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So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.—2 Thessalonians 2:15

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pope St. Pius X: a word to drummers.

The following excerpt is from Pius X, A Country Priest (Pio X, Un Prete di Campagna) by Igino Giordani. Translation by Rt. Rev. Thomas J. Tobin (Bruce Publishing, 1954).
Having become pope, he desired that in every diocese a director of sacred music should be appointed, one endowed with sure taste for Church music, so that he might, in turn, form a nucleus of singers prepared to take their rightful part in the sacred liturgy.

(Pope Saint) Pius X knew music, and his secretary, Merry del Val, recalls that he could read any score on sight, beating time with his hand. "Those who heard him chant the Mass in St. Peter's or intone solemn Benediction in the Sistine Chapel will recall his suave, melodious voice."

At Solzano he had entrusted the direction of Church music to capable musicians, correct in taste, the Cusinati brothers, with instructions not to have popular melodies or ballet music in church and not to use drums and percussion instruments, as was then the custom. There were protests by parishioners who could not understand how the God of hosts could properly be praised without a roll of drums; but their parish priest remained firm in defending the decorum of the church and its sacred functions: the drums and cymbals had to maintain a silence quite foreign to their function in life.—p.172
'Nuff said?

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