its theory. I got nowhere, however, in practical application and being able to really sing any of the lovely music I had in the Cantus Selecti book.

Another move... to New Orleans. While there, I began to ask if there were any groups that sang chant in the hope that I could learn from someone who actually knew it. I found a professional group of women who sang with the Musica da Camera of New Orleans. They didn't really sing chant exclusively, but were focused on all early music and medieval instrumentation. I sang with them only a short while, but was completely hooked when we first sang the Te Deum at one of our concerts. We actually used square-note notation and even a bit of organum.

Hurricane Katrina hits... we are off to Shreveport. There, with a group of like-minded individuals, we started our own schola. I soon discovered a support system in the Church Music Association of America (CMAA) and was off and running. The rest is history. Mine is a rather convoluted journey that took quite a bit of time. I didn't know anything about the holiness of it in the liturgy. I knew nothing of the history of it in the church. Although I was fairly unhappy with the general musical fare in the Catholic parishes I had attended, I really didn't know what the alternative would be. I didn't even know why I was looking for it. It was all a wonderful surprise for me when I found out how great it is.

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