About this blogger:
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 lives with his wife and two children.
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We sternly urge adherence to the established norms by those who raise an uproar or a challenge in the name of a misunderstood creative freedom, and thus inflict so much harm on the Church with their rash innovations, so vulgar, so frivolous—and sometimes even lamentably profane. Otherwise the essence of dogma and obviously of ecclesiastical discipline will be weakened, in line with the famous axiom: "lex orandi, lex credendi." We therefore call for absolute loyalty so that the rule of faith may remain safe.
— Pope Paul VI (27 June 1977)

Benjamin Franklin Composed A String Quartet
published 14 July 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

ENJAMIN FRANKLIN was a true polymath. For example, below is a string quartet he composed. (I know some modern musicologists question whether he actually composed it, but don’t get me started on this topic!)

I WON’T BE MENTIONING Franklin’s many talents: anyone who wants to can Google his name. However, I do think it’s a shame our culture no longer understands the concept of «Renaissance man». In other words, earlier cultures worked harder at developing “the whole man” than we do. People learned about poetry, sight-reading music, and so forth, even though this had no “concrete value” in terms of making money.

Over the past few months, I’ve been to several wedding receptions and social gatherings. Invariably, the Disc jockey has blasted the music at an ear-splitting volume: so loud! So loud! Prolonged listening to loud music damages one’s hearing, and such hearing loss is irreparable. This is a fact, whether we like it or not. How long will our culture tolerate such things? For what reason must the music be blasted at such a deafening volume? What can be done?

I’m afraid I don’t have an easy solution for this, except to say that we must reclaim our culture. We must show our children the beauties of great music: Bach, Chopin, Marenzio, and so on. We can also allow our children to appreciate “light” music, but not when it’s played at such an ear-splitting volume. I have a feeling the music is blasted so loud because so few people know how to engage in proper conversation…