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.
Connect on Facebook:
Connect on Twitter:
“I vividly remember going to church with him in Bournemouth. He was a devout Roman Catholic and it was soon after the Church had changed the liturgy (from Latin to English). My grandfather obviously didn't agree with this and made all the responses very loudly in Latin while the rest of the congregation answered in English. I found the whole experience quite excruciating, but my grandfather was oblivious. He simply had to do what he believed to be right.”
— Simon Tolkien (2003)

ABOUT US  |  OUR HEADER  |  ARCHIVE
Solesmes is not infallible…
published 16 November 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski

HE LEVEL OF PERFECTION attained by the liturgical books of Solesmes Abbey has inspired Catholics for well over a century. Abbot Pothier was not content to restore the authentic Gregorian rhythm and melodies. He collaborated with a Belgian printer to create a very special neumatic notation which has been copied to this day.

However, the monks of Solesmes are not infallible.

Look at the accent on the word ÁDJUVA in this 1926 book by Solesmes:

116 Adjuva


Perhaps they were thinking of “adjútor et protéctor factus est mihi.” Or perhaps they were thinking of “Adjútor meus, tibi psallam.” In most other Solesmes books, however, it’s correct:

115 kneel


For the record, some have suggested Solesmes had very little to do with this 1926 book (Chants Abrégés) which is said to have been created in Canada. However, there is contradictory information on that point.

Here’s an error in Solesmes “Mass & Vespers” (1957):

113 Mass Vespers ERROR


It’s nice to know that even the best & brightest make errors.

(Speaking of errors, according to Fr. George Rutler, I ought to have said “brightest and best” because that phrase comes from an Epiphany hymn.)