Sunday, 12 November 2006

Musical Notes

I spent an enjoyable hour or so visiting a friend of mine after Mass this evening. She's a musician, and it's a real pleasure to hear her comments about music, liturgical or otherwise. Admittedly, as I have zero musical education ("...but I know what I like!" must be among the most hated phrases for those who actually know anything about music, or art for that matter!), most of what she says goes straight over my head...

...however, we both think that Gregorian chant is great, and agree that there's not enough of it in the average parish Mass. I was explaining that I want to learn a little more of the "bog standard" chants for the Credo, Gloria and so on, and asked her if she had any music I could borrow, as I'd only been able to find the special, fancy Mass settings, like the Mass of the Annunciation... The descriptions on Amazon aren't particularly helpful!!

Note to self: never talk to a proper musician about "music" when one actually means "recording"...

Regretfully, as I cannot read music, I had to turn down her offer to lend me her books containing the musical scores for the most popular chants. The history behind liturgical music also sounds fascinating, and she had several weighty tomes on that too, but I think I'd better leave well alone until I have a little more free time, like during the Summer holidays. Or retirement!

I did leave clutching a CD of music in honour of Our Lady, sung by the choir of the London Oratory, and I'm listening to it in the background as I type. It's gorgeous, and I shall have to get my own copy. It's sold in support of Aid to the Church in Need so that's another reason to get it for myself. My friend also informed me that she thought a group called "The Music Makers" had brought out a recording of the most usual Mass settings, so I shall have to explore that one.

6 comments:

INDOLENT SERVER said...

You should get get to teach you the very basics of reading chant notation. It's really really simple. At one point a friend of mine was in his 20s and could only read chant notation and not 'normal' music.

Mac McLernon said...

Indolent, I can "follow" music - both standard musical notation and the chant notation, but I need to have heard the music a couple of times first. I cannot, unlike my more musical friend, just pick up the sheet music and identify the tune...

...so my difficulty is finding someone to sing it to me a few times until I learn the tune, or to find a suitable recording. As my latin is even more lamentable than my musical ability, I need lots of practice, so a CD is better.

I managed to learn the main anthems to Our Lady sung at the end of Compline this way, and now I know them off by heart. I just need to do the same for the basic Mass settings...

northern cleric said...

The Bendictine Nuns at St Cecilia's Abbey, Ryde have information about their chant CDs and how to purchase same at

http://www.stceciliasabbey.org.uk/visitus/chant.html

Mac McLernon said...

Thanks Northern Cleric...

BTW, what happened on your blog? I can't post comments on it (it comes up with an error message) and one of your posts appears to have done a runner...

...after you said such a nice thing about me too! I even linked to it!

northern cleric said...

Eeeek.....I was tidying up the grammar in that post a day or so ago(I have become neurotic since doing the English test that you posted a link to) and the PC crashed. The post seems to have been lost somewhere in the ether. Better check that the settings haven't changed too.

Mac McLernon said...

I have become neurotic since doing the English test that you posted a link to

...I might have guessed that it would end up being my fault!!

;-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...