Muzak for the Mass

Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.

Moderators: Dom Perignon, Casimir

Post Reply
oopsorganist
Posts: 739
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 9:55 pm
Location: Leeds

Muzak for the Mass

Post by oopsorganist » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:50 am

Oh dear. I really don't like it.
If people really feel it is appropriate to play recorded music during, for example, the actual passing of the collection bag/plate, or during the Communion Procession, is there any way it which it can dignified so as not to be, Muzac for the Mass?

I include light classical music of a non sacred genre, and easy listening "sing something simple" type versions of modern hymns in my list of yeuks.

It can all become just too bland.
uh oh!

User avatar
VML
Posts: 674
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:57 am
Parish / Diocese: Clifton Diocese
Location: Glos

Re: Muzak for the Mass

Post by VML » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:47 am

Too true oops! So far, thank God, we have not had recorded music for Sunday Mass, but a 'suitable' CD (not so suitable when it breaks into Glorias and Alleluias during Passiontide,) is played during confessions at the Lent and Advent reconciliation services; we used to have the choir singing Taize chants, and organ quiet music. And last week a requiem Mass began with Rod Stewart singing Sailing, and the recessional was Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell......

JW
Posts: 794
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:46 am
Location: Kent

Re: Muzak for the Mass

Post by JW » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:53 pm

It's better if there is a decent live musician or a group to play during those periods. For example a flautist plays during our Communion Procession and our group will play a verse of the Offertory hymn if needed. But you do need decent musicians..

For organists, I did a thread 10 years ago suggesting easyish pieces that could be played each Sunday of the year, there are lots of other suggestions out there. Recorded music is impersonal. Whilst it may be pastorally necessary at weddings and funerals, it's important not to have anything inappropriate.

A couple of months ago, I was going through music with a bride to be. She said she was coming in to a CD of Pachelbel's Canon, so I played it on the organ for her. The response was:

"That's lovely, I didn't know you could play that on the organ, would you play it at our wedding?"

So sometimes we need to do a bit of educating.
JW

oopsorganist
Posts: 739
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 9:55 pm
Location: Leeds

Re: Muzak for the Mass

Post by oopsorganist » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:53 pm

Oh there was a musician at this Mass! I think they were playing anyway. Maybe it was all recorded. I shall study it next time I go there. The hymns were bland too. It was Instant Whip, strawberry flavour.

Using recorded music during the collection and then singing a hymn afterwards - it's all a bit awkward really. It would have been much better to have some quiet organ doodling around the coming hymn, rather than something completely non liturgical. My attention was immediately diverted onto identifying the music,and then being a bit surprised at the selection.

Music for wandering around.
uh oh!

User avatar
VML
Posts: 674
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:57 am
Parish / Diocese: Clifton Diocese
Location: Glos

Re: Muzak for the Mass

Post by VML » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:16 pm

I know what you mean about identifying muzak, and the distraction! Re the Pachelbel, it was the in and out cd for a funeral I did three weeks ago. First since new PP arrived, but another priest was doing it. Quite a search for the cd player, so I said I'd play it. Player found, and used for entrance, then celebrant came over and asked me to play it going out. Less hassle than finding the right track!

alan29
Posts: 1062
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 8:04 pm
Location: Wirral

Re: Muzak for the Mass

Post by alan29 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:54 pm

There was Muzak for the in and out at the funeral I played for today. I don't like it, but I just take the money and run when it happens.
A few years ago the group were playing at a wedding. We were given strict instructions that there would be a CD before the bridal procession. It was the Pachelbel. It finished early, so we picked it up and kept it going until she arrived. Hah! That'll learn them.
Then again a new PP decided that he would play CDs during the Good Friday veneration of the cross. Barber adagio etc. Blow that! In subsequent years we have sung the reproaches and finished with "When I survey" when everyone is back in their places. The roof is raised!
The one time I have heard it used well was in an ancient rural church in France. The priest played a CD of Bach organ music at communion. Just loud enough to provide atmosphere. The recording/performance and PA equipment were all excellent. Organists are usually out of sight anyway --- so it was very effective.

markyboy2000
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:59 pm
Parish / Diocese: Middlesbro

Re: Muzak for the Mass

Post by markyboy2000 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:02 pm

For some years I regularly played funerals for the URC. The then minister always had an organist for them, as she felt we were attuned to mood and timings. Not once did she have muzak, even though they were fully set up for CD hymns as they had no organist of their own at the time.
Recently at my usual place we've started having muzak recessionals, either instead of, or after, a final hymn. I don't like it, nor does PP, but families expect it and undertakers won't argue with them. I'm paid the same whatever.
I'm sure we can all think of tracks which could be played - I really like the idea of Meatloaf's greatest hit (somehow fits the airbrushed eulogies we endure). My least favourite would be Somewhere over the rainbow, but the one time we had it this concluded a funeral where we sang All things B&B, and Morning has broken, so there was a bit of a theme - and I had no idea the deceased was RC despite knowing him for years
.

Peter
Posts: 239
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:05 pm

Re: Muzak for the Mass

Post by Peter » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:46 pm

A church in France I've visited a couple of times appears to use a mixture of live and recorded music but does so very effectively; I reported on it under the "Liturgical Tourism" heading here viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1511#p21148, so I won't repeat now what I wrote then.

Recorded music is often a feature of crematorium services, where it is likely to get faded in and out rather unsympathetically. My aunt had specifically wished to have Mendelssohn's "Oh Rest in the Lord" at her funeral and, as it was not possible to play a recording in the church at the end of her Requiem Mass, it was played at the end of the committal in the crematorium - at least it was started but then faded out, after which the operator noticed that everyone was still seated, so he called out "Oh, did you want to hear the rest of it?" It was then either faded back in or restarted, I can't remember which, but by then the effect was spoilt. :x

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests