[quote="opus101, post:12, topic:338115"]
I agree that the text is of utmost importance. But as far as liturgical music is concerned, it needs to be written in one of the styles associated with sacred music. Even newly composed sacred music has certain guidelines to fulfill, totally separate from the text.
Secular styles and instrumentations remove the pieces from the realm of the sacred, and place most of them in the category of secular-style Christian pop music.
So far, the only U.S. Bishops (as far as I know) who have addressed this problem in a well-educated and knowledgeable way are Bishops Olmsted and Sample. It would be good for Bishops who have no serious musical education to acknowledge the expertise of those who do.
Im sorry but you are attempting to go far beyond where the Vatican has defined.
The Vatican has stated that Plain Chant, and in particular Gregorian Chant should be upheld as a "Gold Standard" of liturgical music. They recommend that all other musical forms and styles should be compared to that form.
On the other hand they explicitly state that no instrument and no musical style is explicitly banned or to be avoided. There is a strong case for the inculturation of the Church into the culture and time of every missionary activity.
As each new generation grows up they become in turn a new missionary field.
The shame is where you can go from one end of a deanery to another and never hear a mass celebrated according to the "Gold Standard" - A sung Mass, with sung propers / antiphons / Graduale all in a form of traditional Chant - with full and proper congreational participation.
It is explicitly good and to be desired however that other forms should be available. This includes the "Traditional Hymns" that we are all familiar with, which have for the most part been inherited directly or in genre from our protestant bretheren.
This includes the "Folk Mass" with guitars and other instruments leading the music, and a more up-beat musical style.
This included "Praise and worship" style music and "Christian Rock" styles.
This includes outreach masses where modern genres of popular music may be used (but explicitly written for worship... not trying to "Baptise" a generic pop song)
In all these cases, however, it is not good enough to just say a musical selection vaugley fits the theme of the mass or that it is by a christian artist.
It must properly fit the themes of the mass. It must properly fit the time of the mass for which it is used.
Whenever possible the first places to introduce music in the Mass is for the Propers and Ordinary of the mass. The Gloria, the Psalm (not to be replaced with any generic hymn there's a Psalm of the day - use it), the Alleluia, possibly the Creed The Sanctus, the Consecration Acclamation, the Great Amen, the Our Father. There should be a Hymn during the distribution of Holy Communion. It should draw the congregation to worship the Lord who they are receiving. It should be for the whole congregation to sing together.
Then the use of a Entrance, the Offertory, and the recessional may be considered. These should be inspired by the Antiphons and/or Graduale.
Hymns and other music used should be carefully selected and assessed for good theology. there's far to many hymns in our hymnbooks that contain bad theology and some are downright heretical
Another important factor is the musical and artistic quality of the music chosen. It is not good enough to select just any musical dross. Music should be selected which is objectively of a high musical/artistic quality in both the music and the Lyrics used.
This is not a comment on musical Taste, as that is a topic which we will never all agree on. it's about the simple fact that some "Art" is just objectively bad, and other art is masterful whether one likes the style or not.
It is also important that the music selected is within the skill capabilities of the music ministry to lead it well. whether that be an Organist, Choir, folk group or any other music ministry form.
There is no excuse for playing music that is unrehearsed, beyond your skill level or for music that is beyond the ability of the congregation to join in with.
The job of the music ministry is not to perform, but to lead the congregation in the worship of God through music.
There's a reason why Gregorian CHant is held up as a "Gold Standard".
1) it's easy to sing. It's easy to lead and easy to follow.
2) It puts primacy of place to the words being chanted and not on the musical skill of a "performer"
3) some forms of cant can include Polyphony without sacrificing these ideals.
4) In the acoustics of a traditional church building the long reverberation times mean that faster musical forms quickly result in the meaning of the words becoming lost in the reverberant "Mush". Traditional Chant is slow and designed explicitly to avoid this.
5) It's been refined and made beautiful for over 1000 years. it's part of the heritage and treasure of the Church.
Some people complain that other forms of music are not "Sacred" based on the instruments or musical styles used. Very frequently people accuse the Guitar of being incapable of producing "Sacred" music. This is, I would point out, a matter of personal taste and interpretation, and nothing to do with objective fact, nor to the scriptures which repeatedly exhort us to Clap our Hands, beat Drums, play Tambourines, Play the Lyar (a strummed 10 stringed instrument), and other stringed instruments. To "Make a Joyfull Noise" and to "Sing a new song to The Lord"