“They must be taught that it is folly to attempt music beyond their powers, and that it is a mistake to despise all but difficult compositions. Some of the sublimest music ever written is simplicity itself. I need only mention Palestrina’s Improperia and Mozart’s Ave verum as instances of this.”
—Sir Richard Runciman Terry (d. 1938)
NE OF THE THINGS I’ve learned about blogging is…it’s much harder than I realized. I used to read articles and blogs, and if I came across one sentence I disagreed with, I’d condemn the author as not worth reading. If I came across one mistake, I’d consign that website to oblivion. If I noticed one typo or formatting error, I’d basically assume the editor is a worthless idiot. It turns out it’s a lot easier to criticize than create something positive!
More than a decade ago, I discovered Terry’s book on Catholic Church Music. At that time, I decided it was “okay,” but didn’t agree with every single statement. I foolishly felt I could do better. Well, I revisited it a few days ago only to realize that it’s truly amazing!
Here are his Seven Rules for Church Music:
The CMAA is to be commended for making Terry’s book available.