Catholic Music

This section will discuss the many categories and styles of Catholic music. Here is a beginning list which will be fine-tuned as we go along:

1) Traditional Gregorian chant.

2) Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque sacred music.

3) Hymnody: liturgical music for congregational singing, usually following a form of stanza-stanza-stanza or stanza-chorus-stanza-chorus-stanza-chorus.

4) Contemporary Liturgical (Stage 1): Liturgical music for congregation singing, post Vatican II up to around 1990. A heavy Folk/Broadway influence, as defined by the St. Louis Jesuits, North American Liturgy Resources (NALR),  Schutte, Haugen, Haas, Joncas, Foley, Farrell, Dufford, O’Connor and others.  This seems to be the predominant form today.

5) Contemporary Liturgical (stage 2): Liturgical music for congregational singing, post 1990s, after the first style has taken root, and are not as dated-sounding as the former, but are still not as well known as its forebears. Example: Spirit and Song.

6) Praise and Worship: Music for small groups, charismatic groups, evangelical outreach and prayerful meditation.  Jim Cowan, Songs of Praise, and a mixture of Maranatha/Integrity songs.  Also includes John Michael Talbot.

7) Modern Praise and Worship: music for youth groups, a little more cutting-edge, heavily U2-sounded, lots of emotion and repetition. Matt Maher, Spirit and Song and Catholic Metal are examples of this. Those who write worship music for groups are going to have to become familiar with this.

8) Non-Liturgical Inspirational and Self-Renewal Songs:  Songs to listen to at home, in the car, about real life and not meant for congregational singing. These songs can be used for education or personal ministry. Amy Grant is an example in this category.

9) Saint-specific Catholic devotions: Not just Mary (although she takes a big piece of the pie), but also Blessed Faustina, St Thérèse of Lisieux, St. Joseph, St. Jude. Really, any Saint that earns a major devotion, and the songs built around that.

10) Children’s songs: Songs for Sunday School, CCD, Catholic School, from elementary to youth-group. Not necessarily praise and worship; more for fun edutainment.

Are there any categories that we’ve missed?  Please share your comments below. 

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