About this blogger:
Andrew Leung is a seminarian for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio. He has served as Director of Music at St. Pius X Church (Atlanta) and taught Gregorian chant at the Cistercian Monastery of the Holy Spirit (Georgia). For two years, he will be studying in Macau, China.
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Two pages of modal exercises reflect Liszt’s lively theoretical curiosity. On those pages he analysed the construction, transpositions, and “points of repose” of several modes, copied out several types of tetrachords, and jotted down several definitions of the effects and characters of certain modes. {…} Modality was not the only element of Gregorian chant that intrigued Liszt. Rhythm too was the object of his “studies.” He also copied out plainchant melodies using modern instead of square notation. In his letter from July 24, 1860, to Carolyne, Liszt refers to the necessity of this “modern” practice.
— Nicolas Dufetel on Franz Liszt's interest in plainsong

“Proper Of The Mass” (Ignatius Press) • Part 5 of 7
published 21 April 2015 by Andrew Leung

CTL Sameul Weber HIS PAST SUNDAY, my schola chanted the Introit from The Proper of the Mass for Sundays and Solemnities and it was absolutely beautiful. This collection of antiphons makes the sung Propers available to people with different levels of musical abilities. What a great contribution Fr. Samuel Weber has made to modern Church Music!

As artists, we have special appreciation for the beauty: beautiful music, works of art, architecture and of course, liturgical books. This is a hard-covered book with a simple, but nice, design on the cover. The book has about one thousand pages including a guide on reading chant notation. All the antiphons are printed very clearly and the prints are slightly bigger than the ones in the Graduale Romanum. Musicians are naturally attracted to beautiful things; and a beautiful chant book encourages singers to make use of the book.

It is very important to have beautiful liturgical books. The beauty of the books will draw people into the content of the book. It is more likely that people get interested in a nice book than missalettes with cheap paper and poor artwork. It is also more likely that singers would want to read from a chant book with clear printing than from a binder with hand-written scores.

That brings up another question: Is it better to have a hard copy of the book than a soft copy? I would say YES! It is true that technology allows us to bring many books with us on a phone, iPad, etc. However, there are also a lot of other data, games or messages on these electronic devices and they can distract us and take away the sacredness of the music. Reading from a hard copy of the book also avoid problems like “low battery”, “frozen screen”, and other technological errors.

This article is part of a series on Fr. Weber’s Book of Propers:

Part 1 • Andrew Motyka

Part 2 • Richard Clark

Part 3 • Veronica Brandt

Part 4 • Fr. David Friel

Part 5 • Andrew Leung

Part 6 • Dr. Lucas Tappan

Part 7 • Jeff Ostrowski