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Good Music, Sacred Music, & Silence

Three Gifts of God for Liturgy and for Life

344 pages
St. Benedict Press LLC
More is at stake in the music we listen to or perform than most people are aware. In this vivacious and challenging work, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski-a philosopher, theologian, composer, conductor, and singer-explains why the great classical music of Western civilization is morally and intellectually good for us, as well as why certain other forms of music can actually be harmful. Kwasniewski then offers a defense of the magnificent treasury of sacred music in the Latin-rite Catholic Church and shows how well-suited it is to divine worship, especially the incomparable art form known as Gregorian chant. Questioned and abandoned in recent tumultuous decades, this outstanding heritage of beauty deserves to be restored for profound theological and spiritual reasons, a restoration our times are at last beginning to see as old prejudices fade away. Kwasniewski issues a poignant crie de cour in favor of restoring the glorious sacred music of our tradition to every Roman Catholic church on the earth. No genuine liturgical renewal or deep Eucharistic revival can occur until this happens: music is that important. Finally, Kwasniewski shows how silence is as valuable as-indeed, at times, more valuable than-even the greatest music, precisely because music at its best opens the way to encountering a reality that transcends all we can say or sing. Written to be accessible to the non-specialist, Good Music, Sacred Music, and Silence: Three Gifts of God for Liturgy and for Life will benefit all Catholics, other Christians, and even aesthetically curious nonbelievers who wish to explore the art of music in general, its role in human life, its effects on morality, and its inspired and inspiring function in religion. Kwasniewski's wide-ranging erudition and sound argumentation provide essential musical guidance for clergy, musicians, teachers, and parents.
Author Bio
Dr. Peter Kwasniewski taught theology, philosophy, music, and art history at various undergraduate and graduate institutions from 1998 to 2018, and has directed choirs from 1994 to the present. Today he is a full-time writer, speaker, editor, and composer known for his public advocacy of traditional Catholicism, especially in its liturgical sphere. His work has been translated into at least eighteen languages.