Sunday, May 14, 2006

MS 9

9. The choice of the style of music for a choir or congregation should be guided by the abilities of those who must do the singing. The Church does not exclude any type of sacred music from liturgical services as long as the music matches the spirit of the service itself and the character of the individual parts [7] and is not a hindrance to the required active participation of the people. [8]

I find that first sentence interesting . . . the "abilities" of the the singers determines the "style" that is to be used. Now I assume what they mean by this is if you have a choir of non-musicians, then you shouldn't be doing Palestrina. But usually "style" seems to denote categories such as gospel, chant, traditional, contemporary, etc. though these may be categories that weren't completely formed back then. Any insight?

The next sentence could be interpreted and applied in a plethora of ways. Initially it says "anything goes" but then proceeds to qualify the statement by saying that the music must:

a. match the spirit of the service and the individual parts


b. not hinder the active participation of the congregation.

Who makes these decisions? This sounds like one of those articles that need to be read with other statements from the powers-that-be . . .

7.See Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 116.

8.See Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 28.


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