This should be an interesting series (“Other publishers will be appearing in this space …”) over at PrayTell. The usual conservative blogosphere sentiments (or is it envy?) have already surfaced in the first installment, in praise of music publishers:
Their influence, lo these “fifty” years, has been (putting it gently) deleterious to Catholic worship.
Say mold…say mold. (This one deleted.)
It gives a window on the reform2 movement, that for some (not all, I know) its about indulging that most catholic of all institutions, the Culture of Complaint.
I’m aware this is deeper than two comments. This is a complex dynamic. Some scattered commentary:
– I look forward to this series. The publishers have been pretty mum when it comes to dealing with their serious consumers. In part, they’re in the dark with all the rest of us. They probably don’t have much to say without watching more hymnal profit margins circle the drain. Hmph.
– Reform2 sites can plaster their e-presence on the web with all sorts of pretty pictures. But they lack catholicity because of their unwillingness to engage the whole of Catholicism–yes, even the publishers. And they seem to align with Archbishop Chaput’s well-worn observations that the Right is often downright mean.
– Interesting that hymnals are outpaced by disposable missals:
For (2005), of the combined income from GIA hymnals sales, and OCP and WLP subscription missal sales, GIA’s share of the market was approximately 10% of the dollar amount.
I would have thought hymnals were making more inroads than ten percent. Given that GIA touts the hymnal as a more economical (long-term) alternative to annuals, that market share might reflect a slightly smaller percentage. On the other hand, some parishes like mine, do use “missalettes” along with our hardbound books. Not much; maybe just a 10% market share.
– I don’t get the criticism of Big Business here. Most conservatives are all over entrepreneurship, except when their sense of conspiracy is tickled. Except for … Big Business. I have no doubt that many traditionalists would like to put these publishers out of business and one or two actually lick their chops at the prospect.
– Having been turned down in the publishing industry as both a writer and a composer, my reaction–after being slightly steamed–is to go back and polish my craft. Sometimes it’s about other people, and when it is, I have no control over it. And sometimes it’s about me.
– Lest I let the hermeneutic of subtraction get the better of me, let me say I do favor certain positive developments. It’s good that copyright policies are evolving and that publishers will have to adapt. It’s good that church musicians continue to compose and use their own work in their parishes–a tradition that predates publishing. I like the discussions at PrayTell–a refreshing change from the rest of the blogosphere.
Any thoughts of your own?