Church Music history resource
  • PLTT
    Posts: 110
    I'm looking for some comprehensive resource that can explain the history of Sacred Music, especially for the Mass, to someone who does not know anything about either the history of official pronouncements, or even how the pre-conciliar liturgy functioned......something that can go through everything from low Mass hymn-sandwiches to High Mass to Pius X to the competing currents in the 1960s......to the state of liturgical music today.

    I liked parts of Fr. Anthony Ruff's "Sacred music and liturgical reform : treasures and transformations" and even Fr. Joncas' "Sacred Song to Ritual Music" --- although not some of the conclusions drawn, and I felt they overlooked some things......but I'm looking for something along those lines....
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 379
    You might want to look through the Caecilia magazine's which list music programs of church for some of the different feast days of the year, like Christmas and Easter. I have found these listed in the preceding month so if You want to see Christmas programs look in the January issue's. The Caecilia also is a great source for other musical and historical information.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,643
    Have you looked at Edward Schaefer's Catholic Music Through the Ages (Chicago: HillenbrandBooks 2008)?
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 379
    Another source are a couple of books by J. Vincent Higginson. "History of American Catholic Hymnals: Survey and Background" and "Handbook for American Catholic hymnals". I've seen these on eBay.
    Thanked by 2oldhymns Felicia
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,117
    I teach 7th and 8th grade music history and I use Grout, Ed Schaefer's book and my own knowledge of history. I have developed a timeline which combines significant things in the life of the Church and the history of music. Amazing how much they intersect.
  • I have Schaefer's book and find it informative, even enlightening in some respects.
    On the other hand, much of his discussion of the musical praxis of the early Christian community is highly speculative - but then, with the limited data which we have to go on an educated speculation does at least point to some probabilities.

    For a better documented treatment of very early Christian musical praxis I would recommend Edward Foley's Foundations of Christian Music: The Music of Pre-Constantinian Christianity.


    One should want to consult Christopher Page's magisterial
    The Christian West and its Singers: The First Thousand Years
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,117
    I second the reference that Jackson made with regards to the book "The Christian West and its Singers...." a truly fascinating account.
  • Heath
    Posts: 865
    PLTT, I have something to share, if you're interested. PM me and give me your email.
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 358
    Related to the penultimate post: 'The English plainchant revival', by Bennett Zon.
    Also 'Renewal and Resistance: Catholic Church Music from the 1850s to Vatican II' edited by Paul Collins
    Karl Gustav Fellerer, 'The History of Catholic Church Music'
    A W Pugin, 'An Earnest Plea for the Revival of the Ancient Plainsong'
    Alan Robestson 'Music of the Catholic Church'
    Edward Schaefer, 'Catholic Music Through The Ages, Balancing the Needs of a Worshipping Church'
    Sir Richard Terry, 'Catholic Church Music'
    Thanked by 2Felicia Heath