Friday, April 16, 2010

The Grail Psalter Approved

Here is a wonderful account of how Conception Abbey came to take charge of the Grail Psalter revision. This revision will now be standard in US liturgical books. All reports suggest that the version is more accurate and more singable than the Psalms currently in use.

I do not need to repeat again that many musicians and publishers are, however, disappointed that the results were channeled into a proprietary publishing relationship rather than becoming part of the digital commons. I fear the results from this seemingly small choice in the years ahead.

What is not entirely clear to me is whether and to what extent other translations currently in the commons (Coverdale, Douay, King James, etc.) are permitted to take the place of potentially more costly, proprietary translations that are restricted by secular law. This is a question raised by composers and monks and publishers every day; many people fear the possible implications of a single private, for-profit publisher charged with discretion in the distribution of indulgenced texts. In practice, and in actual fact, the cloudiness of the question may not matter. The old method of distributing Psalm settings through restricted hard-copy sales is giving way to free distribution through digital means.

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