måndag 3 september 2012

Singing Latin in church

We had our monthly Latin mass today, so it was easier to join in the singing. Some people in the row in front turned round to me at the end of the service and said how beautifully I sung. It turned out that they were visitors so perhaps they will come back, having liked what they heard.

People have said that to me before but of course I haven't the foggiest idea what I sound like when I am singing. It is probably more to do with the Latin. The language is unusual in having open vowels alternating with simple consonants. All you have to do is open up your mouth and vocal cords and let the sound come out. Which means that the sounds are clear and travel well - an important factor in the days before microphones and loudspeakers.

It is a good reason why the Catholic church authorities should make a determined effort to promote Latin and overcome the prejudices against it.

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