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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Had the Church never spoken on this matter, it would still be repugnant to our Catholic people’s sense of what is fit and proper in the holiest of places, that a priest should have to struggle through the prayers of the Holy Mass, because of such tunes as “Alice, where art thou?” the “Vacant Chair,” and others of more vulgar title, which, through the carelessness or bad judgment of organists, sometimes find their way into our choirs.
— Preface to a Roman Catholic Hymnal (1896)

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Can You Say “Theft” ??
published 19 September 2018 by Jeff Ostrowski

HROUGHOUT THE PROCESS of producing the St. Jean de Brébeuf Hymnal—which will hopefully be released in October—our committee saw tons of theft. Even the most famous translators, such as John Mason Neale, steal phrases and rhymes from other translators. As I’ve said many times, when it comes to theft, nobody can hold a candle to John David Chambers (d. 1893). Chambers stole almost every rhyme he ever used; and he “wrote” hundreds of hymn translations. 1

Consider the following:

87558 Theft by Campbell


Robert Campbell was an excellent hymn translator. A Scottish lawyer, he converted to the Catholic Faith in 1852.

But can we all agree he stole from Chandler?



NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:

1   By the way, John David Chambers was a valuable assistant to Dr. John Julian in the creation of the (amazing) Dictionary of Hymnology. This would imply that theft was considered okay in those days.