Anglican service music, from 1509 to 1603
Corbin, Charles Ella
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The existence of the Anglican Service and its music is predicated on the same general factors that are inherent in the great Renaissance and Reformation movements. First, there was the strong reaction against the papacy's assumption of supreme authority over the temporal and spiritual affairs of man. Secondly, the reformative attitudes toward the complexities of ritual nmsic emanating from Rome which gradually suffocated the laity's share in performing the music of the church afforded a tremendous and expansive insubordination of papal control. The development of the art of music was inevitable whether under sacred or secular patronage. The preservation of the new and old melodies of the church was required, consequently, a system of notation had to be achieved through various stages of 'Ekphonetic,' 'neumatic,' 'lettered,' 'daseian,' and 'diastematic' notation before the origin of the simple staff could be reached. If a knowledge of notation was lacking, the melodies had to be memorized. The ability to memorize the melodies meant recalling literally hundreds of melodic patterns and the superficial understanding of the underlying modal structure, accompanied by an increasing familiarity with the Order of the Mass and the Divine or Canonical Hours. As time and the art of music progressed, the superficial knowledge of the modal setting of the music had to be substituted for a basic knowledge of the general character of the modes and their relation to the performance of. the Psalmodic melodies and Canticles that are determined by the prescribed formulas. These musical portions are fitted into the two worship forms, viz., the Mass and Divine Hours, according to a specified place, season and degree of solemnity of the occasion. The forms to which the chant melodies conform such as: Psalmodic Melodies, Recitations, Biblical texts, exclusive of the psalms, and the free-composed melodies are not a compelling requirement for the laity's study, however, it is to his advantage, to fully understand the structure and models of antiphonal, responsorial, and 'direct' (tract) psalmoqy which represent the fundamental basis for performing the psalmody of the Mass, viz., the Introit and Communion (now, only an antiphon) represent the antiphonal psalmoqy, the Gradual, Alleluia and Offertory are considered representative of responsorial psalmody and the Tract, which is the only surviving remnant of direct psalmody in the Mass. These observations, though not actual vital to the research problem involved in this study, are illuminating when the fact that no strict line of demarcation can be drawn between the appearance of old and new concepts are considered. It becomes clearer if one makes a diligent effort to trace 'uniqueness 1 to any one particular nation; it rather becomes a 'world history' problem.
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University, 1956
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