Understanding what really happened to Church music: a glimpse

Liberals want to control the history, the narrative, of what happened during and around the Second Vatican Council.   They have had an iron grip on that narrative for years.

In recent times, even before the election of Pope Benedict, the liberal grip on that narrative started to slip.  A more accurate picture is beginning to emerge from out the cone of silence in which liberal elitists had imprisoned it for decades.

A great deal of correction is needed for what happened in the realm of sacred music

To that end, my friend Jeffrey Tucker of Music Sacra, who took over as one of the editors of the journal Sacred Music (once edited by my pastor and friend the late Msgr. Richard Schuler), has posted an entry on NLM about the founding of the Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae.  

Go have a look at Mr. Tucker’s work.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Supertradmom says:

    New Liturgical Movement is a great blog. I am downloading the book as I write. The sections look intriguing.

  2. david andrew says:

    I have oft wondered how it is that CIMS was the first organization to receive Papal “approbation” to do its work, and yet Universa Laus was, relatively, a “late-comer” that managed to nudge CIMS out of the nest (not unlike the brood parasite cuckoo), and gain such a stronghold on the advancement of the progressivist ideals of church music advanced by its propaganda front, the notorious National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

    I’ve not yet read the book, but I suspect it answers the question.

    In the meantime, it seems the tables are turning. About time.

  3. JaneC says:

    I’ve read the book. It doesn’t totally answer the questions, I think, but it is worth reading. “Disputed Statements” by Jacques Chailley, in particular, made me cry when I first read it. There is an overwhelming sense that the people who gave these papers knew what the reform ought to have been, but could already see that things were not going as planned.

    It is a great contrast to a paper from an academic music journal from a year earlier, written by a musician who was hopeful for the use of vernacular in the liturgy. He predicted that the Introit, Offertory, and Communion would be expanded to full-length psalms with congregational refrains, and that the congregation would also sing all the responses. Well, I guess some of the songs in “Gather” claim to be based on psalms…

  4. Item of good news on the sacred music front: the little amateur chant schola I belong to has gone from being a pariah to being asked to sing at the Ash Wednesday Mass next week, and the early Easter Sunday Mass. Whenever we sing at Mass, we have people come up to us and ask us (hopefully) if we are going to be at every Mass. In my diocese, the reform of the reform is truly a grass-roots effort.

  5. Copernicus says:

    In one of the excerpts Jeffrey Tucker quotes, it says: …in this new music the entire People of God find opportunity to worship in song.

    Not a bad ambition, and one that at least some music written in the last 40 years has helped us to fulfil rather better than an unbroken diet of antiphons from the Graduale.

  6. david andrew says:

    ” . . . unbroken diet of antiphons from the Graduale.”

    As opposed to the unbroken diet of faddish ’60’s folk-style music or broadway showtunes and torchsongs, the incessant thrum of guitars, the insipid “I-IV-V-I” harmonic progressions, the heterodox (if not heretical) lyrics spun from whole cloth out of the fevered imaginations of the likes of Dunstan, Duffner, Troegger, Haugen, Haas, Joncas, et al. Nothing has weakened and crippled the Faith worse than this, and perhaps an unbroken diet of antiphons from the Graduale will draw the poison out and give us an opportunity to bring the hermeneutic of continuity back to the reforms, as the Holy Father has advocated.

    There is some good music that has been crafted in the spirit of the Council, but you’ll note that it’s not the music you’ll find promoted by the major publishers or pushed by the self-proclaimed “experts” (elitists) of the National Pastoral Musicians. Oh, they stock a few copies of the Graduale on their shelves, and offer a token breakout session on chant here and there, but the reality is those of us who advocate a sensible reform of the reform are marginalized, and the appropriate music of the liturgy that has been recently composed faces more obstacles than ever before, most especially because of the control of the new texts under copyright and sole control of GIA and the resistance on the part of the big publishers against “creative commons” licensing.

    We have a long way to go.

  7. Copernicus says:

    David Andrew, perhaps you could, as they say, put your money where your mouth is. Specifically, since you’ve named him: show me a single line from a single song by Michael Joncas which you find heterodox or heretical. If you can’t, as I suspect you won’t be able to, the lesson might be to keep quiet about things you don’t know well enough to criticise.

  8. Supertradmom says:

    David Andrew is correct. Our family calls the above group of composers the “we” crowd. Children growing up singing “The People of God”, “Gather Us In”, “The Servant Song” are brainwashed into thinking they are the center of the liturgical universe rather than God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We have older hymnals at home with such fantastic hymns as Old 100, anything by Ralph Vaughan Williams, etc. which are God centered and liturgically correct. What is even worse are songs which are grossly heretical, not merely humanistic, including those which refer to church in a Protestant context rather than as the One, Holy, Catholic Church. We have pointed out serious errors to the children, as singing sticks in their heads. If you want a list, I can provide…

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