37 episodes

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 hosts Peter Carter and Dr. Jennifer Donelson. 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.

Square Notes: The Sacred Music Podcast Square Notes: The Sacred Music Podcast

    • Christianity
    • 5.0, 69 Ratings

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 hosts Peter Carter and Dr. Jennifer Donelson. 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.

    Lectio Divina and Biblical Exegesis of Gregorian Chants for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost – with Dom Mark Kirby, OSB

    Lectio Divina and Biblical Exegesis of Gregorian Chants for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost – with Dom Mark Kirby, OSB

    Listen in on a sermon given last summer at Silverstream Priory in County Meath, Ireland, by the founding prior of the priory, Dom Mark Kirby, OSB, a priest-monk and musician. 

    Check out the Priory's website at https://www.cenacleosb.org. 

    As we conclude season 2, we'd like to say thank you for listening! Please consider taking a moment to rate us on iTunes and leave us a review, as doing so helps others find out about the podcast. 

    • 18 min
    7000+ Hours of Gregorian Chant – Behind the Scenes at the Neumz Project – with John Anderson & Alberto Díaz-Blanco

    7000+ Hours of Gregorian Chant – Behind the Scenes at the Neumz Project – with John Anderson & Alberto Díaz-Blanco

    The largest recording project in history is coming to life in an excellent new app for sacred musicians and those wishing to learn to pray and sing Gregorian chant in the Mass and Divine Office. In this episode we dive into the story of the monastery, the singing of the nuns at Notre Dame de Fidélité in Jouques, France, their sister monastery in Bénin, and the exciting new Neumz project with two of the main figures behind the project, John Anderson and Alberto Díaz-Blanco.

    • 23 min
    Where Do I Start? A Pastoral Plan for Changing a Parish Music Program - with Dr. Mary Jane Ballou

    Where Do I Start? A Pastoral Plan for Changing a Parish Music Program - with Dr. Mary Jane Ballou

    Is there an opportunity for improvement in your parish music program? Has there been a change in personnel, circumstances, or resources that makes growth possible? Perhaps the COVID-19 pandemic has presented possibilities for progress.  Maybe you are looking at how to introduce the proper chants into a parish Mass, improve the hymnody used, or build the choral program. How does one make changes in a prudent and positive manner? Dr. Mary Jane Ballou joins us to discuss these and related questions.

    • 33 min
    Sacred Music as a Vital Part of Parish Life and Fellowship – Roundtable with Mary Ann Carr Wilson, Charles Cole, and Fr. Robert Pasley

    Sacred Music as a Vital Part of Parish Life and Fellowship – Roundtable with Mary Ann Carr Wilson, Charles Cole, and Fr. Robert Pasley

    In our first roundtable discussion on sacred music we talk with experienced church musicians and CMAA chaplain, Fr. Robert Pasley, about fostering community in parish life through building up sacred music programs.

    • 25 min
    Introduction to the Organ for Pianists – with Dr. Crista Miller

    Introduction to the Organ for Pianists – with Dr. Crista Miller

    Learn some tips and tricks to orient yourself along the journey from pianist-only, to organist-as-well. Dr. Crista Miller, Director of Music and Cathedral Organist at the Co-cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston, discusses differences in technique between the two instruments, learning to pedal, figuring out registration, and some great beginning repertoire.

    • 33 min
    40+ (Mostly Free) Resources for Making Excellent Sacred Music in a Time of Restrictions

    40+ (Mostly Free) Resources for Making Excellent Sacred Music in a Time of Restrictions

    Are you a music director looking for ideas about what to do whilst there are restrictions on sacred music put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? Check out this episode. It's not for the casual listener, and we don't go into any virology or epidemiology, but for the music director in search of music to sing and play when faced with limitations, we hope you'll find this helpful. For a link to all the resources mentioned in the episode and more, click here: https://sacredmusicpodcast.com/resources

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
69 Ratings

69 Ratings

MWesthead ,

Really great Catholic podcast!

Definitely a must-listen podcast for anyone wanting to learn about sacred music!

BenJoeFred ,

A valuable resource!

As a music director at a Catholic seminary, I have found these episodes to be of great value. I consider it a sort of weekly professional development. But I can see how anyone interested in Catholic sacred music and liturgy could also benefit from the episodes. The interviews are incredible, the topics are timely, and the hosts are engaging and articulate. Ad multos annos, Square Notes!

WeavinAndRatin ,

Delightful

I find this podcast one that I look forward to whenever it comes out, and it is exceedingly interesting! They talk about how to bring Sacred Music into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the best ways to do it, and things to look for; in addition, they interview musicians and choir directors!

The only thing I could ask for is more about some of the more obscure types of chants (such as Dominican, Ambrosian, Mozarabic) and their histories.

A truly enjoyable podcast, well worth the half hour of your life.

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