Wednesday, April 27, 2016
In the Spirit of Fraternal Encouragement: A Music Detox
John Cuddeback, a philosophy professor at Christendom College, has invited his Bacon From Acorns blog readers to join him in listening to only a select few "classical" music pieces for two weeks. I think it is a grand idea! It offers a reset of our emotions and an opportunity to get to know several beautiful pieces intimately. Read his post linked above to get his list of recommended pieces, overflowing with musical antioxidants.
Mr. Cuddeback does not include any Gregorian chant because of its intended use as liturgical prayer, but here I must lovingly disagree. Are we not to pray without ceasing? And is not the home our domestic church? I think it would add greatly to the efficaciousness of the "fast" to listen to one piece of chant every day for the two weeks, especially if you did it first thing in the morning to help set the tone for the rest of your day. Aside from the graces to be gained, it would also give our parasympathetic nervous systems, so overloaded with the stimuli of modern culture, a rest, as Gregorian chant appeals directly to the intellect, not the passions.
Need more inspiration? Here are two things I read today that I found immensely edifying.
Twelve Latin Chants Every Catholic Should Know: This is great for narrowing down the choices, and it gives a little background with each chant. Well, actually I lied. It didn't help me narrow the choices. With each description I was sure that I would finally decide on THAT piece, only to read the next description and decide that it was THE ONE. Maybe I shall start at the top of the list and listen to each piece for two weeks until I have absorbed each one into my being.
Feeding Our Children Liturgical Garbage: Jeff Ostrowski, who holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Theory, explains in a short Views from the Choir Loft blog post why we should listen to the best music and provide it for our children. He shares some stellar quotes, too.