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Monday, 23 June 2008

Legitimate Diversity

One of the more delightful aspects of the CMAA Colloquium was how very NOT a homogeneous group we were.
It was quite catholic in that it wasn't even entirely Catholic.
Laity and priests, old and young, men and women (actually, the group's make-up was unlike most expressions of Catholicity, large "C", that don't of necessity skew one way or the other, e.g., a mothers' support group, a priests' council, in that there seemed to be perhaps more men than women,) possessors of doctoral degrees in music and the musically illiterate, (seriously, complete non-readers of either four-line or modern,) residents of Rogers Park and Malaysia, singers and instrumentalists, political conservatives and liberals, devotees of organum and members of the Give-Me-Monody-Or-Give-Me-Silence party, natty dressers and total slobs....
It was quite an illustration of James Joyce's description of the Church, "here comes everybody!"
I met several Protestants, and I suspect more than one schismatic.
I was intrigued by a variety of veiling practices.
Another blogger has described us as being, on average, in our 40s and 50s.
I think that may be a little high, I would have said 30s, 40s and 50s.... hmmm, I guess that means, to be more brief, 40s.
After all, there were scads of 20-somethings, certainly more of them than of the (non-prematurely) grey heads that predominate, to use the current code, at Giant Puppet Head Masses.
There were quite clearly Tridentinists and Reform of the Reform types.
I would love to have some stats compiled, I wonder if there is any sort of accounting of the %s, by sex, state in life, (and within that, diocesan priest vs. order or society, and civvies vs. cassock,) age, musical education, diocese ... I don't even actually know the numbers in attendance, (the figure of 250 was bruited about.)
And I would be very curious to know how we break down by professional connectedness to music ministry, blogging involvement, adherence to semiology vs. old Solesmes method, (though there seems to be a party-line to be hewn to,) satisfaction with current praxis in ones own parish or community...

Of course, the one area in which there was utter, and COMPLETE accord -- no accompanied chant!
(I jest, for I know how rancorous that topic can become on the CMAA forum, or TNLM... I will say, such a practice was never spoken of with approbation except in hushed and furtive tones by members of the Underground.)


Aristotle A. Esguerra said...

Semiology vs. "old Solesmes" seems sort of like the debate of analog vs. digital.

I don't have a dog in this fight, if it in fact exists (and if it exists you can be sure it was because one side lost patience with the other, bruised egos, and you know the rest). I started reading Cardine's Gregorian Semiology (tr. Fowells) slowly about a month ago, and I find it quite fascinating. And I shared my impressions freely.

I should add that I can speed-read square notation, which allows me the time to attempt to digest the rhythms implied by the St. Gall, Laon and Einseldn neums.

The thing is, though, especially with the more florid chants, that a "notey" execution (Mahrt's term) can detract from the intended prayerfulness.

Dad29 said...

Some of the debate on Chant should be settled by advice given me by Roger Wagner:

"XX, sing it as though it were MUSIC!!"

To your implicit sociological questions:

Age late 50's. "Reform of the Reform" inclined, fluent in both Ordinary and Extraordinary rites, professionally in HR related, avocation (and paid for it) as choir director/hobbling organist. Married, lots of kids.

Scelata said...

Thanks for stopping by, Dad29, I wish I had met you, I've enjoyed your blog for quite a while.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)