Category Archives: Music


One of the last music reading sessions I attended a couple seated next to me punctuated sight-singing with comments of ridicule and not-so-stifled laughter. Most octavos had “NIMP” scribbled in big letters. In two hours, I found one or two … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Music | Tagged | 3 Comments

How Long?

Discussion here at PrayTell about the length of an entrance song. I’m more interested in the exit phenomenon. One commenter mentioned the 90-minute spacing between Mass starts, and abbreviated songs allow musicians to have mercy on people stuck in two-way … Continue reading

Posted in Liturgy, Music | 1 Comment

Managing A Cantor III: Location, Location

  One cantor long ago told me she would never do the psalm from the ambo. As she crossed the center line of the church she didn’t want to be emphasizing the lower part of her trunk as she bowed … Continue reading

Posted in Liturgy, Music | 3 Comments

Managing A Cantor II: Arm Gestures

One of the modest sins I’ve noticed over the years from various psalmists is a gesture taking place when they are finished singing the psalm verse. Not when the people are supposed to enter the music. It’s a small thing. … Continue reading

Posted in Liturgy, Music | 1 Comment

Managing A Cantor

I found this thread on the CMAA site which included excellent advice from Liam. Opening the discussion: I have a cantor I need to dismiss from cantoring. Her voice blends fine in a choir, and she is involved with an … Continue reading

Posted in Ministry, Music | Leave a comment

Musical Moment #4: Brandenburg Marathon

Another great concert moment. My first job out of college was in telemarketing, and one of my workmates became a good friend. We shared many interests, including music. In the early 80s I was discovering Baroque music. When the Eastman … Continue reading

Posted in Music | 2 Comments

Musical Moment #3: Tusk

Another college moment, which was really more than one moment: Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk. I saw the band live twice, once before the album was released and once shortly after. The former show was my first all-day stadium rock event. They … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Musical Moment #2: Trees

In college, my friend Marianne talked about a concert we were going to attend that included recorded birdsong in one of the symphonic pieces. And so I was introduced to The Pines of Rome. Blogged before: my third live listen … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Musical Moment #1: “Great and Noble”

Every now and then a fb friend does one of those ten-post challenges. Songs, albums, life events in one picture, given with no words. Or minimal commentary. As I think back to musical moments in my life, I’ve pondered less … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Top British Funeral Songs

Joe McMahon sent me this link to a UK op-ed on funeral songs. From the Daily Mail, Tom Utley reports and comments: A survey this week by Co-op Funeralcare highlights one of the most profound social changes of my lifetime. In … Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Music, Order of Christian Funerals | 1 Comment

Dulcimers Get The Love

Children have a natural curiosity about music, and even after three-and-a-half years in the parish, the hammered dulcimer still gets attention. Long after Mass, as you can see here.

Posted in Music, Parish Life | Leave a comment


My preference on this Christmas song is the instrumentation–not the lyrics so much. This arrangement is quite fine, and features one of my favorite instruments. It’s a nice and brisk tempo, maybe too much for singers.

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Winter Music

Since their release in the 80s, I’ve enjoyed the Windham Hill series titled for the solstice. The higher the number (they go to V) the more “traditional” Christmas fare you get. My favorite remains the second edition–it gets much play … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Music For The Fourth: El Salón México, Old Dangerfield

One of the most recognizable American composers putting his mark on one of the Americas’ most recognizable cultures here. A summary from the wiki: The work contains three musical styles and goes through the series of three twice, starting each … Continue reading

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

It Was On Holy Wednesday

An English Christmas Carol, “All In the Morning” gives us this verse: It was on Holy Wednesday And all in the morning, That Judas Betrayed Our dear Heavenly King And was this not a woeful thing? And sweet Jesus we’ll … Continue reading

Posted in Holy Week, Music | Leave a comment