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Musical Musings: Miscellaneous

Church Music URLs

by Gary D. Penkala

CanticaNOVA Publications maintains an efficient Links page with useful internet information for the musician and liturgist. These links are of a general nature, in a broad range of topics from the Vatican to the Society for Catholic Liturgy. Here are a few intersting sites of a more specific nature.

Check these out!
  • Archbishop Chaput on Liturgy
    The Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap, is the Archbishop of Denver. He wrote a series of 19 clear, pastorally effective articles on liturgy for the Denver Catholic Register. The first few articles outline the role of the priest, deacon and laity at liturgy. The Archbishop then details the various elements of the Mass, from the Opening Song through the reverent closing of Mass. Always faithful to the rubrics and the ritual books, Archbishop Chaput's voice is a refreshing call to do liturgy correctly, without experimenting and creating our own "rites" (or "wrongs").
  • Jeff Ostrowski
    This impressive site is produced by Jeff Ostrowski, a senior at the University of Kansas. His college research project is the transcription of 1600 pages of Renaissance sacred music into modern notation using current music software. Much of this work is available on his website under the pages called Musica divina. These are works transcribed from a set of volumes by the same name, published 1853-1862 by Karl Proske. Renaissance composers represented are numerous, including Lassus, Handl, Palestrina, Victoria and Marenzio. Jeff also directs the Saint John Mary Vianney Choir at Latin Masses in Topeka. He produced a CD of chant, polyphony, and organ music called Dignus est Agnus (Worthy Is the Lamb), with music for Holy Week and Easter. The CD is available for purchase at his site — all proceeds benefit the Saint John Mary Vianney Choir.
  • Ambrosian Chant
    Giovanni Vianini is responsible for this beautiful site which offers his transcriptions of Ambrosian chants in PDF format. These chants are available without copyright restrictions and may be printed and used at will. Ambrosian chants are name for Saint Ambrose (340-397) and are intimately connected to the Church of Milan, of which he was bishop. Saint Ambrose was a prolific poet, and his liturgical hymns and the singing of the congregations in Milan influenced the conversion of Saint Augustine. These hymns were set to their current music after the time of Saint Ambrose; they are collectively known as Amrosian chant. Giovanni Vianini is director of the Schola Gregoriana Mediolanensis of Milan.
  • The Cyber Hymnal
    On this amazing site one can find thousands of hymns — play them (in MIDI), read the text, and research the author and composer. Search for Titles, Tunes by Name, Tunes by Meter, Topics, or Scripture Allusions. There is a page of fascinating hymn trivia, a biographical index, a list of special terms found in hymns and FAQs. The ability to download music (on non-copyrighted hymns) exists. The site was established in 1996 and contains a wealth of information and material on hymnody. A truly valuable resource!
  • Music Theory Tutorial
    While not specifically about church music, this site by Ricci Adams can be extremely useful to church musicians, particularly choir members who want to learn more about the mechanics of reading music. The site is divided in three: Lessons, Trainers and Utilities. Among the 34 Lessons one can find tutorials ranging from basic Note Duration to more advanced Chord Analysis. The Trainer modules offer online ear training exercises in intervals, scales and chords. The Utilities include a Chord Calculator and Staff Paper Generator. While this very worthwhile site is offered free of charge by Ricci Adams, there is a button for voluntary donations.
We are living at the vanguard of the information explosion. So much material is available online that even the director of a Medieval chant ensemble is remiss in not looking to the web for resources. So click away as you Cantate Domino canticum novum!

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