Real chance to get rid of OCP Missalettes??
#4
As a rule, the music from the 1960s (and even late '50s) up through the present, but especially from the '60s-'90s, is shoddy music on almost every level of analysis. It is dated, clunky, and forced in its sentiments. 

American Catholics hardly sing as it is, but they especially can't sing this stuff. 

1. The syncopation, when present, is way too difficult for the average person.

2. The modulations typically are too extreme to follow smoothly. People are already out of tune, but these forced key changes make them go even more off. 

3. Also the acoustics of the older churches or ones built mostly of stone are not suitable for this type of music at all. It absolutely requires a dry acoustic so that the sense of rhythm can be maintained, which white folks just can't do anyhow. 

4. The instrumentation has to be well executed, which it hardly ever is.

5. These songs tend to require a cantor at a microphone. Here are the problems with that:

5.1 The cantor overpowers everyone. If the cantor sucks, all you hear is that person's awful voice mixed with the distant zombie drone of the rest of the congregation trying to keep up.

5.2 The cantor is the only one singing anyway... or depending on the size of the church, you can't see the cantor, so you don't know when you're supposed to sing because, you know, they do that hand lifting thing that signals when you're allowed to drive--I mean, sing or not. It's really pretty totalitarian to me.

5.3 The acoustic problem mentioned above is literally amplified.

5.4 The entire existence of a cantor implies the deficiency of the music itself. A good tune, if it is to be sung by everyone, should be easily remembered and sung and not require the crutches of a pseudo-operatic hack dragging everyone along for a ride they don't really care to be on anyway.

6. The more of this music you have, the less of truly beautiful music you can include. We turn to CDs and concert halls if we want to hear all the actually good sacred music, Catholic or Protestant.

7. Supporting institutions like OCP and their missals forces a decline in true religious musicianship. If OCP is the standard, then no one is ever going to aspire higher than the banal. OCP cannot foster an environment that supports quality choirs or inspires young people from the parish to study beautiful instruments like the violin or, especially, the organ. If people pursue these instruments, it's wholly separate from religious influence. Or if a parish has a good organist, that person was simply hired and has no real attachment to the parish. And if there is good organ or choral music, these are completely different in ambiance than OCP music and make the liturgy feel even more lopsided. I hate it when Byrd is juxtaposed with Schutte...if that ever happens. When it does, you remember...the horror...

In other words, OCP is the religious equivalent of capitalist mass-produced pop music. 

8. The subscription plan forces you into a cycle of racing to the bottom, as Seth Godin puts it. Why should I go to church to race to the bottom? You want to have true aesthetic beauty and pleasure at church because this raises the mind to God, and it allows people to seek that pleasure in a context of worship and contemplation, not solely in secular environments. With the fall of Western culture, the secular has dominated the aesthetic, which is now completely detached from the Faith and especially the liturgy, which was the inspiration and fountain of ALL Western culture.

9. Marty Haugen is Lutheran. When I played organ at a Lutheran church, the liturgy council told me a story of a previous organist who, when planning the music with them, remarked excitedly, "Oh, you guys sing Marty Haugen as well! He's writes wonderful Catholic music!" And they burst out laughing at her and said, "Haugen is a Lutheran!" The fact that a Catholic musician could be so confused speaks volumes to the CATHOLIC qualities of his music.

10. Taize is hardly Christian in any meaningful sense.

11. The St. Louis Jesuits and most of the people inspired by them are former priests or nuns. Why would you sing their music? Because it makes you feel good?

12. Vatican II doesn't like OCP. Cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, nn. 114-120.

13. The GIRM doesn't like OCP. Cf. GIRM, n. 48 and similar, which as the commentators have noted, list the music in descending order of preference. It begins with the proper chant either in the Missal (which doesn't exist musically...) or the Graduale Romanum. Dr. Christoph Tietze covers the incredibly convoluted history of the propers and the chants as Solesmes was ordered to prepare. For a summary of these points of history: http://www.ccwatershed.org/Roman_Missal/

14. The Conference of Bishops technically shouldn't like OCP, based on Sacrosanctum Concilium n. 36 and Liturgiam Authenticam n. 80, and several other documents, which stipulate the necessity of an official "Recognitio" from the Holy See when texts are introduced that replace the proper texts. The OCP has a note of ecclesiastical approbation, which doesn't count for anything actually. But as the secretariat for Divine Worship for the USCCB personally informed me when I asked him about these fine points of liturgical and canon law, "Welcome to the Church."

I give these rubrical points last instead of first because clearly most people in the Church could care less about them, but in case you were wondering...

15. The lyrics to most of these songs are dreadful. Some are borderline heretical. "Sing a new church into being..." etc. What sort of new church will you sing into being if you can't sing to save your life? The musical equivalent of a Dali landscape.

16. Another thing about the subscription plan. You have to keep paying money. It's more affordable to invest now in quality missals and hymnals that will last a generation. The hard part is finding anything timeless in the Novus Ordo except its persistent quality of being dated.

17. The accompaniment resources for OCP are mediocre musically. The guitar chords and piano harmonizations don't always match up, which when you hear it, you hear it... Maybe they've fixed those by now... Also, the writing for the keyboard is just not good. Better to invest in an accompaniment book like Worship (3rd ed. I'm skeptical of the 4th but haven't seen it personally yet) if you want better voice leading and such. In fact, if you're going to be playing Protestant songs, just invest in a Protestant accompaniment book, whether for keyboard or guitar. They do them better than the Catholics anyway and include all the same songs!

I could probably think of more things to say, but it's bad for the blood pressure.
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RE: Real chance to get rid of OCP Missalettes?? - by piscis - 09-15-2019, 09:06 PM



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