- I know that in my last post (cf. n. 3) I stated that my next post would be either my undergraduate thesis (2nd ed.) or on the Sorrowful Mysteries as reflected upon – mind you – “in the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. Just checking.
But, today being the consistory where for Bl. José Sánchez del Río [pictured] – among (notable) others – canonisation was approved, I am sharing a second, more original, piece of music. Can I just interject here to appreciate the memorable date on which I was born? Go Agnes!
- Timely as this may be, in fact it is a quick replacement for a prior post that suggested itself only after n. 3 above: for the coming Sunday my intention was to work on and share my musical settings for the revised Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem.
I had composed these for my diocese’s approval/use but, my previous submissions having not at least been acknowledged, yet mid-year last in person I chanced upon the person largely responsible for this and his promise of a meeting encouraged me to wait.
I’m still waiting.
- Now, with this “second” piece and the Pontifical Hymn so referenced above, a pattern will form whereby one could describe my music as derivative. And one would be right: I am no proper musician…though I could get by.
But my work, like anyone’s even if it sticks to da text (as mine does), needs to be approved “in every respect” – as the Roman Canon would say despite this not being “the offering”. E.g. I’ve found out that “Rome ever blessed!” is technically infringement.
(I had written the Libreria Editrice Vaticana late in 2014 for permission to publish it, of course in a medium other than this then-inactive blog, since it claims copyright for the original work as far back as 1950.
(If I remember correctly, it was just after I published the translation that I wrote again, this time to all persons possibly relevant. This is almost eighteen months since. They replied this time, but calling it a matter for the State Secretariat, to whom they forwarded my request.
(I plan to write them directly.)
- Of course something more immediate like the Palm Sunday music or this hymn is approved locally, in the diocese of one who wishes to use it, but it is for this reason and that of the solemnity of the former work’s occasion that I will not post same in haste.
(Oh, and I forgot: what about an Imprimatur for the lyrics?)
Is this thinking too much of myself? Would anyone in fact use this? When I saw hits on the Pontifical Hymn from the Philippines, in hope and glee I recalled from rather long ago the birdie in the Loggia, as well as another of his songs, though this one I had seen before.
No disrespect to their people, but it is not a bad stereotype – especially in regard to the former with its similar theme and style – when considering the sorry state of mainstream anglophone Catholic musical worship, though to be fair they are also known for this.
- At any rate, whether my work is used or refused, I do it…come to think of it…interestingly, not because I can do it, but because better can be done. (My surprise here is in the fine line “can” is between the two…”proposals”; the former, unlike the latter, is rarely a reason.)
Even if we by ourselves could escape inherent subjectivity to offer God the objectively best musical worship, yet by divine simplicity, we would simply be running back in this way of optimism to the God who created us otherwise (in a manner of expression).
Instead, by aiming for the best in spite of our human condition, we fulfil purposes both of this universal creature being of God and of our unique selves. A King does need subjects just as subjects need a king and necessity is the mother of invention (or derivation in my case).
(UPDATE: I fell asleep the night before listening to Bp Barron on Nature and Grace; listening again, after posting, I thought about what I had written and jokingly chalked it up to successful work on my subconscious…but I must try not to fall asleep on him again: he’s a great preacher!)
- Which leaves me to my final point: the tune is the “Marcha Real” [scroll down] or the Spanish “Royal March”; yet, known for the country’s national anthem, one may ask whether any other use is appropriate.
While the fact that Spain’s anthem has no official lyrics, thus reducing that to which one may appeal to claim derivation instead of reproduction, yet since 1908 particular arrangements have been officially associated with this use.
It means – technically, at least; and notice my choice of words – that using only the melody line is not misusing the anthem. Moreover, in my use, there are lyrics and these do not immediately reflect the country. (I am however using the complete version with official tempo and key signature.)
What’s my point? If you are looking for arrangements to the melody concerned, please don’t use the “particular” ones, either that of Pérez Casas or that of Grau Vergara. This will constitute both misuse of the national symbol and copyright infringement.
Not that I am against taking inspiration from such inspirational pieces: more recently I have composed for another tune using my own country’s anthem, but I was late if I had to release it when it should be used.
On the other hand Easter is not a bad time to do this since it is rather the point of the hymn. Hopefully I will, then, as soon as the current sidebar countdown ends. Until then, and yet as always, ¡viva Cristo rey!
Comment below! Do you get where I was going with the lyrics?