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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“I still haven’t made up my mind whether I shall publish it all. Some people are so humorless, so uncharitable, and so absurdly wrong-headed, that one would probably do far better to relax and enjoy life than worry oneself to death trying to instruct or entertain a public which will only despise one’s efforts, or at least feel no gratitude for them. Most readers know nothing about canon law. Many regard it with contempt and find everything heavy going that isn’t completely lowbrow. Some are so grimly serious that they disapprove of all humor. Others come to different conclusions every time they stand up or sit down. They seize upon your publications, as a wrestler seizes upon his opponent’s hair, and use them to drag you down, while they themselves remain quite invulnerable, because their barren pates are completely bald, so there’s nothing for you to get hold of.”
— St. Thomas More to Peter Gilles, 1516

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!