Suggested Introductory Reading List
These lists provide several books, documents, articles, and articles which deal with the fundamentals of the Liturgy and its sacred music.
While the repertoire of the chant of the Roman Rite is immense, here are some sample recordings for those as yet unfamiliar with this form of sacred music. It is important to remember that while most of these recordings have been done with a high degree of artistry, sacred chant by its very nature is meant to be universal, i.e., accessible in all sorts of circumstances, not only those in which the artistic capacities are great.
Sacred Polyphony of the Roman Rite
Similarly, here is a small sampling of some of the great polyphonic works – recognized by the Church as a secondary paradigm of sacred music - from our western Catholic patrimony.
The other Rites/Churches of the Catholic Church and their sacred music
This chart gives an overview of the many different Rites of the Catholic Church, each of which has its own cherished liturgical and musical traditions, whose development can be traced back to the early Church. We provide a brief glimpse of the sacred music of each of these traditions with YouTube links attached to each Rite. NOTE: Just as many of the cultures and languages represented here are foreign to our experience, so also their liturgical music can often seem quite foreign, and possibly difficult to assimilate without prolonged exposure and study. Nevertheless, each of these Rites is worthy of our awareness and study, as they share in the dignity of tracing their origin to Christ, the Apostles, and the organic growth of the Church throughout the world.
The Orthodox Churches and their sacred music
The Orthodox Churches, while being separated in governance from the Catholic Churches in the East and West, nevertheless share with the Catholic Church a deep unity of orthodox Faith, Apostolic succession, and sacramental life. Therefore, they are also worthy of our respect, reverence, awareness, and study. This chart gives an overview of the various branches of the Orthodox Church throughout the world. The links again give just a most brief sampling of their liturgical music, which in its entirety also constitutes an immense treasure.