Dan Schutte's Music - Worthy For Worship?

:confused: Does anyone have any thoughts about Dan Schutte’s music is worthy for use in the Mass or is it just white-washed true liturgical music? :confused:

Just read on another Catholic board that Dan Schutte, former Jesuit priest, is now living with his gay partner. OK, that is hearsay (although I trust the source).

However the following is NOT hearsay: Schutte’s song “Here I Am, Lord” is the unofficial anthem of Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Catholics (the-tidings.com/2001/0209/mlgc.htm).

Sad sad sad.

'thann

Is this a common “lifestyle” choice for Oregon Catholic Press? When I visited Oregon last year, the churches seemed to be VERY liberal and supportive of the active gay community.

I was shocked. This was the first openly heretical set of acts during the Mass I had ever witnessed.

I wasn’t sure the insinuation could be placed against Oregon Catholic Press or if it is simply an anomaly with Dan Schutte.

Most parishes I have attended use their Missalette and Music Issue.

I know from personal experience that there are a number of contemporary Catholic composers and musicians who are gay. The Catholic artistic community seems to reflect the secular artistic community.

But the sexual orientation of the composer would not, in and of itself, be the measure by which the music is judged. That test should be made on the merits of the words and melody. I’ve heard the song “Here I am Lord” criticized because the singers must take the part of God: “I the Lord…” I don’t feel qualified to make that kind of judgement.

My biggest complaint with Dan Schutte’s music is that it sounds awful the way I’ve heard most musicians and singers perform it. I(Perform for lack of a better word.) It is can sound very prayerful when done well. But it doesn’t lend itself well to the organ. It’s best done with strings, wind instruments, and piano (in that order.) This raises the issue of the appropriateness of such intruments…

“Here I Am, Lord” has the same melody as the theme from “The Brady Bunch.” That’s enough for me to avoid it!

Betsy

Dan Schutte was a former Jesuit Priest. Why would you listen to anything a former Priest wrote? His music is lame, totally cheesy.

“Here I Am, Lord” has the same melody as the theme from “The Brady Bunch.”

This needs to be answered for the benefit of those who do not know this song.

While the beginning of the melody line to the refrain of “Here I am, Lord” is sufficiently similar to the beginning of the each verse of “The Brady Bunch” theme song that one can easily note the similarity, they are not identical. The ending half of the melody lines to the refrain of “Here I am, Lord” and to the verses of “The Brady Bunch” theme song are notably divergent; and the verses to “Here I am, Lord” have no significant similarity to “The Brady Bunch” theme song. To say they are the same melody is not an accurate description.

Another interesting comparision is that of the songs “Amazing Grace”, the theme song to “Gilligan’s Island”, and “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zepplin. The melodies to these songs are nothing alike, but the meter of the lyrics is so close that the words to any of these songs can easily be sung to the music of the others. But just because the words to “Amazing Grace” can be sung to the music of “Stairway to Heaven” or “Gilligan’s Island” (and vise-versa), this does not devalue “Amazing Grace” as a hymn.

Joseph Bilodeau.

Just read the GIRM (or any one of my posts on Sacred Music) and listen to a Dan Schutte song and you’ll have your answer. His music should be added to the index of forbidden books and burned. Publicly. A giant bonfire that can be seen from space…

Let’s be charitable y’all!

Dan Schutte is indeed a former Jesuit priest. From what I can find on the Internet, Schutte is now based at the University of San Francisco, where he is “composer-in-residence” and the director of music for the school’s Office of University Ministries. Many of us are familiar with Schutte’s contributions to the St. Louis Jesuits. He has issued five collections of his own work since the group’s last effort in 1985, “The Steadfast Love.”

Dunno anymore than that. I sincerely hope he is NOT living with a gay partner but suggest that, unless we have proof, we avoid the sin of gossip. :thumbsup:

I personally like a lot of his music for prayerful contemplation, but then I was a brand new Catholic when the SLJs were all the rage, so I have a lot of good emotional ties to their music. I don’t particularly like most of it for Mass, ewspecially the songs which have the Lord speaking through the singers: “I the Lord…” “I will raise you up” etc etc; though they did do some great alleluia and anamnesis tunes too, which are underutilized.

[quote=Joseph Bilodeau] While the beginning of the melody line to the refrain of “Here I am, Lord” is sufficiently similar to the beginning of the each verse of “The Brady Bunch” theme song that one can easily note the similarity, they are not identical. The ending half of the melody lines to the refrain of “Here I am, Lord” and to the verses of “The Brady Bunch” theme song are notably divergent; and the verses to “Here I am, Lord” have no significant similarity to “The Brady Bunch” theme song. To say they are the same melody is not an accurate description.
[/quote]

Joseph - lighten up! :smiley: Come on, admit it - doesn’t the song go something like this in your mind:

Here I am Lord
It is I, Lord
I am bringing up three very lovely girls…

But if we’re going to do a thorough musical analysis of the two melodies, one would have to say that the Brady Bunch song is more complex and well written - it goes on to an interesting “B” section after the first three lines, while “Here I Am” simply repeats the first three lines with a slightly different cadence at the end of the repeated third line.

Betsy

[font=Verdana]The value of an artist’s work is not related to his state of grace when he/she created it, although I think a lot of Dan Shutte’s music is moderately cheesy.
[/font]
It is well-accepted historical fact that Michaelangelo was gay (although I have no idea if he was celibate or not).

He certainly got into disputes with church officials for his insistence on painting nearly all of his human subjects naked. Also, if you notice carefully most of the women he painted would make good football players.

In fact, the entire systine chapel was originally painted with no clothes on the people. The cardinal that had this altered by another artist was added to hell by Michaelangelo later, in protest. See the front of the chapel, bottom right of “The Last Judgment”.

No one would possibly suggest we repaint the Systine Chapel, and I don’t think Dan Shutte’s lifestyle has any bearing on whether it is acceptable for singing in church.

[quote=thann]Just read on another Catholic board that Dan Schutte, former Jesuit priest, is now living with his gay partner. OK, that is hearsay (although I trust the source).

However the following is NOT hearsay: Schutte’s song “Here I Am, Lord” is the unofficial anthem of Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Catholics (the-tidings.com/2001/0209/mlgc.htm).

Sad sad sad.

'thann
[/quote]

The rainbow has also been taken by the gays and lesbians as their symbol. If I remember correctly, God first used the rainbow as a sign of his promise to Noah. It’s abuse by the homosexual community does not in anyway degrade its true value. Abuse never proves that the object of the abuse is flawed. In fact, to speak of abuse – to use in a bad way – is to imply that there is a good way or at least neutral way to use something.

Dear Betsy,

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

So far, today at work it’s been “one o’ those days…” I sure needed the laugh you just gave me!

THANK YOU!!

a pilgrim

[quote=Joseph Bilodeau]This needs to be answered for the benefit of those who do not know this song.

While the beginning of the melody line to the refrain of “Here I am, Lord” is sufficiently similar to the beginning of the each verse of “The Brady Bunch” theme song that one can easily note the similarity, they are not identical. The ending half of the melody lines to the refrain of “Here I am, Lord” and to the verses of “The Brady Bunch” theme song are notably divergent; and the verses to “Here I am, Lord” have no significant similarity to “The Brady Bunch” theme song. To say they are the same melody is not an accurate description.

Another interesting comparision is that of the songs “Amazing Grace”, the theme song to “Gilligan’s Island”, and “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zepplin. The melodies to these songs are nothing alike, but the meter of the lyrics is so close that the words to any of these songs can easily be sung to the music of the others. But just because the words to “Amazing Grace” can be sung to the music of “Stairway to Heaven” or “Gilligan’s Island” (and vise-versa), this does not devalue “Amazing Grace” as a hymn.

Joseph Bilodeau.
[/quote]

To add to what Joseph has written, some observations about music should be made.

In any major/minor scale there are only 7 notes, the eighth note of the scale being the 1st note an octave higher. The use of accidentals expands this somewhat, but accidentals are more the exception than the rule. This means that there are only so many possibilities for constructing a melody line. It should not be surprising then to find similarities between different songs. With the tremendous amount of songs that have been written just in this century, my prediction is that you could take any phrase from a piece of sacred music and find a parallel in secular music.

In addition to this is the fact that certain intervals (I speak here of melodic and not harmonic intervals) and cadences (and chord progressions) sound more reasonable to the ear than do others. The (major) seventh simply doesn’t occur as often as the perfect fourth and the second note of the scale is rarely flatted.

Fortunately, there is much more to a musical phrase than just pitch.

Yeah, but I still think Betsy’s post was funny!

:smiley:

a pilgrim

[quote=SMHW]I know from personal experience that there are a number of contemporary Catholic composers and musicians who are gay. The Catholic artistic community seems to reflect the secular artistic community.
[/quote]

Does anyone know how this compares to the contemporary Christian music scene? I can’t think of any that I have heard about.

I am not in anyway qualified to judge the state of Dan Schutte’s soul. To answer an above post, I would listen to the music of a former priest if it seemed that God was giving him the music at the time it was written. I don’t think that music has to be complex in order to be appropriate for Mass. In fact, it should be available to everyone. A lot of liturgical music is difficult to play and to sing. This is distracting and many people just don’t bother.

I like (much of) the music of the St. Louis Jesuits. I like the way the songs focus on specific points of God’s word and bring them into my mind as only music can. Reading the part of God is not a problem for me. How is this different than reading the scripture aloud. I do not confuse myself with God just because I am singing the song. I have had many sad and happy occasions which were celebrated with this music and I think it serves a useful place in worship in the Mass. Also, the Mass is the only time many people hear Catholic music, and it is good to give them songs that they can use in their personal prayer (don’t you get some song from Sunday Mass going through your head half the week?).

Ellen

I guess I would hesitate to judge its worthiness. However I do find the St. Louis group’s music to be anemic and it’s some of my least favorite church music.

Schutte’s Music ought to be banned. As a former priest - now shacked-up with another man in a queer relationship as various publications have attested - he receives royalties each time his music is used.

Since 1965 the Liturgical Revolution leadership has been peppered by acolytes of queerdom.

In the same vein, you might be interested in this group:

mgilleland.com/music/moratorium.htm

You might want to email the founder to suggest that Schutte be added to the list.

I don’t particularly care for most of this contemporary music. Its focus is on us as a community, instead of on God (can you imagine expecting God to find joy in hearing us sing about how lucky He is to have us!), it’s musically and theologically immature – it’s cotton candy, fun for what it’s worth, but very much of it will make you very sick!

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