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 resides with his wife and children.
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“More and more as we grow older, we find that the people we see most of are recent acquaintances; not (perhaps) very congenial to us, but chance has thrown them in our way. Meanwhile, the people we used to know so well—for whom we once entertained such warm feelings—are now remembered by a card at Christmas (if we can succeed in finding the address). How good we are at making friends, when we are young; how bad at keeping them! How eagerly, as we grow older, do we treasure up the friendships that are left to us, like beasts that creep together for warmth!”
— Msgr. Ronald Knox (1888-1957)

How Many Syllables Does The Word "Catholic" Have?
published 4 March 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

756 Hep HE ENGLISH LANGUAGE is pronounced differently in the various English-speaking countries: Ireland, South Africa, Singapore, New Zealand, and so forth. I have been receiving emails from my friends in England. They are unhappy with the way I set the word CATHOLIC.

I was taught by professors of Choral Methods a dictum similar to Franz Xavier Haberl’s famous one: Sing as you speak.

For example, when you sing ANGEL, don’t sing “ain-JELL.” Sing it how you say it: “AIN-juhll.”

I recently composed this setting of the Creed:

      * *  St. Felix Musical Creed — An easy setting for Choir & Congregation

To my ear, words like EVERY are only two syllables ( EV- 'RY ) not three. The same holds true for “Catholic,” as you can see here:

WHILE WE’RE ON THIS SUBJECT, certain words in English cause problems when they come at the end of a Psalm tone because they have an accented syllable followed by three (or even four!) unaccented syllables. Here are some examples:













If you have a word like GLORIOUSLY you can “cheat” by making it three syllables instead of four. The same can be done with HEAVEN — it can be two syllables or one.


I heard a professional group sing “See – lebrity” for Celebrity. Frightful!

I heard a professional singers sing “Cruella Dee – vill” for Cruella de Vil. Terrible!