Thursday, September 17, 2009

Catholic Culture Adds Arts Library

I was very pleased to see Catholic Culture make the following announcement:

The arts are a difficult subject, because in our day they seem diminished by a in flight from God. But Christians ought to welcome the arts as formative of culture.

Therefore, we're making a point of rounding out our library (before we slow the rate of acquisition next month) with some of the best Christian writings on art, music and literature. Today, let's do music:

* Jacques Maritain made significant contributions to the philosophy of art in the first half of the twentieth century. Here's an appreciation of his work on music: Stephen Schloesser, SJ, Maritain on Music: His Debt to Cocteau.

* Reading formal philosophical analysis is not everyone's cool jazz, however, so we turn to C. S. Lewis (not quite a Catholic, but very close) for some of his critical insights in How the Few and the Many Use Pictures and Music.

* Sacred music raises additional concerns, for not all good music serves the liturgy. For example, which instruments have been traditionally considered appropriate in church? James McKinnon explores this question in the middle ages: Musical Instruments in Medieval Psalm Commentaries and Psalters.

* And what about sacred music today? Are there any composers writing music that extends rather than undermines the Catholic tradition? See my review of The Sacred Music of Nicholas Wilton.

While these articles focus particularly on sacred music, there are many others pertaining to the other sacred arts.

To see more: Catholic Culture Library: Arts

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