Music came to play an important part in Christian religious services. We are not entirely sure about the historical process in which this developed, but it is notble the wide sings in Church attitudes toward and the use of music in services. Church music does not have Jewish roots. We are not sure about the early Jesus movement within Judaism. Music in Christianity appers to have sprung from varied musical tradition of theRoman Empire where it took root. That said, many early Church fathers associated with licentous immorality and the devil in part because of the connection with dancing. Theh were , and so they were thought to be wicked and were not allowed in churches. The attitude was similar in many ways to Islamic attitudes. The only music permitted in early churches was song. It took several centuries for this to change. We are less sure about the musical tradition in the various religions with which Christianity competed within the Roman Empire. Boy choirs are noted at an early stage in the development of the Christian Church, at least by the 5th century. The Church has in turn played a role in the development of music. Just as much of medieval art focvused on religious themes so did music focus on religious themes. The Church during the Dark ages was one of the few European institutions with the wealth to support both art and music. While music is important in most Christian faiths, the use of music has varied widely among the different denominations. Protestantism involved a poerful return to song, although early Protestant theologians disapproved of the Catholic tradition of boy choirs which were maintained by the Catholic Church. The traditiin was ended in Protestant norther Europe abd delined in Vtholic countries. The tradition was, however, eventually revived by the English Anglican Church in the 19th century. The Anglican Church in England is especially noted for its magnificent cathedral choirs. Protestant churches with the revival of boy choirs in England also began sponsoring their own boy choirs. This was especilly pronounced in Germany. And the French in the 20th century fonded numerous boy choirs. Christianity is the religion with the strongest musical tradition. Many other religions seem to largely ignore music. Our informastion is limited here, but we know Islam does not use music and is critical of it. The Budhist musical tradition seens very limiyed as oes Hinduism. Hopefully our readers can provide some insights here.
Music came to play an important part in Christian religious services. We are not entirely sure about the historical process in which this developed. It does not appear to have Jewish roots. We are not entirely sure about the historical process in which this developed, but it is notble the wide sings in Church attitudes toward and the use of music in services. Church music does not have Jewish roots. We are not sure about the early Jesus movement within Judaism. Music in Christianity appers to have sprung from varied musical tradition of the Roman Empire where the new religion took root. Early churches appeared throughout the Empire in regions with different cultural traditions, including music. Rome did not insist in cultural or religious uniformity except reverence to the emperor.
We are less sure about the musical tradition in the various religions witth which Christianity competed within the Roman Empire. Boy choirs are noted at an early stage in the development of the Christian Church, at least by the 5th century. Each of the different relions, including Rone, has musical traditions. And often both music and dance were associated licentious, Bacchanalian festivals and celebrations, more like modern rock festivals than staid orcestral concerts. Christians mat have been outsiders and seen as a threat, but they were culturally conservative in many ways, standing for the same puritanicl values if the Emperor Augustus.
Early Church fathers saw musical instruments as wicked because they appealed to the sences and along with dancing were stongly associated with the devil. The attitude was similar in many ways to Islamic attitudes. Musical instruments were thus banned from early churches. The only music that the Church fathers permitted in churches was was the human voice -- song. In the 4th century Bishop Ambrosius of Milan introduced the antiphon and encouraged newly composed hymns. Psalms were an important part of the early Christian worship. Responsorial psalms were psalms which were sung by one person (who may have been called a “reader”), and the congregation may have responded at the end of a verse with something simple such as “Alleluia”. Gradually “antiphonal psalmody” was developed. This meant that the choir stands on opposite sides facing one another and they sing the verses of the psalm alternately (first one side has a turn, then the other). Antiphonal psalm singing can still be heard today in Anglican cathedrals. The kind of music heard in the Catholic Church was known as chant or plainchant, often known as 'Gregorian chant' (after Pope Gregory the Great -- 590-604). The text (the words that were sung) were the standard words of the liturgy. The words of the Mass were set to music by many composers. Music for the dead was called Requiem Mass. There was also music for Vespers and the Compline. Until the 16th century the organ was only used to accompany the singing. In the Renaissance period many great composers such as Giovanni da Palestrina and Orlande de Lassus wrote polyphonic music for the Catholic Church. They often wrote motets: short pieces based on texts which were not part of the liturgy. During the Reformation, Protestant groups broke away from the Catholic Church. From this time on Catholic and Protestant music developed in different ways.
The Church has in turn played a role in the development of Western music. Just as much of medieval art focused on religious themes so did medieval music focus on religious themes. The purpose wasto elevatethe glory of God. The Church during the Dark Ages was one of the few European institutions with the wealth to support both art and music. Plain song or chant dominated Western music during the medieval era. This began to change with the development of polyphony (12th century). This was the key innovation leading to the development of Western music. All this occurred within the Church. And major develoomebrs in Western for the next few years occurred within the Church.
Luther is of course best known for launching the Reformation. This alone makes him one of the most important figures in history. And this does not just mean among Protestants. The Reformation along with the Renaissance and Rnlightement was one of the central steps in the forging of Western Civilization--essentially modernity. But this was not Luther' only contribution. He also played an important role in the development of Western music. Before Luther Germany (atually the German states) was just ome of several European nations. After Luther Germany became central to Western music. The three B's (Betoven, Bach, and Brahams) not to mention Mozart are at the hear of Western music, but they are only a of a host of German compossers. The primacy of Germany in music is undeniable and it all began with Luther. Music was used in Catholic services for centuries. During Medieval era it was priests or a choir of monks including boys training for the priethood. Luther loved music and he wanted it to be at center of the Mass, but he favored the congregational singing of the early church. For that to be the case , servies including the singing had to be done in German, not Latin. He wanted the entire congregation to participate in services through singing. Larger congregations at first kept agood bit of the Latin liturgy. Smaller churches, hiwever,began began using Luther's Deudsche Messe. The chorle and cantrafacta became important, but soon polyphonic chorale settings appared, especially in Germany. A German theological professor describes luther's views. "Even music and images are in the service of God. Prayer was the most important thing for Luther, but essential to the Devout Life also attending church the services, listening to the sermon, taking the Mass, singing church nusic, and reading the Bible. This varied with the ideas of the Swiss Reformersconcerning religious services. Luther led a pious life and wanted the Protestants to also lead pious lives. But how to be pious? Piety can and must learned to be practiced. Therefore Luther wrote his catechisms. The basis for each pious life coms from Faith, to which everything comes and on which everything depends. Only faith makes men righteous, free and blessed. And Faith is God's gift to the one God, however, as is prayer." [Jung] Germany became a hot bed musical innovation ad creativity. Catholic countries hung on to pre-Reformtion forms. Other reformers were less interested in music than Luther. The Swiss reformers (Zwingli and Calvin) id not want music to be at the center of the service. Zwingli did not want anything to detract from the sermon. In this enviromnt it would be Germany that wold come to to dominate European music. While this began as church misic, it would prepare the way for the classics of secular music as well.
While music is important in most Christian faiths, the use of music has varied widely among the different denominations. Many boy choirs are associated with the Catholic Church. The Anglican Church in England is especially noted for its magnificent cathedral choirs. Protestant churches have also sponsored boy chours. Christianity is the religion with the strongest musical tradition. A reader writes, "Certain Christian movements have taken a severe attitude toward music. Right after the Reformation organ music was banned and although most Reformed congregations today do use their organ, some very orthodox denominations in the Netherlands will sing semibreve natural notes only as half or quarter notes and sharps or flats are considered frivolous." Music has an important place in the Catholic Church. A French reader tells us, "Not long ago it wasn't permit for the women to sing inside a chuch. It was the reason why only men and boys sang in Catholic choirs. Today we continue to consider that to sing a chant it is to pray twice. Myself I know well the Ordinary Chants of the mass, I began to learn them when I was 8-9 years old ( about 1952 ) in this time I was just altar boy and get a good experiance because I stayed till past 15 years of age. By the time I was 10 years old I was able to read the Gregorian music and know a quite number church chants. The texts are not always easy to memorize for a child. When I was a boy, altar boys were still raught the Latin chant. Many altar boys were also members of a boy choir. The best trebbles could becam soloist for the interpretation the Aria. A boy soprano loses his voice about 14 years old; sometime his voice breaks and becoms mezzo, alto. For many boys it is a difficult period. I still remember when my voice broke. Pope ious XII in 1951 created the International Pueri Cantores with the French priest l'abbé Maillet as the managment. At this time practicly all the Catholic boy choirs copied the costume worn by the French choir: open collar white shirt, blue sweater, blue short pants, white kneesocks, and black shoes. White albs were worn during chuch performances. A lot of Church music is written for the boy trebble. By instance all the Aria le Messie of Händel are written for multiple voice tonality, including the boy trebble, alto and bass voices. The first basic chants we had to learn in the 1950s were: Kyrie ( Gregorian version ), Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, Alleluia ( several versions ), Credo, Benedictus, Pater noster, Ave Maria, and Ave Verum Corpus ( the two versions ).
The European boy choir was created to provide musical accompaniment to church services. Following scriptual references that women should remain silent in church, only boys were allowed to sing in the early choirs. HBC has at this time only limited information on church music, but hopes to obtain needed information. Choral music is music written in parts, usually for four different voices and performed by a chorus or choir. The coral service is the musical service celebrated by a full complement of clergymen, lay clerks, and choristers, and sung or intoned in the rubrics. The European boy choral tradition originated in the church and for a milenium was purely an eclesiartical function. Secular boy choirs have appeared in 20th century and now consitute a substantial number of choirs. Even cathedral choirs in turn have added a variety of secular music for their performaces outside of religious services.
Many other religions seem to largely ignore music. Our informastion is limited here, but we know of no Islamic or Budhist musical tradition. Hopefully our readers can provide some insights here. One reader writes, "It may be true that Muhammedanism tends to disfavour religious music."
Jung, Martin. Zuerst Professor für evangelische Theologie an der Universität in Osnabrück. This is the German text which we have tried to translate. "Auch Musik und Bilder stehen im Dienste Gottes Das Gebet war für Luther das Wichtigste, aber unabdingbar gehörte für ihn zum frommen Leben auch der Besuch des Gottesdienstes, das Hören der Predigt, der Empfang des Abendmahls, der Gesang kirchlicher Lieder und das Lesen der Bibel. Ebenfalls konnten für ihn die Musik und die Bilder, anders als für die Schweizer Reformatoren, weiter im Dienste Gottes stehen. Luther führte ein frommes Leben und wollte die evangelischen Christen zu einem frommen Leben anleiten. Aber wie wird man fromm? Frömmigkeit kann man und muss man lernen und üben. Deswegen verfasste Luther auch seine Katechismen. Aber die Grundlage für jedes fromme Leben bildet der Glaube, auf den alles ankommt und von dem alles abhängt. Allein der Glaube macht den Menschen fromm, frei, selig, gerecht. Und der Glaube ist ein Geschenk Gottes, um das man Gott allerdings bitten kann und soll im Gebet."
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