About this blogger:
Veronica Brandt holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. As editor, she has produced fine publications (as well as valuable reprints) dealing with Gregorian chant, hymnody, Latin, and other subjects. These publications are distinguished on account of their tastefulness. She lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her husband Peter and five children.
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"It's good that you are in the USA, otherwise who is going to—in the best sense—make music?"
— Ignaz Friedman writing to Josef Hofmann (4 January 1940)

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Practising from back to front
published 28 August 2015 by Veronica Brandt

trolley of possibilities OST OF OUR LATIN MASSES here in Australia are Low Masses with hymns. We average one Missa Cantata a month. Most of the singers struggle to read music, so I make recordings.

At the moment I’m preparing for the 16th Sunday after Pentecost—which has some particularly memorable moments in the music for the propers.

When it came to the communion antiphon I used the technique of working backwards through the piece to cement it into my head. I hope you enjoy this recording – the little accompanying voice is my 2 year old daughter.

An example of practising a piece from the end to the beginning – with a small child on my lap (the communion antiphon Domine memorabor, from the 16th Sunday after Pentecost

Read along with the score.

Listening to it now also brings home how much easier it is to sing along with someone. If you have one person who can sing a piece, the rest can lean on that person. Of course it sounds better when everyone knows what they are doing – but by being the person who learns the piece you are supporting the other singers.

Someone pointed out to me the problem with admiring talent. The real key to making beautiful music is practice. Talking about talent tends to excuse ourselves for not putting in the time and effort. I’d much rather be praised for working hard than for merely being talented.