Sunday, June 26, 2011

Studies in Semiology - from Sacred Music

There was a great deal of interest in Edward Schaefer's class on semiology at the Sacred Music Colloquium - something that had long been requested by participants but we had not been able to fit into the schedule. It was very interesting class, a chance to tap into the work of hundreds of great chant masters over a hundred years in order to understand why we have the music we have. The class left me with a profound respect for that early generation of Solesmes monks who took on the task of correcting the chant in light of paleographic research - a task later picked up by Dom E. Cardine.

In the 1980s, the primary publishing spot in the English-speaking world for semiological research was Sacred Music magazine as published by the Church Music Association of America and under the editorship of Msgr. Richard Schuler. The topic was the most frequently visited theme throughout the 1980s, with contributions by Dom Cardine, Fr. Columba Kelly, Robert M. Fowells, and Dom Laurence Bevenot.

Together these 40 pages of material constitute a guide to this topic, including the repeated clarification that semiology is not a method for singing but a research project that picks up the original principles that guided Dom Pothier and Dom Mocquereau. Indeed, the collection opens with Cardine's own tribute to Mocquereau.

I hope everyone can benefit by having these articles all in one file: The Semiology Collection from Sacred Music.