Books, Documents & Digital Media
A Treasure of Inestimable Value
The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art.
Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, n. 112
The treasure of the Church’s sacred music is open to all, and is discovered and appreciated more and more. CMAA members work to share this wealth of knowledge and art and apply it in our parishes.
Here, through the internet, CMAA offers classic and contemporary books and articles on sacred music, free to download, read, and share. Many of them are also available in print form at the CMAA Shop.
- Gregorian Chant: A Guide by Daniel Saulnier (2003, 2010)
- Gregorian Musical Values, by J.H. Desrocquettes (1960)
- The Rhythm of Plainsong (Dom Joseph Gajard, 1943)
- A Study of Gregorian Rhythm (Le Nombre Musical Gregorien) by Dom André Mocquereau
Essays, History, Spirituality
- The Bugnini-Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform by László Dobszay (2003): the renowned liturgical scholar reviews the ritual changes propulgated by Pope Paul VI, discusses the state of church music, and considers the possibility of a “reform of the reform”.
- Catholic Church Music by Richard Terry (1907): this guide by the organist of Westminster Cathedral records the musical and ritual practice of his era.
- Chants of the Vatican Gradual (1934) by Dominic Johner, OSB [two missing pages of above PDF here]: a musical and spiritual commentary on the chants for the Sundays and major feasts of the year.
- Crux et Cithara, ed. Robert Skeris (1983): a collection of essays in honor of the German priest, theologian, and church musician Johannes Overath
- Cum Angelis Canere: A Festschrift for Richard J. Schuler, edited by Robert Skeris: essays in honor of the Minnesota pastor and long-time editor of Sacred Music
- Frequently Asked Questions on Sacred Music
- The Musical Shape of the Liturgy by Dr. William Mahrt: the Stanford professor of medieval and early modern music, an expert on performance practice, opens up the deep relation between the Roman liturgy and its characteristic music, Gregorian chant.
- Sing Like a Catholic by Jeffrey Tucker: essays on the revival of sacred music in present-day parishes
- The Spirit of Gregorian Chant by Marie Pierik (1939): a small book but wide-ranging, with chapters on history, notation, word, rhythm, liturgy, melody, and musicians.
- Catholic Church Music, by Richard Terry (1907): this guide by the organist of Westminster Cathedral records the musical and ritual practice of his era.
- 24 Frequently Asked Questions on Sacred Music
- Music rubrics for high Mass (1962 Missal)
- Music rubrics for low Mass (1962 Missal)
- One page description of musical rubrics for the EF Mass (1961)
- Psallite Sapienter: A Musician’s Guide to the 1962 Missal: organist B. Andrew Mills guides musicians through the classic form of the Roman Rite
- Rules Governing Chant: an excerpt from the Liber Usualis
Sacred Music Documents
- Pope Francis’ address to the Italian Saint Cecilia Association (2019)
- Chirograph on Sacred Music (Pope John Paul II, 2003), on the 100th anniversary of Pius X’s Tra le sollecitudini
- Letter to Artists (Pope John Paul II, 1999)
- Ordo Cantus Officii (1983): music rubrics for the Liturgy of the Hours
- Ordo Cantus Missae introduction: an unofficial translation of the Latin introduction to the 1974 Graduale Romanum and the Ordo Cantus Missae
- Voluntati Obsequens (1974), a letter to bishops from the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship on the publication of Jubilate Deo as a minimum repertoire of plainchant
- Musicam Sacram (1967), musical principles for the implementation of the liturgical reform (from the Sacred Congregation of Rites, English translation)
- Musicam Sacram (1967) in Latin
- De musica sacra et sacra liturgia: (Latin, 1958): rubrics to encourage the sung Mass and implement the encyclical Musicae Sacrae of Pius XII
- De musica sacra et sacra liturgia (English translation, 1958)
- Musicae Sacrae, the encyclical of Pius XII on sacred music (1955)
- Tra le sollecitudini (1903): the groundbreaking letter of Pope Pius X that started a century of development in the Church’s approach to sacred music
- Sacred Music Journal Archives
- “Our Position” (1904): Raphael Molitor OSB (Beuron) on the value of the Vatican edition of plainchant
- Sacred Music and Liturgy Reform (1966/69)
- Gregorian Chant, The Greatest Unison Music, by Mother Georgia Stevens, director of the Pius X School of Liturgical Music
- From the St. Gregory Society:
- Copyright information for the Liber and Graduale
Additional Scholarly Works
Hidden Treasure: Can the Church recover her musical heritage? by Susan Benofy (at adoremus.org): an introduction to the Church’s 20th-century teaching documents on music
The Proper Chants of the Paschal Triduum by Mark Daniel Kirby, OSB
Sacred Art and Images
Images suitable for inclusion in liturgy programs, bulletins or other sacred uses.
- At images.musicasacra.com (free to use, from public-domain sources)
- (Please note: these other sites have their own permissions policies)
Colloquium Music Books