Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Adoro Te Devote

Has anyone else noticed a discrepancy in the hymn "Adoro Te Devote" in different editions of the first verse of the Latin?
I believe the discrepancy lies with how many times we sing the solfegge "sol." What I mean is, do we solfegge: do-mi-so-so-so-so-la-so to the words "A-do-ro-te-de-vo-o-te" OR we solfegge do-mi-so-so-so-la-so to the words "A-do-ro-te-de-vo-te." See the difference? Do we slur the note belonging to the sixth syllable (which is what all of the other English and Latin verses do,) or do we have an extra "sol" that none of the other versions or verses have?
I had never thought much about this, except that this semester I am learning Langlais' Elevation (on Adoro Te Devote) from Suite Medieval. When I first looked at it with my teacher, he casually commented how Langlais had apparently made a mistake and "put an extra note in." That triggered my memory of briefly wondering about this. I just checked the St. Pius X hymnal, and the first verse simply has an extra "sol" note which none of the other verses use.

All that being said, I think my whole point is simply that Langlais was not wrong. While he probably didn't use the Pius X hymnal, he certainly knew the hymn. He didn't write an extra note, it actually is there, just in the first verse of the Latin! :-)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

this has nothing to do with what this blog is normally about

"The modern feminist conception of power is actually a very narrow one. It judges women solely by their leadership in politics or the corporate world but belittles the power women have traditionally wielded in civil society: in raising the next generation; in their community, in the countless hours of unpaid work and voluntarism women devote to their neighborhoods and schools. This isn't to say that women can't be, or shouldn't strive to be, leaders. But it is to say-and this is a very old lesson-that worldly power as an end in itself does not necessarily make you happy, especially if you have sacrificed everything else in its attainment. Those women who have achieved eminence have usually had to do so at the (sometimes unwilling) sacrifice of their personal lives. It is striking how many of the great female writers did not have children; and nearly all of them, with or without children, had to sandwich their work between their domestic duties....But it is only women who have never had children-like Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir and so many of the feminists of our time-who could wonder why motherhood must necessarily interfere with worldly pursuits, or speculate that most women would be happier if they had perfectly unencumbered, undistracted existences. The woman for whom work is not everything, yet who sacrifices all domestic pleasures in her pursuit of independence, may discover after a time that she has transcended not only what makes her feminine but also what makes her human."
-Danielle Crittenen, What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us

Friday, January 18, 2008


I recently casually mentioned to an acquaintance something about "if I have children..."
and he responded, "Children?! You want children?!"
I regret not taking the opportunity to reply something like, "Yes, and they will be changing your diaper in the nursing home..."

(what are the truly important things in life...)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

this is fascinating.
I am particularly intrigued by the "negative" responses when the commentors viewed the picture.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

an interesting problem to have

I've had several new men join the choir over the past couple months, they all have fine voices.
In fact, this past Sunday, there were 6 men and 4 women in the choir. And of course, once the men are all singing together, they kind of subconsciously encourage one another, and sing louder and louder...(like maybe trying to out-sing one another? or else they just revel in their manliness!) oh well, they sounded fabulous. (keep in mind that men's voices are already louder than women's...
a very nice problem to have!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Christmas Carols

I find myself wondering, at this time of the Church Year, if the congregation is sick of Christmas Carols yet. Personally, I know that I start to get sick of them when I hear them in the stores at the beginning of October...and it only goes downhill from there.

So, by Ephiphany, when we're still singing We Three Kings and I'm playing a prelude on What Child is This, does the congregation think, "ugh, this again?" when they hear it or have to sing it? I mean, I'm certainly not thinking of changing the hymn selections for this feast just because people are sick of them-they're so ideal to this feast, but what about my prelude selections? Have people heard every possible instrumental arrangement of "What Child is This" while shopping throughout December and on the radio?

Do normal people whose lives aren't so musically oriented even get sick of songs? (any kind, not just Christmas Carols-I've never heard of anyone except musicians being "sick of" Pachelbel's Canon...)

My question is just that, should I program preludes that aren't famous carols for the Christmas Season?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil things against you..."

"Musicians are a tender-hearted lot. We can receive a thousand compliments for our work but we chafe at one raised eyebrow. Liturgical musicians find themselves with added problems. We are not performing and we know that we should not seek praise and we do not seek it-and we try not to feel a sense of gratification when we do receive it.
And yet, we too are musicians with tender hearts. Parishioners who comment negatively about what we do can get under our skin like no one else."
-J. Tucker, Sacred Music, Winter 2007
Well, it finally happened. I received a personal attack on my music (singing chant) which also included a personal attack on my character. Certainly inevitable in this church situation where feelings are strong in either direction about true Sacred Music versus "contemporary-feel-good-about-myself" music in church, as well as anything which involves the liturgy and those two camps.
I won't go into detail about the circumstances, as I am not sure how much I am at liberty to say, but basically an anonymous comment was received attacking (in particular) the singing of the introit by myself and a friend (which I had written on here about earlier and we ended up doing for one Mass of Holy Family and the Vigil of MMOG,) and it didn't just attack the fact that it "prevented" the congregation from singing, but it went so far as to make personal accusations against me. There were other comments received about the same thing, another anonymous and somewhat nasty, and one more reasonable that was not anonymous, that brought up the standard points against not allowing the congregation to sing.
Hence, the appropriateness of the quote above.
And I should be rejoicing because of this personal persecution, right? (of course, my boss says with a good heart, "yeah, now you get to experience a tiny drop of what some of these people have given to me over the past couple years...")
And I do sincerely believe that I should be glad for this slight suffering, because I believe that what I am doing is helping to further the Kingdom of God, BUT...I still have so many questions.
...like, for example, I was having a conversation last night with (the sister of someone who reads this blog, and I dearly love her,) and she of course asked why I was a little down, so I had to tell her this story, and she can see the other side of the story. "Well, I would rather sing the songs...I would rather participate in that way!" (then she went on to say that's why she prefers St. C to St. T...) And this summarizes my problem, which hurts at this point!
What am I doing when good people; excellent Catholics, can't appreciate the good of what I am trying to do? It's enough to not make me want to even sing the Communion Antiphon anymore! (again, see quote above as it applies to "many positive comments, but just one negative...") And now I'm even getting persecuted for it! I should just go off and get some nice cushy job where I just do what everyone wants and not worry about anything. (Oh wait, that's not possible...)
(oh, boo hoo...hear the tiny violins playing in the distance...)