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A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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“In spite of what it is currently called, the music of these songs is not modern: this musical style is not new, but has been played in the most profane places and surroundings (cabarets, music halls, often for more or less lascivious dances with foreign names). The people are led on to rock or swing. They all feel an urge to dance about. That sort of “body language” is certainly alien to our Western culture, unfavorable to contemplation and its origins are rather suspect. Most of the time our congregations, which already find it hard not to confuse the crochets and the quavers in a 6/8 bar, do not respect the rhythm; then one no longer feels like dancing, but with the rhythm gone to pieces, the habitual poorness of the melodic line becomes all the more noticeable.”
— Unnamed choirmaster (Northern France) circa 1986

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Dan Schutte's “Missa My Little Pony” (2nd Part)
published 27 August 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

916 Dan Schutte Mass PDF N FEBRUARY, I asked if anyone else was uncomfortable with Dan Schutte’s “Mass of Christ the Savior” (2010)—which appears to be written in a secular style. 1 Here’s a brief recording showing Schutte’s melody (taken from YouTube) against the My Little Pony theme:

      * *  Missa “My Little Pony” — Mp3 (0:29)

My original article was shared on Facebook 4,000 times, generated a surprising amount of hate mail, and was discussed on several radio shows.

A number of commenters said Schutte’s melody didn’t resemble the Pony theme. This assertion seems to have irritated one of my former students, who recently sent me a recording mixing both melodies:

      * *  Mp3 Audio File — Schutte’s Mass of Christ the Savior mixed w/ Pony Theme

Some might object to mixing the Sacred Mass texts with a secular Pony Song.

I agree … AND THAT IS PRECISELY MY POINT.

Having suffered greatly as a child due to trite & banal Church music, this is a subject I take very, very seriously.

I DO NOT SUPPORT THE USE of secular musical styles during Mass. We’ve discussed this many times on this blog (e.g. here). I’ve also subtly included this in the fourth item of “Five Questions No Liturgist Can Answer” (URL). Leaving aside the question of musical style for a moment, many wonder how this Mass received USCCB approval, since it mangles the official text. My short answer would be: “I haven’t the faintest idea.”

If you’re seeking alternatives to the Schutte Mass, you might want to look at some of these settings, which were composed in a more Sacred style.



NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:

1   The priest who discovered this Schutte/Pony similarity is currently Liturgy Director for a major Archdiocese in the United States. It was sent to me via email “chain letter.” Until I got his email, I had never heard Schutte’s Mass setting.