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Friday, 21 September 2007

Scelata's White List

Obviously, this is to some extent facetious.I do not believe anyone needs to learn everything on my list.I do not believe anyone should necessarily avoid use of anything not on my list.
But a cantankerous fellow on TNLM issued a challenge that usually masks an accusation -- you young fogies don't like anything new, if you had your way we'd only sing the music of dead guys in Church!Not so.
Yet, despite answers being given, the accusation is made again and again and again.
So, I challenge all liturgical musicians reading this to start your own "white list," on your blogs, contemporary music you think Worthy of the Temple.
I have, fairly arbitrarily, decided to call "contemporary" stuff dating from the mid-point of the last century, as the renewal of Holy Week liturgies dates from the '50s, I believe? (I am open to correction on that.)
Note, I am not always walking the walk of the talk I talk -- some of these I do not use, because I have not yet decided to spend the choral budget on sufficient octavos or because we already have the same text in our repertory.And some may not be suitable for liturgy, but virtually every Catholic parish choir sings some art music extra-liturgically around Christmas, for instance?And I don't claim to be prescient, perhaps none of them will stand the test of time.But they are all, in my opinion, worthy and usable.


Sir Monocle said...

Well, you realize there is contemporary (ie. William Matthias.. John Rutter, Michael Burkhart.. and of course, Mother Proulx..) and then there is the other contemporary (ie. Haas, Haugen and the like). Personally, I find the former of higher quality than the latter. While I won't blacklist the music of Haugen or Haas, I do think it is our responsibiltiy to educate our congregations on the music of a variety of styles and periods. We should hopefully be representing these styles/periods with the best we examples that we can. After all, we were hired for this expertise. That said, I do believe fine music has been written in the past 50 years. To ignore it just because it's contemporary is ridiculous.

Scelata said...

I can disagree with nothing you have said.
My point was that those who decry our decrying the use of inferior music often claim that we are "stuck in the past," and neglectful of the artists of the present, and I think those of us interested in promoting fine music, and art that is worthy of God's liturgy have an obligation to refute the claim with evidnece.

(save the Liturgy, Save the World)

Anonymous said...

By the way, "Mother" Proulx?

Sir Monocle said...

Your white list is fantastic. The addition of "Now the Silence" was a good one. I laughed myself silly over that one.

Scelata said...

"Now the Silence} has been a favorite of mine since I found it, (in an "aha! Gather DOES have a few worthwhile things! moment,) five years ago, but I don't seem able to much interest anyone else in it.
But at least my pastor hasn't asked me outright not to program it again, as he did with DOWN AMPNEY/ Come Down O Love Divine...sigh

Scelata said...

And I wish I could interest other musicians in the blog-o-sphere to make up "white lists," recommendation for music to refute the charges that those with musical standards only like "moly old stuff."
Will you?

Scelata said...


Jaya said...

So I know it's been a while since your original post, but I finally got around to posting my White List. Is it really possible that no one else has (or told you about it?)

Scelata said...

No, Jaya, you are the first. Sir Monocle has said he would, but I have seen nothing yet.
This is not a much read blog.
I like your list. (Those pieces on it that I know)
Mine is limited to pieces actually used by me with my little church choir.
I suppose I should take the Biery off, because we haven't actually done it yet, and I'm not sure when we will. While I love it, and it is within our capabilities, these's some resistence from the choir, as they are perfectly content with another setting of the text -- fortunately they don't feel the same way about multiple Taste and Sees, or Adoramus Tes, and I was able to add new settings to their collection without much of a fight. They've really come around to the RVW O Taste and See.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

PrayingTwice said...


I have posted a pseudo-white list, though limiting myself to contemporary pieces in the "folk" style for congregations. It's in the midst of a longer post, so it's not exactly what you're looking for; that may or may not get done in the near future.