Those who select and prepare the liturgical music repertoire for a parish need to have these basic musical listening skills to be able to discern the musical quality of a piece. Remember that there are three judgments used to discern the appropriateness of a musical piece for liturgy:
- Musical judgment: Is it good quality music? Is it beautiful? Is the melody interesting yet logically-written, that is, does it seem natural in its line? Do the text and music complement each other?
- Liturgical judgment: Does it serve the purpose of the part of the liturgy for which it is selected? Does it reflect the season, the Sunday, the rite?
- Pastoral judgment: Can your particular assembly sing it well? Do they like singing it? Does it reflect the sensibility of the assembly? Does it enable them to express their faith confidently?
To musically judge a piece, we need some skills in learning what to listen for. Watch these Boston Pops performances to whet your appetite for more training in music appreciation.