Sunday, August 10, 2008

Jeffrey Tucker Explodes Some of the Myths About the Proponents of Chant

Chant is the natural music for the full and active participation of the people in the divine liturgy of the Eucharist. Yet the liturgical elite dismisses it as undemocratic.

What gives?

On the New Liturgical Movement, Jeffrey Tucker, a young spark plug of liturgical renewal, and a lover of liturgical music explores (beware your prejudices may be endangered!):

The Sociology of the Chant Movement

The most conventional critique of the push for Gregorian chant in parishes is that chant is elitist, and not for regular people. The words are in Latin. It uses unfamiliar notation. It draws its melodies from traditions unfamiliar to the modern ear. It might be loved by “conservatory trained” musicians with high sensibilities, this argument goes. The establishment might go for it. But it is inherently alienating to the regular person, who longs for ecclesial art that is more common and accessible.

Whoever says these things knows nothing about the current music situation in the Catholic Church. The archetype of the chant director today is that he or she is a volunteer, not a professional. He or she has been trained not at conservatory but at a seminar or colloquium, the tuition for which was paid out of pocket. The singers in chant scholas are also volunteers, people who discovered this music only a few years ago and who are inspired by its beauty and role in liturgy. They do not know Latin; what they do know they have learned without formal instruction. [read on.]

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