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Sing Like a Catholic Paperback – January 1, 2009


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Paperback, January 1, 2009
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Church Music Association of America (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607437228
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607437222
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,512,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Christian on April 26, 2009
Mr. Tucker has created a well-reasoned argument for the return to Gregorian Chant and other similarly traditional Catholic music in parishes around the world. His writing is persuasive (although, I admit I agreed with him before opening the book), and includes numerous references to church documents and works from major players in the Catholic liturgical scene in the U.S. His outlook is much more optimistic than most musicians I've met who would agree with him, which makes the book enjoyable to read. While it contains some amount of music-class vocabulary (and I write this as a music teacher), it is all provided in clear enough context that casual readers will be able to understand the jargon.
All that said, the book itself was clearly not well edited. There are numerous grammatical mistakes, wrong words, and other editing errors that should have been corrected before it was sent to be published. Beyond this, several long passages in the book seem to be only a thinly veiled advertisement for the Parish Book of Chant. I took the opportunity to look over that book as well; it looks excellent, but before getting yourself a copy of Sing Like a Catholic, you need to be prepared that it is--at its core--essentially just a long justification and advertisement for the Parish Book of Chant.
And, of course, the biggest problem with a book like this is that the people who will buy it and read it are probably already in agreement with Mr. Tucker and his friends at Musica Sacra. The people who would stand to learn so much from a book like this will likely never pick it up, but here, I suppose we can all try to be as optimistic as Tucker.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Culbreth on March 26, 2009
This book provides a compelling exhortation for all interested Catholics and other liturgically-interested folks to examine the myriad aspects and issues associated with the phenomenon whimsically known as "The Music/Liturgy Wars." Author Jeffrey Tucker, a professional economist, states that this common-sense manifesto is a reply, of sorts, to the criticisms of the state of liturgical and sacred music before and after the Second Vatican Council found in Professor Thomas Day's famous "Why Catholics Can't Sing."
Tucker writes with an engagingly optimistic style- he doesn't burden the reader with scholastic or philosophical minutiae, he doesn't berate persons or organizations that seem to stand in opposition to his contentions, and he articulates his concerns with both charity and clarity. The chapters are brief, sequentially keeping the reader on point and interested in moving forward.
Having read much of Tucker's writings in various forums and blogs (from which he's culled and amplified many chapters' contents) I found many new items of interest that I'd not known of before. So, for liturgy-geeks like myself, I will circulate my copy and others that I've purchased for my pastor and other musicians in my parish in the hopes that a new and much more cogent dialogue will emerge about why Catholics can sing, and should "Sing Like a Catholic."
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DeepReader on March 15, 2010
I'm reading this book online using Scribd (can I say that here?). I find that it is poorly edited as another reviewer mentioned. (On page 101, we read 'pre-Tent' for, presumably, 'Pre-Trent'; on page 103, we read first 'tetragrammaton' followed very soon after by 'tragrammaton.' On the same page we read a sentence that says, in full: 'It begins by explaining THAT the importance and integrity of translations.' Clearly a sentence that was revised but not checked carefully to make sure it still makes sense. Looks like the copyeditor was getting sleepy around this point.)

I checked Amazon.com to read the reviews and find out if this is just a collection of essays, thrown together, because that's how it reads. One review calls it an 'argument,' but I'm not finding a logical case being built up here. For example, there's a chapter that calls itself a 'Letter to Praise and Worship Musicians.' And it's just that - suddenly the audience becomes quite specific, right down to age and taste in music. It's not the same audience as in the previous chapter, and I wonder why it wasn't revised so that it fit into the style of the rest of the book, which seems to be addressing a more general audience. Some chapters don't seem to have a close connection with the chapters that come before, or they seem to repeat. There's a chapter on what's wrong with 'Gathering Hymns,' and then a chapter that says we should do away with hymns altogether (so why wasn't this one, well-argued chapter about getting rid of hymns?).
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arlene H. Woods on April 11, 2009
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"Sing Like a Catholic" is informative in regard to outlining how the liturgical music of the Catholic Church has changed based on societal and religious demands. The book is written in an understandable manner and is enjoyable to read. This book is a good reference for anyone who is interested in understanding the type of music that has been used throughout Church history. The book delineates Church music and who contributed to the extensive collection of music that is drawn upon today and what might be used in the future.
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