You’ve got questions about sacred music? Here’s your chance to learn what the Church teaches and envisions for music in the sacred liturgy.
Welcome to Square Notes: The Sacred Music Podcast with your host Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka. We address topics of interest both to priests and liturgical musicians, as well as a general audience of Catholics interested in learning more about the Catholic Church’s teachings and treasury of sacred music. Our topics range from discussion of Church documents on sacred music, to the music of certain composers or eras, Gregorian chant, the role of music in Catholic education, and techniques for directing a better choir rehearsal. We’ll interview bishops, priests, music directors, composers, teachers, philosophers, and theologians. We’ll talk to people who found a home in the Catholic Church because they heard the call of Christ in the Church’s sacred music. We’ll ask questions about how really great music programs are doing their work. We’ll introduce you to Catholics who love their faith and, through sacred music, offer all their efforts for his glory and the sanctification of all who hear them.
We aim for our podcast to be thoughtful, encouraging, and informative. We hope, too, that it will inspire and motivate you to work for the renewal of authentic beauty in sacred music—whether you’re a working church musician or an average Catholic in the pews wondering what’s going on. With the prayers of our patronesses, Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom and Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity, we hope to help draw souls to Christ through the beauty of the Church’s sacred music.
SE05 EP16 - Charles Tournemire as Liturgical Organist: Improviser & Composer of L’Orgue Mystique with Kevin Faulkner
As he works on finishing up his biography of French Catholic organist, improviser, and composer Charles Tournemire, Kevin Faulkner joins us to discuss Tournemire's studies with Franck, his career as an organist, his improvisations, a look at his overall compositional output, focusing on works for the organ, and how his monumental composition L'Orgue Mystique fits into the sung Mass.
To learn more about L'Orgue Mystique, check out the collection of essays entitled Mystic Modern: https://shop.musicasacra.com/product/mystic-modern-the-music-thought-and-legacy-of-charles-tournemire-eds-donelson-schloesser/
To learn more about the Organ Improvisation Seminar as part of the Catholic Institute of Sacred Music's Summer 2023 term, visit: https://catholicinstituteofsacredmusic.org/
SE05 EP15 - All about Rogation Days - with Dr. Michael Foley
Coming to you on April 25th, the Major Rogation Day, we're joined on this episode by Dr. Michael Foley, professor of patristics at Baylor University, to look at the origins of Rogation Days, as well as their meaning, liturgical and paraliturgical observances, and significance in our lives today.
Check out Dr. Foley's books here: https://michaelpfoley.info/my-writings
Learn more about the Catholic Institute of Sacred Music's summer course, "History of the Roman Rite," July 24 to 28 here: https://catholicinstituteofsacredmusic.org/
SE05 EP14 - Sanctifying Time: The Hours of the Divine Office through the Day and through the Liturgical Year - with Dr. William Mahrt
In the midst of Holy Week, we invite you to join Dr. William Mahrt (Stanford) for a tour in time through the lens of the Divine Office. We discuss theological thoughts on time by St. Augustine, natural vs. supernatural senses of time, the structure of the Divine Office throughout the course of one day, and the different intersecting cycles which make up the liturgical year.
To learn more about this topic, check out Dr. Mahrt's summer 2023 advanced seminar on Chants of the Divine Office: https://catholicinstituteofsacredmusic.org/.
SE05 EP13 - Becoming a Sacrifice of Praise: Advice for Choral Directors for Pursuing Musical Excellence & Developing a Polyphonic Repertoire in Parish Choirs - with Christopher Berry
Looking for fresh ideas about how to take your parish choir to the next level, developing a repertoire of well-prepared polyphonic motets and ordinaries, helping your singers develop their technique and musicianship, and integrate it all into the bigger spiritual picture of the offering of one's very self united to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross? Prof. Christopher Berry of St. Stanislaus Oratory in Milwaukee tackles all these topics, with advice about warm-ups, how to get through a bunch of repertoire with limited rehearsal time, and which motets and masses to start with.
To learn more about or apply for this summer's Choral Institute at the Catholic Institute of Sacred Music, please visit: https://catholicinstituteofsacredmusic.org/.
SE05 Bonus 1 - The Role of Beauty and the Church's Sacred Music in the Spiritual Life, Intro to the Catholic Institute of Sacred Music - with Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka
We've combined two episodes here of another podcast, A Culture of Beauty with host Sequoia Sierra, in which our host, Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka was interviewed. She's talks a little bit about her experience of growing up Catholic and discovering the Church's teachings on music later in life, discusses some key concepts about that teaching and about beauty that she finds effective in helping other Catholics see the role of these things in the spiritual life, and gives an overview of the mission and offerings of the Catholic Institute of Sacred Music.
Learn more about the Catholic Institute of Sacred Music here: https://catholicinstituteofsacredmusic.org/
SE05 EP12 - The Lives and Musical Education of Child Oblates in Medieval Monasteries - with Dr. Susan Boynton
The medieval practice of the giving of children as oblates to monasteries affords valuable insights into education during the Middle Ages, as well as into the development of pedagogical techniques for teaching the liturgy, Latin, and sacred music to children. Join us for an episode in which Dr. Susan Boynton, Professor of Historical Musicology and Director of Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Columbia University, helps us understand the lives and place of children in medieval monasteries, what they sang in liturgies, and how they learned to sing this repertoire. The conversation also develops into a look at the training of children in cathedral schools.
For more information about Dr. Boynton, see: https://music.columbia.edu/bios/susan-boynton
To buy the book Young Choristers, 650–1700, a book co-edited by Dr. Boynton, visit: https://boydellandbrewer.com/9781843834137/young-choristers-650-1700/
For more information about the History and Principles of Sacred Music course being offered this summer at the Catholic Institute of Sacred Music, please visit: https://catholicinstituteofsacredmusic.org/
Cardinal Sarah interview
This interview should be required listening for all clerics and liturgical musicians. Wonderful!
Thoughtful and Valuable Work
A well produced work that brings insight and appreciation to music and worship from a reverent and knowledgeable point of view.
Really great Catholic podcast!
Definitely a must-listen podcast for anyone wanting to learn about sacred music!