Monday, May 22, 2006
Making Progress In Chant III: Seasonal Considerations
The easy thing to do is to stick chant in a Lenten ghetto. Give people the impression you're giving up harmonization for Lent ... well, some people do it. I think it might send the wrong message. A music director needs to make some honest assessments of what the parish musicians are capable of doing. If your parish has or will have a plainsong Mass setting, Ordinary Time is a consideration. Unless, of course, the chant Mass setting is so clearly festive for the seasons of Christmas and/or Easter. Keeping in mind the primacy of the Mass setting and psalmody, if you've decided to attend to plainsong hymnody, a few bits of advice: - Vernacular first. - Make sure your seasons are covered like Monopoly's building regulations. In other words, make sure Advent, Christmas, Lent, Eastertide, and ordinary time are more or less evenly accounted for.