Music in the catholic church is mostly used to encourage the congregation to participate during the mass. Growing up, I remember my Sunday class teacher encouraging me to take one of Gospel lectionary and to follow along with the congregation. We would often get dirty looks if we did not follow along and were fooling around. Although it was encouraged, adults would often tell the youth to follow along so that they can believe in the faith and preach the faith forward to future generations. In the assigned reading, it says that the music creates a shared physical experience with others, which is similar to what I said before. I mostly think that the reason our Sunday class teachers pushed it so much is because the faith is getting lost after kids make their communion/confirmation (which is an important ceremony in the church). So, by them using music, it becomes a little more enjoyable rather than listening to the priest speak. Often, the music is used to help transition from one part of the mass to another. One of the more important pieces is called “Alleluia”
“Alleluia” is a piece of music that is used to transition to the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a catholic ceremony in which bread is eaten and wine is drunk as a way of showing devotion to Jesus Christ. In my personal experience, this is the one song that always stays consistent throughout the mass, The choir changes their songs for the readings but the song before the Eucharist is always Alleluia. Alleluia consists of the congregation singing “alleluia alleluia alleluia alleluia” but what is interesting is the technique they use. Instead of just singing the words, they hold it out and have multiple pitches during each word. This technique is called melismatic. Melismatic is when multiple pitches are sung during one syllable. It is way more enjoyable and satisfying to the ears in my opinion because it sorts of contrasts against each other. This song does vary towards each church, but this is the best example I could find. Right from the beginning of the video, the men are stretching out the word alleluia with multiple pitches while the lady begins telling a story. The alleluia is really serves as a way for the congregation to join because it is just one word they must sing repeatedly.