The Heritage of the Church

Charles M. Atkinson

in The Critical Nexus

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780195148886
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199852185 | DOI:

Series: AMS Studies in Music

The Heritage of the Church

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This chapter examines the traditions and practices of the Christian church and some of the early attempts to develop a rational system of classification for its music. A great irony in the series of developments that led ultimately to a medieval theory of mode and tone-system is that one of the most important of those developments had nothing to do with either ancient or medieval conceptions of tonus, tropus, or modus—or, for that matter, with anything else that has been discussed thus far in this study. The development in question is the translation of the Roman liturgy into Francia and the concomitant suppression of the Gallican rite. That suppression began in 754 with the Masses said by Pope Stephen II (752–57) at the court of Pepin III (751–68) and at other Frankish churches. It was, for the most part, brought to completion under Charlemagne (768–814).

Keywords: Christian church; music; mode; tone-system; Francia; Roman liturgy; Gallican rite

Chapter.  26158 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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