A Complete and Practical Method of the Solesmes Plain Chant

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Yes; it is. As an instance, let us mention the Arch diocese of Cologne, where, in most churches, Plain Chant is sung to the exclusion of every other kind of music. And since it is there successfully used, it will be of interest to know that, as a rule, paid singers (men) are there employed to sing the Plain Chant. By singing it con stantly these men naturally become very efficient in the rendering of Chant, a thing very difficult to accomplish with the uncertain and unreliable quantity of volunteer singers. It is almost incomprehensible with what bother, strife, and with what abominable sort of church music some clergymen are willing to put up, in order to save the necessity of a comparatively small appropriation. A most laudable ambition to make the holy service impressive is manifested by the purchase of fine statues, etc., but church music, vastly more essential in divine service than statues, is too often left to the tender mercies of untrained and indifferent singers gathered by chance. It would probably surprise these same clergymen to learn with what a small stipend they could secure good and steady singers. But what about churches not able to make expenditures for Plain Chant choirs? True, there will be difficulties in the beginning. But gradually the good old institute of Cantors will be revived. The fact that women, often insufficiently instructed, have largely monopolized organists' positions in small churches, a fact which, by the way, has not by any means improved their standard of church music, has much to do with it that men able and in a position to undertake such places are now rare. The law of supply and demand will take care that, as soon as there will be openings for men in that direction, there will soon be men to take the places. And once the requirements of these places include the singing of Plain Chant, the applicants will have this requirement.10 A practical method OF plain chant. As to boys' choirs, they are difficult to establish, and more difficult to maintain. In large parishes only will it be feasible to make use of them. A thing much to be de sired, however, is music instruction in parish schools, whereby a good foundation may be laid for the proper rendering of church music.

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