DON’T KNOW anything about the “Archdiocesan Music Commission,” whose address was at COLUMBIA COLLEGE in Dubuque. Perhaps one of our readers from Iowa could fill me in? I assume they had the best of intentions. They give a list of forbidden works, which they preface as follows: “The music commission of the Archdiocese of Dubuque with the authority of the Most Reverend Archbishop insists that all so-called choir music which was disapproved at the Society of Saint Gregory of America convention—held in Rochester, New York, May 4-6, 1922—may not be permitted within the churches or chapels within the Archdiocese of Dubuque.” Then they list a whole bunch of hymnals they consider forbidden, but conveniently not the hymnal produced by the founder and president of the Society of Saint Gregory of America. I notice they also blacklist “all Masses written by” a number of composers, including the Jesuit priest, Father Louis Lambillotte (d. 1855). That’s somewhat sad, since Father Lambillotte’s tombstone says: Qui cecinit Jesum et Mariam, eripuitque tenebris Gregorium, hunc superis insere, Christe, choris. [“Receive, O Christ, into Thy choirs above him who sang the praises of Jesus and Mary, and rescued the music of Gregory from the darkness of ages.”]
* PDF Download • “Sacred Music White List” (114 pages)
—Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa • “Approved List of Church Music” (1938).
Good + Bad • At the beginning of the book, they provide a praiseworthy collection of quotes vis-à-vis sacred music. On the other hand, their spelling could have used some proofreading: