Sonic branding and the Daily Office

I’ve been watching some of the highlights of the Euro2012 football tournament. The online clips, at least on the BBC website, all start with the flowery Euro2012 logo and a burst of five notes ba-da-ba-bup-ba. Earwigo earworms, also known as sonic branding, “building a relationship between the product and its target market through the latter’s ears”, or “How … advertisers capture your soul with just five musical notes”. Sonic branding is traced back through the advertising jingle to Richard Wagner’s leitmotifs. I expect he’d be delighted to have that legacy.

For my own soul music I go back even further, to the psalm tones of Gregorian chant, the five (or so) musical notes of the intonationmediation and ending. I was missing the psalms, so in the last few weeks I’ve started saying a daily Office again. It’s a very short Office, that I know I will find manageable. I have based it on Saint Benedict’s Prayer Book for Beginners, but using inclusive language (publishers take note), changing some of the psalms and collects and adding a bit of topping and tailing. It’s very flexible. I can change it if something isn’t working properly or I find a better way of doing it, or a change is otherwise needed. For example, the psalms need a bit more rejigging. And not least, it started life as being words only, but I’m planning to add the psalm tones and antiphons. Having them in front of me would be easier than making them up as I go along, as I find myself doing now.

As Augustine said, “those who sing, pray twice”. This is the relationship that matters.