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Music in the Roman Catholic Church Essay

The history of music draws back even to the history of the human race. Through the years, music evolved into a much complicated entity and served roles up to the level of the metaphysical. Music in the Roman Catholic Church started out during the time of Pope Gregory. They were then called canticles. This music is still part or the church’s liturgy today, but is now called Gregorian chants. Music plays a vital role in the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1907, Richard R. Terry wrote a book entitled “Catholic Church Music”. He put into writing all the essential elements in Roman Catholic music. He also included the principles in church music. He defined sacred music as a complementary part of the solemn liturgy, which is the glory of God. The music possesses the qualities of the highest level, which fits on the liturgy. The form is good and holy, bringing forth universality.

It is a form of art, for those who listen to it should exercise in their minds the sanctity of the liturgy embedded on to the music. At the same time, it is universal, that all nations may be able to admit the compositions into their own native music. The greatest composer of liturgical music is Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. He was born in Palestrina in 1514 or 1515. According to documents in the Vatican, when Pierluigi was young, he would sing in the streets of Rome while selling the products of his parents’ farm.

He composed madrigals, motets, psalms, and hymns in honor of the Virgin Mary, embodying liturgy into music and setting the minds of the congregation to the one and only God. The masses that he created gave him the title of “Prince of Music”. Works Cited “Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina”. newadvent. org. New Advent, n. d. Web. 4 May 2010. Terry, Richard. Catholic Church Music. London, Greening & Co. , Ltd, 1907. Print. “The history of music in church worship. essortment. com. essortment, n. d. Web. 4 May 2010.

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