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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This Music Is Made in Heaven

A funny thing happened to me as I was prepping some funeral music. Now, don't get me wrong, I love Gregorian Chant and I listen to it with rapt attention and awe at its eloquence and spiritual clarity. Nonetheless, it is one thing to listen to chant and it is quite another to learn it. Not only is latin a foreign language to me, but the notes do not follow a standard rhythmic meter that we are used to in the likes of all other post 1974 liturgical works. This took some getting used to. After a rough go thru with my Music Director, I packed it up for homework. As I muddled through later on it I noticed that even though it did not make much original rhythmic sense, it started to make a profound poetic sense. The phrases are long and glorious. The breathing requires labor - it is quite aerobic! The text is rich and complex. The beauty of the melody is evident because it literally makes your heart soar. I noticed that anytime God or Christ is mentioned, the notes travel upwards. It is hard to articulate this very well because it is "sensate". There is an emotional quality in this type of music that draws you in and elevates you to the supernatural realm. A man who did articulate it well is noted in the below link which you should read. The last thing I'll say about this tonight is that this entire subject needs deeper drilling and therefore I will apply some effort in the subsequent posts about our "sensational" liturgy.

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