18 December 2007

Article Link: Why is Gregorian Chant Making a Comeback?

Canticanova has reprinted an article from a few months back on the return of Gregorian chant. My favourite bit:

The tradition of Gregorian chant in the Latin rite provides music that meets the needs of all ages, classes and ethnic groups, not just in our times but in all times. The chant is intimately linked with Catholic faith and its prayer life. It takes us out of our everyday environment to remind us that we are in a sacred space. It helps us pray.

Out in my neck of the woods I think talk of Gregorian Chant making a comeback is wishful thinking. It would be difficult for it to make a comeback now. After forty years of non use, there are few here who know how to sing it. In my experience there are few willing to teach. I knew one man who lead a schola who had tremendous knowledge of chant, but was unwilling to teach. He wanted professional quality singers to volunteer to sing in his schola, to work towards his vision of perfected chant. Good luck on him. He took over a schola of eight. It now numbers three. He could have trained us, and we could have helped others. He refused, and his knowledge remains locked inside him, a light under a bushel.

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