It took a thousand years after the Apostolic Age for Christians to develop a system of music notation. It took nearly thousand years after that for the chants to be properly distilled and published in a form for mass distribution.
In 2007, the Church Music Association of America has taken step three: universal and free access to Gregorian chant, the music of the Roman Rite.
What would it have meant to musicians of the earliest years of the Church that tens of thousands of Gregorian chants are available to the whole world with the click of a button? They could not have imagined such a thing.
As The Wanderer says this week, the Church Music Association of America has “put the Church’s greatest treasures of Gregorian chant and other sacred music of the Latin Rite, literally, a click away from anyone with access to the Internet.” The editorial further says that “only the most jaded person” could leave MusicaSacra.com without seeing that this movement “cannot be stopped. This is where the Church is headed.”
What is available? The CMAA that has released digital editions—the highest quality scans–of the Liber Usualis, the Graduale, the Kyriale (two versions), Antiphonale (two versions), the Processionale, and even the entire Missale Romanum (1962), as well fifty additional treasures that had been left behind. Now they are here for open and instant access: commentaries, pedagogical tools, parish guides, and even audio samples, with no fees, no registrations, no advertising.
People are using this material. We have links in from all over the country, North America, and the entire world, and notes of thanks fill our inbox. It is large part because of this work, and the grace of God, that we are finally seeing a restoration of this music take place parish by parish. Seminaries are newly teaching it. Musicians who know this music are at last being hired by cathedrals and parishes. The excitement and beauty are growing by the day.
Now consider what it means to you that these works now enjoy universal access, and ask if it is time for you to make a donation to our work.
What’s more, this is not just a digital organization. We hold the largest, most successful, and most fruitful training programs in sacred music in the world. Indeed, they attract more participation than any sacred music conferences in a half a century. The same is true of celebrant training: next week, we will sponsor the best-attended workshop in anyone’s memory.
Then there is Sacred Music, which now sets the standard for scholarship and commentary in the field. In addition, the journal is incredibly beautiful. There are 15 books that we’ve brought back in print. The work of masters in sacred music is available again.
For continued growth, however, we need a solid base of financial support, which, as incredible as it may seem, we do not currently have. Annual membership fees don’t come anywhere near covering the costs of what we are doing. We could do so much more with generous donations. The CMAA is a non-profit organization, a 501(c)(3), so that your donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent that the law allows.
MusicaSacra.com has a PayPal account that allows you to make an electronic donation. You can find it here.
Alleluia cantate Domino canticum novum laus eius in congregatione sanctorum
Are you? or will you be responsible for Musica Sacra at Masses in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite ? If so, Don Capisco has a valuable hint for you. Check out the “motu proprio resources” now available from Preserving Christian Publications in Boonville NY. John Parrot and Brian Pouliot hav e now reprinted classic titles such as J.B.O’Connel’s “Celebration of Mass” and Fortescue’s “The Mass” as well as Fr Weller’s classic translation of the complete Roman Ritual in three volumes, The Roman Martyrology, the 1962 Rubrics of Missal and Breviary and Connelly’s Hymns of the Roman Liturgy in Latin and English. A high-quality repromt of the 1962 Benziger Missale Romanum in altar size with US dioc esan supplement, is on the way. The legitimate liturgist warmly recommends all of these volumes.
The competent Kapellmeister greets even more enthusiastically the musical reprints now available : the 1962 Desclee Liber Usualis and two very useful organ accompaniments by Achille P. Bragers of the old Pous X School in New York : low-key accompaniment for the complete Vatican Kyriale (including all the ad libitum Ordinary chants, the Requiem, the High Mass responses, etc.) and the two volumes (bound in one) of the organum comitans to the Proprium de Tempore, the seasonal Propers for Sundays and great feasts of the entire church year. The appearance of these volumes is indeed cause for rejoicing ! To PCP, tante grazie ! VOX 315/942-6338, email@example.com; www.pcpbooks.com.