Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Liber Usualis for iPhone

The NLM highlighted the availability (for free!) the 1961 Liber Usualis for iPhone and iPod Touch owners.

Use coupon code TFRPLT4NFPT4. Here's a short description:

Liber Pro takes the 1961 Liber Usualis, a book of over 2,300 pages of Gregorian Chant for use throughout the liturgical year, and literally puts it at your fingertips on your iPhone or iPod Touch. Liber Pro adds to this tome a linked table of contents, user-defined bookmarks, vertical and horizontal paging and zooming, browser-like navigation, a dynamic liturgical calendar, and more.

Liber Pro is more than just an eBook. It is also the complete 1961 Roman Calendar, capable of calculating the moveable feasts throughout the year automatically. This means you can select a date; view the proper, common, and feria for that date; and jump instantly to the relevant pages in the Liber Usualis.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

For October 12, 2009 which is the 19th Sunday after Pentecost, we are going to sing:
  1. Procession: Crown Him With Many Crowns (tune: Diademata)
  2. Asperges me
  3. Introit: Salus populi
  4. Kyrie XI (Orbis Factor)
  5. Gloria XI
  6. Gradual: Dirigatur
  7. Alleluia: Confitemini Domino, et invocate
  8. Credo IV
  9. Offertory: Si ambulavero
  10. Offertory hymn: Dextera Domini (C. Franck)
  11. Sanctus XI
  12. Agnus Dei XI
  13. Communion hymn: Adoro Te Devote
  14. Communion: Tu mandasti
  15. Recession: Holy Mary, Now We Crown Thee
Click on the links to hear samples where available.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

On Rock Music

Joseph Ratzinger:
We can recall the Dionysiac type of religion and its music, which Plato discussed on the basis of his religious and philosophical views. In many forms of religion, music is associated with frenzy and ecstasy. The free expansion of human existence, toward which man’s own hunger for the Infinite is directed, is supposed to be achieved through sacred delirium induced by frenzied instrumental rhythms. Such music lowers the barriers of individuality and personality, and in it man liberates himself from the burden of consciousness. Music becomes ecstasy, liberation from the ego, amalgamation with the universe. Today we experience the secularized variation of this type in rock and pop music, whose festivals are an anti-cult with the same tendency: desire for destruction, repealing the limitations of the everyday, and the illusion of salvation in liberation from the ego, in the wild ecstasy of a tumultuous crowd... It is the complete antithesis of Christian faith in the Redemption.

Accordingly, it is only logical that in this area diabolical cults and demonic musics are on the increase today, and their dangerous power of deliberately destroying personality is not yet taken seriously enough. The dispute between Dionysiac and Apolline music which Plato tried to arbitrate is not our concern, since Apollo is not Christ. But the question which Plato posed concerns us in a most significant way. In a way which we could not imagine thirty years ago, music has become the decisive vehicle of a counter-religion and thus calls for a parting of the ways. Since rock music seeks release through liberation from the personality and its responsibility, it can be on the one hand precisely classified among the anarchic ideas of freedom which today predominate more openly in the West than in the East. But that is precisely why rock music is so completely antithetical to the Christian concept of redemption and freedom, indeed its exact opposite.
[Liturgy and Church Music, 1985]

h/t to Daniel Mitsui

Monday, September 14, 2009

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

For September 27, 2009 which is the 17th Sunday after Pentecost, we are going to sing:
  1. Procession: O God Of Loveliness
  2. Asperges me
  3. Introit: Iustus es, Domine
  4. Kyrie XI (Orbis Factor)
  5. Gloria XI
  6. Gradual: Beata gens
  7. Alleluia: Domine, exaudi
  8. Credo III
  9. Offertory: Oravi Deum, meum
  10. Offertory hymn: O Maria, Virgo Pia
  11. Sanctus XI
  12. Agnus Dei XI
  13. Communion hymn: O Esca Viatorum
  14. Communion: Vovete
  15. Recession: Soul Of My Savior
Click on the links to hear samples where available.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Singing as a responsibility

Dr. Jeffrey Tucker hit it on the nail again (double or triple whammy, I may say) with the state of singing in most Catholic parishes:

"There's also been a terrible price to pay in terms of people's level of dedication to the task. Catholics are under the impression that the music at Mass just happens. Pastors are unwilling to pay for it, and the people themselves are unwilling to make anything like a serious commitment to making it happen. As a result, most parishes have a hard-core group of a few people, perhaps 2 to 4 people, who make it all happen, while everyone else involved comes and goes depending.

In fact, as a person with a childhood spent in the Baptist Church, I'm astonished at the lack of service ethic in the Catholic Church regarding music. In the Baptist Church of old (I don't know if this is still true), if you could sing, you sang. Period. There was no choice about it. If you were a member with some musical talent, it was a tithe to sing in the choir. It was something you did simply because you were a member. If a true singer were sitting in the pews instead of the loft, he or she was considered a shirker and a bum.

So it was and so it should be, in my view. The contrast with the Catholic Church today is striking. In Catholic parishes, people will sing only under certain conditions: 1) if they have some talent and are not embarrassed to sing, 2) if there is nothing else going on the evening of rehearsal, 3) if the singers are praised to the skies by the director and the pastor, 4) if they are willing to come to Mass every week, 5) if they are willing to sit apart from their family, 6) if the music is something they like to sing, 7) if they like the other choir members and have unrelenting fun during every minute of participation, 8) if the singer in question is given a big solo, and so on.

In other words, many people are sitting on the fence waiting to find out what the choir will do for them rather than what their participation will do for the parish. This is an egregious attitude, one that stands completely contrary to a service ethic. It is like saying to God: "I know you gave me a certain ability but I will only use it under the conditions that I name, and otherwise I will not use my talent to serve people and serve you, simply because my own personal pleasure and well being comes before any obligation I owe to anyone, including God." I would go so far as to say that, other things equal, it may be a sin for those who can sing not to sing.

And yet this ethic is nowhere to be found in the Catholic Church today. People assume the posture of consumers of liturgy. They show up and take it all in, and complain about it as they see fit, without a moment's thought put into what he or she can personally do to make a difference."

Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Mapping Gregorian pitches to keyboard

Dr Jeffrey Tucker over at the NLM highlighted a Mac program helpful for people to map Gregorian pitches to piano.

Mac program made by Ben George.

Pope Benedict Asks For Greater Composure in the Liturgy

From the NLM:

Last Sunday, the Holy Father visited the Italian cities of Viterbo with its papal palace, where the first papal conclave was held, and Bagnoregio, birthplace of St Bonaventure, about whom Pope Benedict wrote his habilitation treatise (which is being published these days, for the first time in its original version, as the second volume of his opera omnia). In Viterbo, he celebrated Mass in the Faul Valley, immediately below the walls of the papal palace. According to several reports in the Italian press (cf. here, here or here), at lunch that day with the local bishops, the Holy Father made some interesting remarks about the attitude of the faithful attending that Mass. While they are not new or surprising, they certainly bear highlighting. According to the reports, Benedict XVI explained to the bishops present that "he desires a greater composure in the liturgies, in which, he finds, applause and acclamations are out of place." In that sense he commended Sunday's celebration, because the more than ten thousand faithful attending "were very devout and composed." In this, the faithful also followed an invitation made through the speakers installed for the occasion "not to applaud and to remain recollected."

Friday, September 04, 2009

It's a Still Life That Runs Deep

Morten Lauridsen explains how this ZurbarĂ¡n painting, filled with religious symbolism, inspired him to compose his "O Magnum Mysterium".

Read more here.

In the meantime, enjoy this world-famous composition by Lauridsen performed by the Nordic Chamber Choir: