Liturgical music category

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Liturgical music category

Post by bobnotts »

I just changed the genre category on Audit in evangelio (Tommaso Graziani) from Liturgical music to Motet since I thought it was categorised incorrectly. But on reflection, I decided I don't really know what "liturgical music" means in the context of CPDL. This isn't helped by the lack of information on the category page. Mass settings, acclaimations, etc are liturgical, but should they be categorised here? It seems to me the "liturgical music" category would be better for sacred works which don't fit into any other category.
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Re: Liturgical music category

Post by joachim »

The main problem seems to be the word 'liturgy'. First of all, its meaning is ambiguous from an ecclesiastical point of view: in the East, 'Liturgy' (with a capital L) refers to our equivalent of the eucharist, whereas for us in the West, it is a general concept referring to all sorts of 'public worship', either eucharist or divine office.

Secondly, even if one were to narrow its meaning down to, say, a particular kind of service, there would still be the issue of 'genre clashes': after all, a Mass setting is just as much liturgical music as, say, an introit or alleluia setting. The concept seems to cover a range of more specific genres that already exist.

As a contributor, I've tried to stick to a rule of thumb that I'd label Mass settings as 'mass', Mass repertoire as 'motet' and office repertoire as 'liturgical music', though I have to admit I do not have any scientific or bibliographical reason to do so - it just felt natural.

IMHO, this wide range of applications renders this category name rather useless - I fail to see how a user query based on it would yield anything but an endless list of scores requiring more searches. The only case in which its use would make sense are those pieces whose category is lacking in the drop-down menu of the 'add works' form. In the case Rob quotes, I chose 'liturgical music' since 'responsory' (which this piece is) wasn't on the list.


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