29 August 2021

Msgr. Pope on Sacred Music Onomatopoeias

"Do you remember the meaning of the literary term onomatopoeia? In case you've forgotten, it's a word that sounds like the object it describes. Words like oink, meow, wham, sizzle, and my personal favorite: yackety-yak are examples of onomatopoeia.

"There are times when music, including sacred music, has an onomatopoetic quality; they sound like what their words are describing. For example, there are songs that describe the crucifixion featuring hammer blows in the background, and songs about the resurrection and ascension that feature notes soaring up the scale."

In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish, Washington, DC) reflected on examples of sacred music that "powerfully take up the very sound of what the words are describing."

To access Msgr. Pope's complete post, please visit:

Community in Mission: The Genius of Sacred Music as Heard in Seven Musical "Onomatopoeias" (25 AUG 21)

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