Our first two Masses this weekend at the parish found the musicians switching out the planned final hymn (Lord, You Give The Great Commission) for “Sing of the Lord’s Goodness,” a parish fave. The 10:30 Mass leader asked if we “had” to do the planned music. “It’s such a dirge,” she said.
“I don’t play dirges,” I replied.
And indeed, we took it at a good clip–fast enough that our high school bass player (who reads his clef, not chords) complained about too many changes.
But even in my progressive parish, there seems to be an unfair association of organ hymnody with slow, boring music. Too bad, really. I think people learn new hymns (and this was new to us this past October) slow, so they can get the notes, and maybe they don’t ever pick up the tempo. I suspect this is why chant has such a bad rep: many musicians sing and play it so slow.