Sunday, August 12, 2012

Are you "antiquarian" and "artificial"?

Paul Innwood offers an an interesting post at PrayTell, and I'm still trying to make sense of it. His conclusion is strangely and surprisingly disproportionate to the excellent content of the post itself.

He begins by confirming that ever more parishes are using the Graduale Romanum as the source of liturgical music at entrance, offertory, and communion. They are doing this based on the conviction that propers are the correct source for liturgical song, and that the Gregorian tradition provides the ideal of liturgical music.

His conclusion after much in the way of quoting source texts from documents is that "they/we are trying to promote as the norm something which in practice never was the norm during the past 600 years and more. This is either antiquarianism or just plain artificial."

I don't get his point really or who it is directed against.

The push for propers and Gregorian chant really comes to down three propositions:

1) propers are a liturgical text and should not be thrown out in favor of whatever, as has been done for decades in parish and cathedral praxis,

2) Gregorian chant embodies the instructive ideal that informs the fullest presentation of the liturgical approach to music, and

3) this ideal in no way excludes other forms of music including employing vernacular text, as well as polyphonic motets using propers texts and hymns that use the proper text.

Based on his post, I don't really see where Innwood disagrees with any of the above three and he seems to want to pick a fight with someone about something. In any case, his assembly of quotations is very valuable.