Are these available with piano accompaniments, or at least with a piano melody line? How do people learn this? Is it available for choirs and musicians who don’t have any background in this kind of music whatsoever? Is the congregation expected to join in?
I took a look, but I had absolutely no clue what I was looking at. And I’m a trained classical pianist with many years of accompanying experience.
And I took a listen, and it all sounded alike to me, very droning and amelodic. This is really tough stuff for Western ears that are used to melody and regular meter. I know the Mass is not all about me and my preferences, but honestly, I don’t know how much of that kind of music I could take, especially when sung by untrained musicians. I honestly think that this could drive people away from Catholic Mass in the U.S… Sorry.
A priest friend of mine tried out the settings and he found them to be singable and easy for the faithful to learn. He said that they made his day and he is anxious for the new missal to be put into use. Now, some of the settings from MusicaSacra, I believe, are adapted from the Latin original.
For me, I find it refreshing to have a non-responsorial Gloria. It is better, in my opinion, to have this prayer sung straight-through rather than verse/refrain.
The MusicaSacra settings, I believe, are probably written in chant mode, something that perhaps some might not quite know just yet. However, chant is not very hard.
Westerners are used to melody and rhythm. I personally find any kind of chant extremely difficult, almost like a jazz improv which I am not very good at (in fact, I can’t improv at all, on the piano or vocally). Or it’s kind of like a rap song, which again, I don’t find appealing at all because I need melody. But even rap has a regular cadence, but chant doesn’t. It just kind of goes on and on, with no melody and no rhythm, and that, IMO, makes it difficult to sing or listen to. It’s like listening to looooong talking.
The other problem I have with singing chant (playing chant doesn’t make sense) is knowing where in the head to place the voice. I’m used to singing in a head voice, which is where I think (??) chant should be sung. But so many Westerners sing through the nose, or in their chest voice, and IMO, chant sounds dreadful when sung like this. But perhaps I’m wrong and chant is not supposed to be sung in a head voice at all. Often when I hear it sung on recordings, it sounds like it’s being sung through the nose, so perhaps the country music fans (which I am!) will master chant before anyone else!
Again, I realize that the Mass is not all about my personal preference. But at this time, there is some leeway in what the liturgical director of a Catholic parish can choose for Mass settings, and I predict that this will not catch on in most parishes other than those in large cities with a population of educated musicians who are willing to teach others, or in certain parishes in smaller cities and towns that are lucky enough to have a trained and willing-to-teach-others musician in their midst. (We don’t, and our parish has over 7000 people.)
And even then, I doubt most musicians will sing or teach for free, and that puts up another barrier to changing Mass settings–money. It’s something that many parishes don’t have a lot of in these hard times. I predict that unless the Vatican mandates the change and forbids hymns and setting BY NAME, this won’t catch on. Too many barriers. Too many people who think like me. And even though the chant/young people thread over yonder seems to indicate that a lot of young people like chant, I don’t see it with the teenagers and young people that I know and work with. I suspect that the thread is showing a very limited sample population.
Here is the interesting part in all of this. MusicaSacra, for instance, is not charging people to use these settings. The composers are all independent of the publishing houses and what they are writing is actually for the edification of the entire Church (in this case, English-speaking components). The fact that you can actually get a responsorial-free Gloria is a huge bonus for folks like my priest friend and myself who are tired of the Hurd/Haugen/Haas settings.
Furthermore, I am not a classically-trained musician nor do I read music. I follow by ear. If the settings are simple enough that someone can follow by ear, then, that should not be a problem. Let me give you an example. Many of you know that whenever I can, I will stay up/wake up early for a Papal Mass (live broadcast). Having head the Gloria used at these Masses, I have tried to sing along. Some time back, I went to our local monastery for Mass and they chanted the Gloria used at the Papal Mass. I wound up being able to sing it with them with little to no problem. If you listen to something long enough, it will stick.
Hi Cat. I don’t want to derail Benedictgal’s thread but I share some of your concerns. I think I’m going to start a completely new thread that deals with the vocal and instrumental mechanics of chanting versus other popular or classical music.
Again, I really have to disagree with your final sentence. It’s just not true. Quite a few people, and I am one of them, simply can’t learn music by ear. When I was evangelical Protestant, I often protested the use of the overheads during the Praise and Worship time because I couldn’t sing the songs.
I don’t see that it’s wrong or irreverent or unsubmissive or “Protestant” to ask for musical notation, please.
I think the vast majority of people who easily and readily hum out the every changing Top Pop 40 or the latest offering from vote-for-your-favorite-amateur-singer shows proves that most people can learn music by ear. And yes, there are always exceptions (which doesn’t disprove the rule).
Yes, I believe that folks will still assist at Mass even if music is absent. The Mass is not all about the music. The music is not the end all and the be all to the Mass. Furthermore, we are specifically talking about the new parts of the Mass and their settings, not song selections.
Protestant ecclesial communities have a different worship service. While they may have the Word, they do not have the Word and the Sacrifice. With all due respect, to question whether or not Catholics will attend Mass if there is no music is to completely miss the point as to why we assist at the Holy Sacrifice in the first place.
Again, this thread came about merely to share the settings of the new Ordinary that are already up and running.
What percentage of PIPs read music? I’ve always wondered about this.
I never learned music. It was not taught in school and unless your parents could afford private lessons, which mine couldn’t, you were out of luck. Those who were musical learned to play by ear.
It’s only when I went to high school that I met kids my age who took music lessons. Is music commonly taught in school around the world and I just happened to grow up in a deprived area? I know for a fact that even in provinces where it was traditionally offered, it’s the first thing to be cut, along with art, whenever there’s a cash crunch.
I’ve heard them give many reasons for coming to church but I’ve never heard music being one. Similarly, I’ve heard them complain about a lot of things but I’ve never heard anyone complain because there is no music.
If they quit coming to Mass because there is no music they obviously have a very flawed understanding of Mass and what it means to be Catholic.