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letters | on the venerable church organ

Organist sounds a bitter note

Jen nifer Graham’s screed against organs betrays an ignorance of music and currents in sacred music practice (no serious organist takes Cameron Carpenter seriously). However, the fundamental point is that Graham seems to blame the organ itself for the Roman Catholic Church’s colossal failure, since Vatican II, to devise a viable body of quality hymnody or to show any respect for its own glorious musical tradition or the skills of trained musicians.

I speak from bitter experience as an organist. The attitude of Roman Catholic leadership toward musicians is usually punitive at best. Organists are routinely tyrannized by so-called music directors who insist on practices violently antithetical to congregational singing, and who hold up trite rubbish as “relevant” music.

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