James McMillan's speech is posted here in the Catholic Herald. Hat Tip to Jeffrey Tucker.
This speech in excerpts with my commentary in blue.
In recent times the Church has developed uneasy relations with its musicians. Growing up in the 1960s and 70s I was aware of a creeping separation between my serious engagement with the study of music, the application and practice of assiduously honed skills, and what the Church seemed to need and want for its liturgy. Mr. McMillan must be about my age, then.
I soon discovered that most serious Catholic musicians were being repulsed by an increasingly rigid misinterpretation of the Second Vatican Council’s reforms on music. "Misinterpretations" is the word I try to tell the Tridentine folk - that it wasn't Vatican II that gave us the mess we have, but the blatant convenient misinterpretations created by the progressive front. Clergy and “liturgists” began expressing a scarcely veiled disdain for the very expertise and learning that musicians had sought to acquire. "Liturgists" - blech! "LiturGEISTS" maybe. And why would a parish want to hire a seperate liturgist to begin with? The priest is your liturgist. You want me to be your parish liturgist for thirty or forty grand a year? Sure. I'll just tell you to read the black and do the red, then eliminate my own position. Serious musicians were more and more caricatured as elitists, reactionaries and Tridentinists by a new philistinism in the Church. That still happens today in message boards run by certain big-wig organizations.
Many of those who were not subdued into a state of quietism defected to Anglican and Lutheran parishes where their skills as organists, choral directors and singers were greatly appreciated. I had considered it a couple of decades ago, but then realized that victory will come soon enough for real liturgical music.
There is also great potential for new forms to suit the vernacular liturgies. Gelineau and Taizé are the most obvious examples of how the modern church can respond to its great musical calling. Both are very good, but instead, we get Haugen, Haas, Landry, and the St. Louis Jesuits. And before that, it was MotherRat Thy Feet and Good Night Sweet Jesus.
But don't take my word for it. Read the whole speech. And check out all the document citations Mr. McMillan points out at the end - all of which often get either ignored or deliberately misconceived by progressive clergy and liturgeists.