Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Gregorian discussion forums

CMAA's web site,, now has discussion forums. For example, in a forum on Ordinaries for Advent, William Mahrt writes:

The more familiar Kyrie is C under Mass XVII (in the Gregorian Missal and the Graduale Romanum 1974; ad libitum in the Liber Usualis). A small group of us sang for a weekly Latin Mass with a somewhat inexperienced congregation. They knew the Missa de Angelis well and sang it year round. Then we introduced Mass XVII (with Kyrie C) on the Sundays of Advent and Lent—that gave ten Sundays of the year to absorb the new ordinary. By Lent, they were singing it moderately well, and by the end of Lent, almost as well as the de Angelis. The next year we introduced Mass I for the Sundays after Easter; that took a bit more time, but eventually it was sung well also.

I would not use Mass XVIII for the very reason that it does belong to weekday Masses and Requiems—the occasion for the most sparse music of the year. The Sundays of Advent and Lent, while penitential, are still Sundays and bear some solemnity. Mass XVII really does convey that, while being quite distinct from those of the rest of the year.

An alternative is Mass XI (Orbis Factor). The Kyrie is a real classic (see my article in Sacred Music, 133:1). If you are using de Angelis on the Sundays of the year, Mass XI would provide the contrast and the solemnity for Advent and Lent. Still, even better would be to alternate de Angelis and Orbis Factor during the Sundays of the year and use XVII for Advent and Lent. It all depends upon the reception by the congregation. But that reception might be judged on a fairly long-term basis, over several years.


Jeffrey Tucker said...

Thank you for linking this. I have high hopes for this forum.

tdunbar said...

Yes, it's great to see forums on Musica Sacra. You'll have gone a great job in making materials accessible and now it's good to have a place in which a community discourse can develop.

Last night I was browsing a book of essays by Terry Teachout and was struck by his characterizing art forms as a type of technology (or vice versa). It seems to me that blogs are, or at least can be, a type of art form, one that folks are just starting to explore.