EWTN Catholic Q&A
re- Gloria In Excelsis Deo
Question from Irene on 01-30-2014:

Dr Geraghty-

The difference is that when SINGING, a vocalist pronounces things differently than when spoken. For example, we don't (or shouldn't at any rate) sing the R at the end of a syllable. So, AMERICA is "A-meh-i-ca" so it doesn't sound like "A- merrrrr-i-ca"

When singing the word EXCELSIS, common practice is to sing EGG-SHELL-CEASE. It make the word sound correct to the listener.

Another Latin example is the initial V sound. Correct Latin pronounces it like W, but that doesn't work with music. The pronunciations used in liturgical music have taken hold in liturgical Latin, supplanting classical use.

I hope that helps!

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 02-16-2014:

Dear Irene,

Thank you for your note.

Dr. Geraghty

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