Thursday, September 10, 2009

Notes from the Choir Loft (to my Schola's Director)

Thanks, Michael and all,for all your hard work in pulling the singing together.
It is a great thing that we are able to now sing the Traditional Latin Mass every week in the beautiful setting of Five Wounds Church. Thanks to Fr. Moreau and all for making it happen.

All: as Mike knows, I firmly believe that we should stick to the official definition of chant, which is "unaccompanied."

Here is a quote about the use of organ with chant from the preface to Willi Apel's book Gregorian Chant (from my CatholicPunditWannabe blog.

+ Apel deplored a then-present trend [in 1958] to setting chant to organ; he saw it as a practice destructive to chant, rendering it something "other than it really is and what it should be" p. xii.

The first principle derived from the above is this: Gregorian chant is unaccompanied singing. A second point, not mentioned in this book but elsewhere, is that Gregorian chant is prayer.

And as Apel stated so assuredly in 1958: "Chant is the traditional music of the Roman Catholic Church." He had no idea how much that fundamental statement would be challenged in the next decade and for many decades to come. We may be helping restore the chant to the pride of place that the Vatican II council said it should have. Let us pray.

If we must have the organ please address the following:

- The organ was drowning out the singing of the Ordinary chants. Much too loud.

- Often the organ was not playing the same notes we were supposed to be singing, so that made it almost impossible to sing the right notes.

Love in Him, your sister,

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