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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/718

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MUSIC


652


MUSIC


TTfinnonic milsir Ikis i;r:iihially narrowed down to the two modes or koyis, major and minor: the major key has freer motion, greater briglitness and decision, while the minor scale in its lower portion has a hesitat- ing and mysterious character, and resembles the ma- jor only in its upper section. This hesitation and mysteriousness happily express in church music the modesty and humility of the worshipper. Even those Gregorian modes (F and t!) which have most resem- blance to our major scale lose that character in their upper portion. The major character, as we have it in our C major scale, occurs very seldom in Gregorian chant. The self-restraint so delicately conveyed in the church modes completely disappears in the appar- ently bovmdless freedom and stormy movement of concert music. The latter makes use of the chro- matic element, modulation from one key into another, tone colour, the various forms of composition (sonata, etc.), and every other artistic means to carry the hearer from one mood to another and finally to heighten the impression to the degree of passion. As such purposes are foreign to church music, it makes of these means, whenever it employs them, a different use. It will be remembered that the contrapuntal vocal school, at one period in its history, also degener- ated into artificality and the cultivation of form for its own sake, but this abuse was not only reproved by the Church, but also remedied by repeated reforms since the Council of Trent.

VARions Parts op the Divine Service. — The Church has frequently legislated concerning even the smallest details of the liturgy. In connexion with the Mass, the centre of Catholic worship, the service of various arts are utilized — architecture, with its deco- rative and plastic elaborations, symbolic action at the altar with the accompanying vestments and sacred vessels, the significant liturgical prayers, and finally the chant carried on the waves of the organ. Ail these, including the music, are regulated by ecclesias- tical precepts. The intonations of the celebrant and his ministers, the Orations, Epistle, Gospel, Preface, Pater Noster, Dominus vobiscum, Ite missa est, must be unaccompanied — at most the pitch may be given. The reponses of the choir or the people may be accom- panied on the organ. The choir sings the Kyrie, Gloria, and Credo. In these as in all liturgical texts, the omission, transposition, alteration, substitution, or awkward combination of the words (even in in- serted pieces, e. g. the Ave Maria at the Offertory, after the proper offertory has been recited) is forbid- den. On the other hand, the occasional repetition of words, as an artistic necessity, is permitted. It is al- lowed in most cases for sufficient reason (e. g. fatigue or inability of the singers) to recite in an audible voice certain texts with subdued organ accompaniment, or to alternate recitation with singing. The Credo, how- ever, must be sung always in its entirety, and that in a particularly distinct manner, and the celebrant may not continue the liturgical action during its perform- ance. (Furthermore must be sung the first and last verse of the hymns and everything wherein genuflec- tion is prescribed or which contains an intercession, as is the case with the Dies irae.) The intonations of the priest should never be repeated by the choir. The KjTie, a cry for mercy, must never degenerate into a brilliant operatic performance, nor should the Credo, an ojjen profession of faith, become an occasion for artistic display; besides being utterly inapproijriate, this style tends towards excessive length. In general the Credo, sung to one of the Gregorian melodies, with possibly a harmonized setting of the Et incarnatus est and finale, is decidedly preferable to an exclusively fig- ured composition. In the Gloria the music may show brilliancy, but it must be noted that not only joy, but also deep devotion and humble petition (Qui tollis . . .) are contained in the text. A very great abuse consists in the endless repetitions, which in some in-


stancea consume as much as ten minutes. Of the other invariable parts of the mass, the Sanctus should be of reasonable length, so that the celebrant may have to wait as little as possible. If the organ be I)layed during the Elevation, it must be done softly and in a reverent manner. The Henodictiu^ mus't breathe the spirit of adoration, while the following Ilosanna gives moderate expression to jubilation. In the Agnus Dei the tendorest pleading of the heart must find subdued expression.

The Proper, or variable parts of the Maae, must never be changed by the choir. The recitation of the Introit has never been explicitly allowed : in any event, the Gloria Patri must be sung, on account of the en- joined inclination on the part of the celebrant and people. As in the Gradual with the adjoine<l parts, the organ prelude and alternation between chanters and choir create an agreeable contrast. In the Tract and Sequence, on account of their great length, the re- citing of certain parts is desirable. To omit parts of the text, even in the lenglliy J.auda Sion or Dies irae, is forbidden. If the (iradual, Tract, and Sequence be set to figured music, it must be done in accordance with the .spirit of the text. The Gregorian melodies to these texts offer to the composer the best possible models for imitation. After the proper offertory text has been sung or recited, a motet to approved words may be sung, provided the celebrant be not too long detained thereby. The same applies to any antiphon or motet in honour of the Blessed Sacrament, which may be sung with the Benedictus after the Elevation. Silence on the part of the organ between the Pater Noster and the following Per omnia is desirable. If Holy Communion be given, a short motet with ap- proved Latin text may be inserted. The chants of the Requiem Mass may be accompanied on the organ in an unobtrusive manner. (The use of the organ is also permitted during Advent and Lent, but only for the accompaniment of the chant. On feast days and on Gaudete and La'tare Sundays, it may be used as usual.)

Passing over various other liturgical functions, we shall say a word about Solemn Vespers and Compline. Nothing may be abbreviated or omitted in the Ves- pers of the day (or the Votive Vespers, when allowed), and no psalm may be sung otherwise than antipho- nally. Falsi-bordoni, alternating with a Gregorian melody, are successfully used in many places. The repetitions of the antiphons and certain verses of the hymn and Magnificat may be recited. The hymn may also be performed in figured settings, but musical forms, differing widely from the general character of the Gregorian chant, are to be avoided in all parts of the liturgy. On these points the "Motu proprio" of Pius X says: "The different parts of the Mass and Oflice must retain, even musically, that particular con- cept and form which ecclesiastical tradition has as- signed to them, and which is admirably expressed in Gregorian chant. Different, therefore, must be the method of composing an introit, a gradual, an anti- phon, a psalm, a hymn, a Gloria in excelsis.

"In particular the following rules are to be ob- served:

" (a) The Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, etc. of the Mass must preserve the unity of composition proper to their text. It is not lawful, therefore, to compose them in sepa- rate pieces in such a way that each of such pieces may form a complete composition in itself, and be capable of being detached from the rest and substituted by another.

" (b) In the office of Vespers it should be the rule to follow the 'Cxremoniale Episcoporum', which pre- scribes the Gregorian chant for the psalmodj^ and permits figured music for the versicles of the Gloria Patri and the hymn.

"It will, nevertheless, be lawful on the greater sol- emnities to alternate the Gregorian chant of the