Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Richard Terry on pop music circa. 1907

Lots of discussion of music today, so it is a good time to draw your attention to one of the greatest books ever written on Catholic music (that link takes you to full text), by Richard R. Terry. It was published in 1907.

I THINK we may say that modern individualistic music, with its realism and emotionalism, may stir human feeling, but it can never create that atmosphere of serene spiritual ecstasy that the old music generates. It is a case of mysticism versus hysteria. Mysticism is a note of the Church: it is healthy and sane. Hysteria is of the world: it is morbid and feverish, and has no place in the Church. Individual emotions and feelings are dangerous guides, and the Church in her wisdom recognises this. Hence in the music which she gives us, the individual has to sink his personality, and become only one of the many who offer their corporate praise.

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