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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“In spite of what it is currently called, the music of these songs is not modern: this musical style is not new, but has been played in the most profane places and surroundings (cabarets, music halls, often for more or less lascivious dances with foreign names). The people are led on to rock or swing. They all feel an urge to dance about. That sort of “body language” is certainly alien to our Western culture, unfavorable to contemplation and its origins are rather suspect. Most of the time our congregations, which already find it hard not to confuse the crochets and the quavers in a 6/8 bar, do not respect the rhythm; then one no longer feels like dancing, but with the rhythm gone to pieces, the habitual poorness of the melodic line becomes all the more noticeable.”
— Unnamed choirmaster (Northern France) circa 1986

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Musical Creed — Text From New Roman Missal
published 26 February 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

AST FRIDAY I put aside a few hours to compose this musical setting of the Creed, dedicated to my brother, Deacon Mark Ostrowski. Below, I explain what I was trying to do from a compositional standpoint. Yesterday afternoon, I recorded a practice video, so you can hear it. Please pardon the bad singing (when I’m playing the organ, my mouth often gets too close to the microphone):


Before I explain why I composed this Creed, here are the files you can download:

      * *  St. Felix Creed • Congregational Printout

      * *  St. Felix Creed • Choir Score (Modern Notation)

      * *  St. Felix Creed • Choir Score (Gregorian)

      * *  St. Felix Creed • Organ Accompaniment Score

HERE’S WHAT I TRIED to accomplish in writing this piece:

1.) I wanted this setting to be interesting, so people don’t get bored after a few weeks. On the other hand, I kept the congregational sections in a low range, with somewhat simple melodies.

2.) With respect to switching between sections, the Creed is very long, so I tried to “mix it up.” If it goes back and forth in a predictable, monotonous way, people get nauseated.

3.) The congregational sections tend toward a “brighter” reciting tone, while the cantor parts hover around a “darker” reciting tone — again, to keep things interesting!

4.) I treated the cadences differently each time, rather than doing the same thing a billion times, over and over.

      * *  St. Felix Creed • Audio Practice Recording (Mp3 File)


If you appreciate this Creed setting, please consider donating $5.00 per month. Thanks!