Friday, August 24, 2007

What is the universal music of Catholic people?

Yesterday, I spent some time accumulating a short list of music that Catholic people are likely to sing at Mass during the year, a core repertory that might be the foundation of a universal hymnal. Right now, no such thing existsm so far as I know. The Kyriale is wonderful but too limited because it excludes chant hymnody. The Liber Cantualis is also short on material in some way.

In any case, my point isn't to lobby for a new hymnal but merely to draw attention to what we might think of as a universal list of music of the people. It excludes chants reserved for the schola and music that people don't tend to sing (Sequences) and leaves aside Ordinary chants completely. Again, the criterion here is music for the people for the Roman Rite (old and new forms).

There are only 41 pieces here. Before you say that this is way too few, consider how many you can sing at the drop of a hat. I would guess that all but two or three are unknown to 98% of Catholics in the United States. Consider too that these tunes might also be considered the foundation of the whole of Christian music and even the Western musical tradition, insofar as they were the most frequently set during the golden age of polyphony and thereby served as the basis on which music was made in succeeding centuries. Is it too much to ask of Catholics to become conversant in the people's musical language of the ages?

Adoro Te
Alma redemptoris
Anima Christi
Asperges me
Attende Domine
Ave Maria
Ave Maris stella
Ave regina Caelorum
Ave verum
Christus vincit
Confirma hoc
Cor Jesu
Creator Alme Siderum
Crucem Tuam Adoramus
Crux Fidelis
Da pacem
Ecce nomen Domini
Gloria, laus et honor
Hodie Christus
Iste Confessor
Jesu dulcis
Litany of Saints
Maria Mater gratiae
O filii et filiae
O lux beata Trinitas
O Panis dulcissime
O Salutaris
Oremus pro Pontifice
Pange lingua
Panis angelicus
Parce Domine
Pater Noster
Puer natus
Regina caeli
Rorate caeli
Salve mater
Salve Regina
Stabat Mater
Sub tuum praesidium
Tantum Ergo
Te Deum
Te lucis
Tota pulchra es
Ubi Caritas
Veni, veni, Emmanuel
Veni Creator
Vexilla Regis
Vidi Aquam

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