The Influence of Plainchant on the Liturgical Music of Theodore Marier
Dr. Theodore Marier (1912-2001) spent his life as a musician in service to the Church. A distinguished chant scholar, composer, conductor, and organist, Marier worked on the forefront of the Liturgical Movement during much of the twentieth century. Throughout his career, Marier was a strong advocate for plainchant and its unique place in Catholic liturgical tradition. He was also deeply influenced by plainchant in his creation of new music for the liturgy. Despite his long and exemplary career, Marier's music remains largely unknown and undocumented for its contribution to the worship practice of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States.This treatise provides a comprehensive study of the liturgical music of Theodore Marier, specifically his compositions that are based on existing plainchant and that use chant as a stylistic influence for composing new music. It also discusses Marier's music within the plainchant revival and the Liturgial Movement of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States during the twentieth century. The liturgical music of Theodore Marier is discussed on the basis of musical form, style, harmonic language, rhythmic concepts, text treatment, relationship to chant (chant-influenced vs. chant-based), and liturgical use. These works are examined on the basis of their relationship to pre- and post-Conciliar practice and theology of music expressed in papal legislation and documents of the Second Vatican Council. Further reflection focuses on other published sources that contain Marier's music.As a musician working in both the pre- and post-conciliar Church, Marier knew the intricacies of reconciling the Church's ideal music of plainchant with the demands of contemporary pastoral practice. By adapting plainchant and using chant as the basis for new music, Marier created a viable solution that held to the tradition of the Church. His compositions stand as a model for reconciling the Church's teaching on music with the demands of pastoral practice, without compromising musical quality or the integrity of the liturgy.
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