LTP: 1-56854-153-8 (CODE: MUSISB)

When Alan Hommerding and I first discussed the scope and content of this collection, it became clear that there was no single obvious approach to take. Most of the people who have contributed their cherished quotes to this book are liturgical ministers. Naturally, this provides a kind of focus--one that never strays far from God. But musicians and liturgists are an opinionated and contentious lot. Some prefer the passionate and the sensual, while others strive for simplicity and "pure spirit." We would be hard pressed to arrive at a definition of music that all could ascribe to. Are notes on a page music? Is the song of a bird music?

Much of what you will read in this anthology appears contradictory. The perception of a piece of music is a very personal experience, yet "anyone with ears to hear" shares in the experience, and consequently, has an opinion. Perhaps it is the contradictions that provide for creativity and diversity. The tensions are a metaphor for the greater human struggle to bring about the reign of God. With this understanding, conflicting quotes are at times deliberately brought together. For example, while the famous excerpt from Ecclesiastes tells us that there is nothing new under the sun, others excitedly explore future possibilities for music-making. Throughout, there is the juxtaposition of the personal with the communal and the human with the divine.

Still, this is not a comprehensive collection of quotes about music. It is, rather, a collection of beloved texts from the storehouses of a small yet diverse group of musicians and liturgists. A conscious effort has been made to keep this book in the style of LTP's other Sourcebooks. We have drawn from poetry, fiction, sacred song and scripture, as well as from the thoughts of composers, performers, church leaders, musicologists and philosophers, eastern and western, ancient and modern.

The following people must be thanked for their contributions to this book: Bob Batastini; Marcia Berry; David Cinquegrani, CP; Chris Comella; Kelly Dobbs-Mickus; Dorothy Dwight, BVM; William Ferris; Edward Foley, CAP; Nick Freund; Robert A. Harris; Mike Hay; Ted Heppner; Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ; Robert M. Hutmacher, OFM; Steve Janco; J. Michael Joncas; Mary Beth Kunde-Anderson; Denise LaGiglia; David Larsen; James Marchionda, OP; J. Michael McMahon; John Allyn Melloh, SM; Paul Philibert, OP; David Philippart; Ron Rendek; Victor Sanders; David Seitz; Tom Strickland; Randall Swanson; James Michael Thompson; Vicky Tufano; Mary Louise Van Dyke; Jeffrey Wasson; Scott Weidler and Michael Wustrow.

This book is not meant to be read cover to cover, but there is an implied flow and structure. The music-making discussed herein begins and ends with the oneness of all things, flowing from a loving creator. (Even the self-proclaimed non-believer would likely admit that music can and frequently does lead us to the realm of something greater than ourselves.) It is in this spirit that we offer what Alan has called a banquet of texts. -- Diana Kodner (from the Introduction)

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