Gifts for Musicians and Priests

Here are my suggestions for the books to give musicians and priests for Christmas.

The Christian West and Its Singers, by Christopher Page. This is the book of a lifetime. I picked mine up when it was first published and then it went out of print. It is back now. There is no Kindle version. But the physical version is an absolute treasure. The imagery is vivid. The story is compelling. This is the book that really connected me back in time to the singers of the 3rd and 4th centuries. They were human beings in a liturgical environment just like us. Their struggles were similar to ours. Page tells the story in a masterpiece of scholarship, one to last the ages.

The Musical Shape of the Liturgy, by William Mahrt. Professor Mahrt is the master of chant scholarship and practice, and this volume is his masterwork that does what no other book does nearly as well. He provides a coherent map of the place of music in the Roman Rite. In so doing, he makes an excellent contribution to liturgical scholarship. But this book is more than that. It is a guide for every parish musician. To understand the ritual and its musical structure makes an immediate difference in how one goes about the task of singing at Mass. It changes the manner in which you present Psalm, sing the acclamations, and make choices about what settings to sing and why. I’ve felt for years that this core knowledge is the missing piece in liturgical praxis today. This volume completes the picture. It is both citation rich and extremely accessible to everyone.

A Byrd Celebration
, edited by Richard Turbet. William Byrd seems always to be in the process of being rediscovered. Once you approach his music and understand his task, you are struck by his genius and place in history, equal in many respects to that of Brahms or Beethoven. He also lived an extremely interesting life as a Catholic in the court of Queen Elizabeth, composing Masses for secret Catholics even as he produced excellent works for the court in English. This book of essays explores his sacred and secular works, the politics of the time, his personal life, his techniques, his legacy. All of the world’s experts on Byrd are featured in this book. For the serious musician who is interested in 16th century polyphony, this would make a great gift.

Evangelia Cantata: A Notated Book of Gospels, by Edward Schaefer. This outstanding book takes all the guesswork out of singing the Gospel at Mass. It provides the complete Gospels for the liturgical year. It can be used in any parish, and just owning it will provide one less excuse for why the Gospels are not being sung. Published with the approval of the Bishops Committee on the Liturgy, United States Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Here are some additional titles:

Music Teaching
Title Author Sellers
Advanced Studies in Gregorian Chant Justine Ward Lulu
An Applied Course in Gregorian Chant Joseph Robert Carroll Amazon, Lulu
Gregorian Chant according to the Solesmes Method Dom Gregory Sunol Amazon, Lulu
Gregorian Chant for Church and School Sr. Mary Antonine Goodchild Lulu
Music First Year Justine Ward/Elizabeth Perkins Lulu
Music Fourth Year: Gregorian Chant Justine Ward Lulu
Music Second Year Justine Ward Lulu
Music Third Year Justine Ward Lulu
A New School of Gregorian Chant Dom Dominic Johner Lulu
The Technique of Gregorian Chironomy Joseph Robert Carroll Amazon, Lulu
Words With Wings (instructor guide) Wilko Brouwers Amazon
Words With Wings (student workbook) Wilko Brouwers Amazon

Chant and Choral Music
Title Author Sellers
Chants Abregés Solesmes Amazon
Chants of the Church GIA/Desclee (1953) Lulu
Communio: Communion Antiphons with Psalms (softcover) ed. Richard Rice Amazon, Lulu
Communio: Communion Antiphons with Psalms (hardcover) ed. Richard Rice Lulu
Communio with English Verses ed. Richard Rice Lulu
Graduale Romanum 1961: volume 1 (hardcover) Solesmes Lulu
Graduale Romanum 1961: volume 2 (hardcover) Solesmes Lulu
Graduale Romanum 1961: volume 1 (softcover) Solesmes Lulu
Graduale Romanum 1961: volume 2 (softcover) Solesmes Lulu
Kyriale Romanum (hardcover) Solesmes Lulu
Kyriale Romanum (softcover) Solesmes Lulu
Offertoriale with Offertory Verses Solesmes Amazon, Lulu
Officium Majoris Hebdomadae et Octavae Paschae, Cum Cantu Ratisbon Lulu
The Parish Book of Chant CMAA Amazon
Parish Book of Psalms Arlene Oost-Zinner Amazon
Plainchant Gradual, vols. 1 & 2 (in one edition) Palmer/Burgess Lulu
Plainchant Gradual, vols. 3 & 4 (in one edition) Palmer/Burgess Amazon, Lulu
Simple English Propers Adam Bartlett Amazon
Simple Choral Gradual Richard Rice Amazon
Versus Psalmorum et Canticorum Solesmes Lulu

Essays, History, Interpretation, Practical Guidance, Spirituality
Title Author Sellers
The Bugnini Liturgy and Reform of the Reform Laszlo Dobszay Amazon, Lulu
A Byrd Celebration (softcover) Richard Turbin Amazon, Lulu
A Byrd Celebration (hardcover) Richard Turbin Lulu
Catholic Church Music Richard Terry Amazon, Lulu
Chants of the Vatican Gradual Dom Dominic Johner Amazon, Lulu
A Dictionary of the Psalter Rev. Matthew Britt Lulu
Frequently Asked Questions on Sacred Music CMAA Lulu
Gregorian Chant: A Guide Daniel Saulnier Lulu
The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal Rev. Matthew Britt Lulu
The Musical Shape of the Liturgy William Mahrt Amazon
Pange Lingua: Breviary Hymns of Old Uses McDougall/Fortescue Lulu
Psallite Sapienter B. Andrew Mills Amazon, Lulu
The Rhythm of Plainsong Dom Joseph Gajard Lulu
Sing Like a Catholic Jeffrey Tucker Amazon, Lulu
The Spirit of Gregorian Chant Marie Pierik Lulu
A Study of Gregorian Musical Rhythm (hardcover) Dom Andre Mocquereau Lulu
A Study of Gregorian Musical Rhythm (softcover) Dom Andre Mocquereau Amazon, Lulu