Religion: Syncopation at St. Luke's

St. Luke's Church in Cambridge, England this week offered its congregation an experiment in popular church music: it got a clergyman-composer to present a new sung Mass in syncopated, calypso rhythm.

St. Luke's "folk Mass" is a serious attempt at a modern version of plain chant. Its composer, the Rev. Geoffrey Phillips Beaumont, 49, is the chaplain of Trinity College, Cambridge and an energetic amateur tunesmith who writes most of the music for Trinity's annual revues. He wrote the sung Mass after clergymen friends had complained to him about their congregations' distaste for traditional liturgical music.

As performed this week, with a two-piano...

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