No instruments?


#1

Do you prefer liturgical music with instruments or without instruments and just gregorian chant the whole duration?


#2

No instruments. The accompaniment typically takes away from the words being sung and if the musicians are not proficient can be terribly distracting.

That said, I don't recall an organ ever doing more than just complementing the main instrument of our voices.


#3

[quote="smndtupidisaftr, post:2, topic:305506"]
No instruments. The accompaniment typically takes away from the words being sung and if the musicians are not proficient can be terribly distracting.

That said, I don't recall an organ ever doing more than just complementing the main instrument of our voices.

[/quote]

You have probably never heard a really good organ player then. Organ accompaniments can be highly complex, almost like a full orchestra, if the guy playing it knows what he is doing. A guitar and trap set on their best day couldn't begin to create the complex harmonies, counterpoints, and contrasting tones of even very modest organ. A large organ can easily overwhelm a cantor on microphone, choir, and full congregation if the organist isn't careful about which stops he uses.

My personal preference is for instrumentation that is simple and fits the piece. I don't think drums are appropriate except for maybe an occasional unobstrusive frame drum or tambourine on certain kinds of pieces. You can keep the bongos and trap sets. Acoustic guitars can be classy under the right circumstances, if the guitarist plays well and isn't trying to "rock out". A gentle arppegio during "Silent Night" can be very moving. Horms can be good on a joyful occasion such as the Easter Vigil or Christmas. Flutes and violins can be peaceful and reverent. Most instruments can be acceptable if used in a tasteful way.


#4

Gregorian chant, which I prefer as liturgical music, is meant to be sung a cappella.


#5

Ideally, I prefer a mix. Preludes, postludes and interludes on the organ, then propers and ordinary acapella.


#6

If it were up to me (which it isn't), I would prefer all kinds of instruments and music styles, and I happen to find rock and gospel music highly reverent and worshipful. But I also enjoy well-played organ and piano, along with various styles of guitar music and yes, even drums. All of the earth is permeated by rhythm--be quiet and listen to your own heartbeat, as well as all the other "beats" in nature and in our environments. There is no sin in a "beat." It reminds us of God.

I'm not fond of acapella music or chanting. Because I was not raised Catholic, acapella music does not have any "religious" association for me. Just yesterday, I played at a community "inter-faith" thanksgiving service, and many of the "faiths" represented at this service performed "chant" for their prayers. Honestly, I couldn't tell the difference between the Hindu, pagan, and Native American chant, and various Catholic (Latin) chants. They all sound alike.

These are my opinions only, and I am not trying to persuade anyone else to switch over to my point of view. I offer these opinions only to try to help others to understand and possibly even appreciate different points of view among Catholics.


#7

[quote="Cat, post:6, topic:305506"]
If it were up to me (which it isn't), I would prefer all kinds of instruments and music styles,...

[/quote]

Ditto. I think variety is not only the spice of life, but also I think St. Paul had it right when he wanted to be all things to all people. I have enjoy a broad range of music myself, but even if I did not, I would prefer that all find music they enjoy in Mass, even though that means no one will be thrilled with every selection.

If I had to say one way or another, I prefer instruments in music, but I would personally have a much easied life it we did all chant, or spoken, and I not longer had to worry about any of this stuff. I just do not think it would be as conducive to worship.


#8

[quote="superamazingman, post:5, topic:305506"]
Ideally, I prefer a mix. Preludes, postludes and interludes on the organ, then propers and ordinary acapella.

[/quote]

That's how it's done at our abbey. Organ as prelude, after the offertory antiphon, and for the exit procession. The chanting is all a cappella.


#9

There's no doubt my having a traditional urge and preference towards Gregorian and hearing Pipe Organ in the Catholic Church. Granted not every Catholic Church today has an expensive Pipe Organ. Catholic Music has radically changed in the last 50 plus years.
I'm not so much against Modern guitars, drums, and guitars as to how their played with the Liturgy of the Church in support of bringing edification to the Mass.

I'm not particularly knocking it per-say as I'm not accustom to hearing it or for that matter have a huge appreciation for it. Every Catholic grows up to hearing certain customs in their own parish.

With regards to Modern Catholic Music the Catholic Magisterium in speaking of ("the "Motu proprio"), the Church has shown by her numerous enactments and regulations calculated to foster music worthy of Divine service. The right of the Church to determine the matter and manner of what shall be sung in connexion with her liturgy is incontestable.

It is the Magisterium in accompaniment with dioscean bishops to keep Catholic music worthy of Divine Service in check against scurrilous abuse.


#10

I prefer organ accompaniment at mass with both the hymns and the Ordinary, though I must say I like both traditional hymns and mass settings - I also find orchestral accompaniment at great requiem masses very moving.

I occassionaly enjoy chant at Vespers and at mass but I am afraid that I am not a fan of completely unaccompanied plainchant - it just sounds flat and lifeless to me.


#11

[quote="tata888, post:1, topic:305506"]
Do you prefer liturgical music with instruments or without instruments and just gregorian chant the whole duration?

[/quote]

I can't, or rather I* won't*, give a one size fits all answer.

When I have been in old stone churches with wonderful acoustics and with experienced chanters I have found the liturgical music to be uplifting and inspiring, with or without organ. One literally *feels *the music in such a church as it bounces off the walls.

But where I live churches are not usually designed with acoustics in mind. And if acoustics did come into play when the church was designed, it was usually to accommodate amplified spoken voices.

In such churches, Gregorian chant often sounds rather "washed out", even if it is amplified. The organ does too. In such churches stringed instruments such as piano, guitar, violin, etc. often sound, er, make that *feel *better than organ. (That may be why drums get used too.)

I like a variety of musical styles and instruments used for Mass. I think there can be appropriate reasons to use most of them. Location/environment can be one of the factors for making such choices.


#12

I tend to think training and proficency are more important than the actual style. A Capella music performed by good singers is wonderful, and I would like to hear it more. That said, your average church choir does not have the skill to handle that sort of music. And I think congregational singing should always have a clear instrumental accompaniment, to keep everyone on key!


#13

[quote="centurionguard, post:9, topic:305506"]

It is the Magisterium in accompaniment with dioscean bishops to keep Catholic music worthy of Divine Service in check against scurrilous abuse.

[/quote]

I think I would be happy if we at least avoided the squirreliest abuse.


#14

[quote="DarkLight, post:12, topic:305506"]
That said, your average church choir does not have the skill to handle that sort of music. And I think congregational singing should always have a clear instrumental accompaniment, to keep everyone on key!

[/quote]

I am at a parish that is well below average. I am well below average. It does limit our options. Even so, with time, a lot of variety can be accommodated. We are in what might be called a second year of an ongoing program to bring in some chant. It is going well. We may no be able to afford an organ, but chant is cheap, and doable if phased in at the right pace, at least for me.

It took me months just to "get" Jubilate Dei. This was passed on to the congregation during one Lent. :shrug:


#15

[quote="tata888, post:1, topic:305506"]
Do you prefer liturgical music with instruments or without instruments and just gregorian chant the whole duration?

[/quote]

I rarely hear music at mass without instruments. Usually we have just a piano and occasionally a guitar but if I had a preference I believe without instruments would be awesome. I wonder if many more people would sing then. I do enjoy some of the contemporary songs that are sung today at mass but love chant.


#16

[quote="Diana_Catherine, post:15, topic:305506"]
I rarely hear music at mass without instruments. Usually we have just a piano and occasionally a guitar but if I had a preference I believe without instruments would be awesome. I wonder if many more people would sing then. I do enjoy some of the contemporary songs that are sung today at mass but love chant.

[/quote]

I don't believe more people would sing without instruments.

In the United States, the last few generations have experienced extremely-poor music education and many do not know how to sing. The instruments give them support (as well as the proper pitches)--taking instruments away would be like taking the walker away from an elderly person who needs one.

To illustrate how poor our music education situation is in the U.S.--just yesterday, I and my work associates were chatting after work. Several of them have Master's Degrees, and all of them have Bachelor's Degrees, in science and management fields. These are well-educated people who earn good salaries and have had opportunities for many life experiences.

Yet only two of us knew what "soprano" and "alto" meant.

In fact, one of the people asked, "Do men have sopranos and altos, too?"

They didn't even know about voice range differences between men and women!

They had never heard of "head" and "chest" voices, and they had no idea what we were talking about when we said "matching a pitch."

So you can see why I believe that most Americans are not ready for unaccompanied chanting. Most Americans' can't sing "Mary Had A Little Lamb" on pitch.


#17

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