Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Gregorian Monk Chants In My Rock Collection

On the last post I told you about how I organized my rock collection. Today we'll talk about Gregorian Monk Chants.

As I sit here looking at my rock collection, I often ask myself what it all means. My music collection is a representation of me, but why did I decide to purchase 'Gregorian Monk Chants' for example? Was it my desire to expand the wealth of my musical horizons? Or was it my wish to explore different genres of music so that I could extract and learn from these genres to expand my own repertoire of music playing? Or perhaps I really enjoy listening to 13th century Gregorian Monk Chants.

All of the above are plausible explanations why Gregorian Monk Chants ended up in my Rock Collection, but I'll put forward another reason why I believe I purchased it, Blind Sheepdom. It was hard for me to admit at first, that I was in fact herded like sheep into purchasing the Monk Chant Disk. That's not to say that I despise Monk Chants, in fact I think they're pretty cool and for those of you who like to explore your musical diversity, Gregorian Monk Chants offer a wealth of cool Harmonization techniques, but alas that is not the reason I purchased the disk.

I believe it was the early nineties, right after the Electronic/Contemporary Rock Group Enigma came out with their MCMXC a.D. in 1990. The songs on those albums, although tame by today's standards, caught on like wild fire, fueled by mainstream media's refusal to play Enigma's sexually inspired religious videos, MTV wanted nothing of it at the time. Did you know that Enigma's album was banned in several countries? Which I guess is a lesson to all you kids looking to make a splash on the music scene, get a half-decent album create a religious inspired sex-fest and get out your nets, because the money will fall from the sky.

Enigma's MCMXC a.D. CD seemed to inspire people, including the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo, I presume. Soon after that album, I noticed a plethora of religious inspired chant CD's bursting into the music scene, and people were loving it. This is a very good example of secondary/complimentary purchases where a demand is created for one product because of popularity of another, and something that the Music Industry has yet to figure out. I digress, back to the reason why Gregorian Monk Chants have made it to my Rock Collection. Beside the examples that I've outlined above, which are in fact valid, because I genuinely did get a lot out of that music, I admit that it wasn't the real reason I purchased it. I, like millions of other sheep, got caught up in the moment of the music, yes, shame on me. I got caught up in the movement, which is what music is all about. I can't stress this enough, don't be afraid to diversify and listen to new music, regardless of the genre. Do not assume for one moment that your favorite Rock n Roll Idols haven't done the same. Many great songs have come out of popular rock groups because of this, whether it be the Beatles fascination with Classical music, or Led Zeppelins country inspired ditty's, music becomes fresh and alive when people explore the boundaries of their own musical tastes.

Take it from me, the next time you see a new Music movement on the horizon, grab hold of it and make it your own. Embrace it and love it and let that new music take hold of you, regardless of your apprehensions and lack of familiarity, don't sit on a fence. You'll be glad that you have let a new form into your life, that is after all what Rock n Roll is all about, the creation of new ideas through the mixture of old ones. New music will truly enrich your music collection, much like the Gregorian Monk Chants did for my own Rock Collection.


  1. Interesting - I got the same bug after years of rock music - lots of German bands doing this kindo of stuff - if you like the Benzedrine Monks, try Gregorian, also Lesiem, E Nomine, Vox Nova and Magna Canta

  2. Thanks for that info. Anonymous, I'll be sure to check it out.