Sacred Music Resources

Sacred Music Terms, Texts, Tunes, and Topics

The UIUC Music and Performing Arts Library contains a number of resources that can be useful to church musicians by:

Contents

Helpful General References
Catalog Subject Headings
Call Numbers
Definitions of liturgical terms and explanations of liturgical concepts
Sources for liturgical texts and translations
Guides to resources for particular times, seasons, and Scripture passages
Helpful Web Resources

 

Helpful General References

Many books dealing with these topics can be found by looking in Music Reference and Research Materials, 5 th ed., by Vincent Duckles and Ida Reed (ML 113 D83M8 1997). (1) Look especially in the categories "Dictionaries and Encyclopedias: Sacred Music" (entries 1.595-1.616), "Bibliographies of Music Literature: Sacred Music" (4.389-4.397), and "Bibliographies of Music: Sacred Music" (5.622-5.652). Many of the entries in Duckles are intended for scholars, but some are helpful on a practical level as well. You may also want to look in D. W. Krummel's Bibliographical Handbook of American Music (ML 120 U5 K78), chapter 12.

A collection focused specifically on sacred music topics is Church Music: An International Bibliography by Richard Chaffety von Ende (ML 128.C54 V66). Especially helpful are the sections on "Church Year," "Hymnal Companions," "Hymns and Hymn Tunes," "Liturgy and Ritual," "Mass," "Psalter," and "Worship, Music In." Also, you may want to look at Bibliography of Theses and Dissertations in Sacred Music by Kenneth R. Hartley (1967 edition; ML 128.S2 H27). The topical index will guide you to scholarly works on hymnology, liturgy, and related topics. For a brief general outline of the place of music in the worship of various denominations, including examples of orders of service, consult Appendix B (pp. 196-223) of A Musician's Guide to Church Music by Joy Lawrence and John Ferguson (ML stacks 783.026 L437m)

Catalog Subject Headings

When searching in the online catalog, try the following subject headings:

Call Numbers

The following call number ranges are useful for browsing, both in Reference and in the stacks:

In the Dewey collection: 245-264.2, 783
In the Library of Congress collection: ML128.C54 Sacred choral music, .H8 Hymns

Definitions of liturgical terms and explanations of liturgical concepts

The following resources are helpful when searching out definitions for a liturgical term, whether or not it is directly connected with music, or trying to find out background information on a part of the liturgy.

Many terms can also be located in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (ML 100 G76 N 38, copies in the Music and Performing Arts Library Ready-Reference collection and at the Index Table) but be prepared in Grove for long, scholarly articles. The most helpful general article in Grove is probably that on "Liturgy and liturgical books;" also look at "Mass.

Sources for liturgical texts and translations

Several sources mentioned elsewhere in this guide provide translations of common Latin texts encountered (usually) in Catholic contexts. The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy has an excellent appendix with commonly used choral texts in Latin and English, including the texts of the Mass and of many well-known canticles such as the Te Deum, Benedictus, Magnificat, Nunc Dimittis, and Salve Regina. The New Harvard Dictionary also gives English translations for any texts which it defines, although this is often limited to the first phrase of the text. Finally, Julian's Dictionary of Hymnology (see below) gives a guide to translations which appear in various hymnals (see "Latin, Translations From The," pp. 655-662).

Sources for hymn information, texts and tunes

Indexes to hymn texts and tunes often provide information about the authors and composers of hymns as well. Hymn tunes are often indexed by their tune name (tunes acquired names as a way to identify the tune readily in order that it could be used with numerous different texts). Some indexes also make an effort to identify tunes musically by trying to represent the melody through the use of some kind of code. Duckles includes denominational resources relating to hymns (indexes, hymnal companions, and concordances) as entries 1.618-1.643. All of these are helpful resources for their particular denomination and should probably be consulted first.

Guides to resources for particular times, seasons, and Scripture passages

Resources for the Roman Catholic rite

This topic deserves a separate guide. However, for non-Catholics seeking to understand the different kinds and uses of Catholic service books, a good starting point is the entry on "Liturgical books" in The New Harvard Dictionary. (Many types of service books also have their own entries in TNHD which are cross-referenced in the "Liturgical books" entry). The online "Catholic Liturgical Library" (http://www.catholicliturgy.com/ ) is also very helpful. Copies of missals, breviaries and similar resources can be found by searching in the online catalog under "Catholic Church-Liturgy-Texts" and "Service Books (Music)-Catholic Church." One unique resource is the Carmina Scriptaturm ed. Carolus Marbach (264.02 C28CA 1963) which contains appropriate versicles and responses for various times of the year and parts of the service and the Divine Office, arranged by Scripture reference. Unfortunately, the introduction and instructions are all in German.

Hymns

Most denominational hymnals provide topical and Scripture indexes for the hymns contained in that hymnal. Some hymnals are arranged by the seasons of the liturgical year, and for those which are not, the topical index will usually guide you to appropriate seasonal resources. In addition, look at:

Choral Music

Helpful Web Resources


1. All of these books are located in the Music and Performing Arts Library's Reference collection unless otherwise indicated