Monday, June 08, 2009

They thought they knew the meaning of "bad music": 1958

From Caecilia, February 1958:

The problem is no longer whether contemporary church music will be accepted. It is plain as the stars that cluster over a vista-dome rushing through country darkness that it is accepted and sung. What the faint hearted have viewed cautiously as an alarming experience is past. The question now is how much of it will remain contemporary. For great music is always with us: The great body of Chant and Polyphony and some of that in between--the Gothic, the Baroque, some of the Classical, and isolated giants like Bruckner and Gabriel Faure--having nothing temporary about them; they remain, in the practical domain, contemporary.

But there is a problem about contemporary liturgical music that we must face and soon: It is not all good. Neither was the chant nor polyphony. Trouble is we have been so used to junking, for 300 years or more, the fleeting fads that ought to be junked, that we could well leave the baby out with a bath this time too.

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