Music, Christian Music (from μοῦσα, a muse) is produced by the human voice, and by a variety of artificial instruments. For the application of the voice to musical purposes, SEE SINGING. Musical instruments are classified as stringed instruments, wind instruments, and instruments of percussion. In some stringed instruments, as the piano-forte, the sounds are produced by striking the strings by. keys; in others, as the harp and guitar, by drawing them from the position of rest. In a third class, including the violin, viola, violoncello, and double bass, the strings are put into vibration with a bow. In wind instruments the sound is produced by the agitation of an enclosed column of air; some, as the flute, clarionet, oboe, bassoon, flageolet — instruments of wood, and the trumpet, horn, cornet-a-piston, etc., of metal, are played by the breath; in others, as the organ, harmonium, and concertina, the wind is produced by other means. In the two last-named instruments the sound is produced by the action of wind on free vibrating springs or reeds. Instruments of percussion are such as the drum, kettle- drum, cymbals, etc. Musical compositions are either for the voice, with or without instrumental accompaniment, or for instruments only. Instrumental music may be composed for one or for more instruments. The rondo, the concerto, the sonata, and the fantasia generally belong to the former class; to the latter, symphonies and overtures for an orchestra, and instrumental chamber music, including duets, trios, quartets, and other compositions for several instruments, where each takes the lead in turn, the other parts being accompaniments. Of vocal music, the principal forms may be classed as church music, chamber music, dramatic music, and popular or national music. Vocal chamber music includes cantatas, madrigals, and their modern successors, glees, as also recitatives, arias, duets, trios, quartets, choruses, and generally all forms, accompanied or unaccompanied, which are chiefly intended for small circles. Dramatic music comprehends music united with scenic representation in a variety of ways, in the ballet, the melodrama, the vaudeville, and the opera, in. which last music supplies the place of spoken dialogue. And finally we come to consider church music, with which alone we have to deal here. It includes plain song, faux-bourdon, the chorale, the anthem, the sacred cantata, the mass and requiem of the Roman Catholic Church, and the oratorio.
Among all nations music has always formed a part of public worship. "Praise," it has been aptly said, "is the appropriate language of devotion. A fervent spirit of devotion is instinctively seeks to express itself in song. In the strains of poetry, joined with the melody of music, it finds an easy and natural utterance of its elevated emotions." Among the pagan nations of antiquity the singing of songs constituted indeed a great part of the religious worship. In all their religious festivals and in their temples they sang to the praise of their idol gods (comp. Gerbert, Musica Sacra, vol. i. Praef.; Burney, Hist. of Music). Yet no nation of antiquity made such extensive use of music in their worship as did the Hebrews (see the preceding article), especially in the time of their prosperity (Saalschutz, Gesch. u. Wisrdigung d. Tenpel-Musik d. Hebrader [Berl. 1829]). Not only in the Temple, but in their synagogues and in their dwellings the Jews celebrated God with sacred hymns. SEE PSALM. From them the use of music and choral singing was adopted by the primitive Christians (see 1Co 14:15,26; Col 3:16). Says Coleman, "The singing of spiritual songs constituted from the beginning an interesting and important part of religious worship in the primitive Church" (Prel. and Rit. page 321).
I. Early Christian Usages. — Grotius insists that we have in Ac 4:24-30 an epitome of an early Christian hymn; and it would appear from a close examination of other N.T. Scripture passages that even Christ himself, in his final interview with his, disciples before his crucifixion, sung with them the customary paschal songs at the institution of the sacrament, and by his example sanctified the use of sacred songs in the Christian Church (Mt 26:30). In the opinion of Miinter, the eminent Biblical archaeologist, the gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was accompanied with poetic inspiration, to which the disciples gave utterance in the rhapsodies of spiritual songs (Ac 2:4,13,47). There are also many other N.T. passages which clearly indicate the use of religious songs in the worship of God. Paul and Silas, lacerated by the cruel scourging which they had received, and in close confinement in the inner prison, prayed and sang praises to God at midnight (Ac 16:25).. The use of psalms and hymns and spiritual songs is moreover directly enjoined upon the churches by the apostle as an essential part of religious devotions (Col 3:16; Eph 5:14,19; Jas 5:13). The latter epistle was a circular letter to the Gentile churches of Asia, and therefore in connection with that to the Church at Colosse is explicit authority for the use of song in the religious worship of the apostolic churches (comp. Walch, De Hymnnis Ecclesiae Apostolicae).
As the Hebrews worshipped God in their homes by sacred song, so the N.T. people also did not restrict these acts of devotion to their public places of worship. In their social circles and around their domestic altars they worshipped God in sacred song; and in their daily occupations they were wont to relieve their toil and refresh their spirits by renewing their favorite songs of Zion. Persecuted and afflicted — in solitary cells of the prison, in the more dismal abodes of the mines to which they were doomed, or as wandering exiles in foreign countries — they forgot not to sing the Lord's song in the prison or the mile or the strange lands to which they were driven. In connection with the passage from Ephesians, the apostle warns those whom he addresses against the use of wine and the excesses to which it leads, with reference to those abuses which dishonored their sacramental supper and lovefeasts. In opposition to the vain songs which, in such excesses, they might be disposed to sing, they are urged to the sober, religious use of psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. The phraseology indicates, too, that they were not restricted to the use of the psalms of David, as in the Jewish worship, but were at liberty to employ others of appropriate religious character in their devotions. Says Coleman, "The Corinthians were accustomed to make use of songs composed for the occasion (1Co 14:26). And though the apostle had occasion to correct their disorderly proceedings, it does not appear that he forbade the use of such songs. On the contrary, there is the highest probability that the apostolic churches did not restrict themselves simply to the use of the Jewish Psalter. Grotius and others have supposed that some fragments of these early hymns are contained not only, as above mentioned, in Acts, but perhaps also in 1Ti 3:16. Something like poetic antithesis they have imagined to be contained in Jas 1:17; 1Ti 1:1; 2Ti 2:11-13. The expression in Revelation, 'I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last,' has been ascribed to the same origin, as has also Re 4:8, together with the song of Moses and the Lamb (Re 15:3), and the songs of the elders and the beasts (Re 5:9-14). Certain parts of the book itself have been supposed to be strictly poetical, and may have been used as such in Christian worship, such as Re 1:4-8; Re 11:15-19; Re 15:3-4; Re 21:1-8; Re 22:10-18. But the argument is not conclusive; and all the learned criticism, the talent, and the taste that have been employed on this point leave us little else than an uncertain conjecture on which to build an hypothesis" (page 325).
The earliest authentic record on this subject is the celebrated letter from Pliny to Trajan, just at the close of the apostolic age (A.D. 103, 104). In the investigations which he instituted against the Christians of his period, he discovered, among other things, that they were accustomed to meet before day to offer praise to Christ (Epist. 10:97). The expression used is somewhat equivocal, and might refer to the ascription of praise in prayer or in song. But it appears that these Christians rehearsed their "carnen invicem" alternately, as if in responsive songs, according to the ancient custom of singing in the Jewish worship. Tertullian, only a century later, evidently understood the passage to be descriptive of this mode of worshipping God and Christ, for he says that Pliny intended to express nothing else than assemblies before the dawn of the morning for singing praise to Christ and to God (Apolog. c. 2). Eusebius also gives the passage a similar interpretation, saying that Pliny could find nothing against them save that, arising at the dawn of the morning, they sang hymns to Christ as God (Hist. Ecclesiast. 3:32). Viewed in this light, in which it is now generally viewed, it becomes evidence of the use of song in Christian worship immediately subsequent to the age of the apostles (comp. Miinter, Metrisch. Offenbar. page 25). Tertullian himself also distinctly testifies to the use of songs to the praise of God by the primitive Christians. Every one, he says, was invited in their public worship to sing unto God, according to his ability, either from the Scriptures or de proprio ingenio, "one indited by himself;" according to the interpretation of Muinter. Whatever may be the meaning of this phrase, the passage clearly asserts the use of Christian psalmody in their religious worship. Again, he speaks of singing in connection with the reading of the Scriptures, exhortations, and prayer (De Anima, c. 9). Justin Martyr also, who lived within half a century of the apostles, and is himself credited with being the author of a work on Christian Psalmody, mentions the songs and hymns of the Ephesian Christians: "We manifest our gratitude to him by worshipping him in spiritual songs and hymns, praising him for our birth, for our health, for the vicissitudes of the seasons, and for the hopes of immortality" (Apol. 5:28). Eusebius, moreover, furnishes this important testimony of an ancient historian at the close of the 2d century: "Who knows not the writings of Irenmeus, Melito, and others, which exhibit Christ as God and man? And how many songs and odes of the brethren there are, written from the beginning (ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς) by believers, which offer praise to Christ as the Word of God, ascribing divinity to him!" (Ecclesiastes Hist. 5:28). Here we have not only testimony to the use of spiritual songs in the Christian Church from the remotest antiquity, but also that there were hymn writers in the apostolic Church, and that their songs were collected for use at a very early date of the Christian Church (comp. Fabricius, Biblioth. Grceca [ed. Harl.], 7:67). These spiritual songs of the primitive Christians were almost exclusively of a doctrinal character. "In fact," says Augusti, "almost all the prayers, doxologies, and hymns of the ancient Church are nothing else than prayers and supplications to the triune God or to Jesus Christ. They were generally altogether doctrinal. The prayers and psalms, of merely a moral character, which the modern Church has in great abundance, in the ancient were altogether unknown" (Denkwirdigkeiten, 5:417; comp. Neander, Allgem. Kirchengesch. 1:523; Engl. ed. 1:304).
One such composition of the primitive Church — a hymn — has come down to us entire. It is found in the Pedagogue of Clement of Alexandria, a work bearing date about one hundred and fifty years from the time of the apostles; but it is ascribed to another, and assigned to an earlier origin. It is wanting in some of the manuscripts of Clement. It contains figurative language and forms of expression which were familiar to the Church at an earlier date; and, for various reasons, is regarded by Munter (Metrische Oftenbar. page 32) and Bull (Defensio fidei Nicaenae, § 3, chapter 2, page 316) as a venerable relic of the early Church, which has escaped the ravages of time, and still remains a solitary remnant of the Christian psalmody of that early age. It is certainly very ancient, and the earliest that has been transmitted to us ( SEE HYMNOLOGY, in volume 4, page 434, col. 2). A translation of it is furnished in Coleman's Ancient Christianity, pages 334-35.
Sacred music must, in the primitive Church, have consisted only of a few simple airs which could easily be learned, and which, by frequent repetition, became familiar to all. An ornate and complicated style of music would have been alike incompatible with the circumstances of these Christian worshippers and uncongenial with the simplicity of their primitive forms (comp. Augusti, Denkwiirdigkeiten, 5:288). In their songs of Zion, both old and young, men and women, bore a part. Their psalmody was the joint act of the whole assembly in unison. Such is the testimony of Hilary, A.D. 355 (Comment. in Psalm 25, page 174). Ambrose remarks that the injunction of the apostle, forbidding women to speak in public, relates not to singing, "for this is delightful in every age and suited to every sex" (in Psalm 1, Praef. pge 741; comp. Hexcemeron, lib. 3, c. 5, pge 42). The authority of Chrysostom is also to the same effect. "It was the ancient custom, as it is still with us, for all to come together, and unitedly to join in singing. The young and the old, rich and poor, male and female, bond and free, all join in one song... All worldly distinctions here cease, and the whole congregation form one general chorus" (Hom. 11, volume 12, page 349; Hom. 36, in 1 Corinthians volume 10, page 340; comp. Gerbert, Musica Sacra, lib. 1:§ 11, for other authorities). Each member was invited, at pleasure and according to his ability, to lead their devotions in a sacred song indited by himself. Such was the custom in the Corinthian Church. Such was still the custom in the age of Tertullian, to which reference has already been made. Augustine also refers to the same usage, and ascribes to divine inspiration the talent which was manifested in this extemporaneous psalmody.
Such was the character of the psalmody of the early Church, consisting in part of the psalms of David, and in part of hymns composed for the purpose of worship, and expressive of love and praise to God and to Christ (Neander, Allgem. Kirchengesck. 1:523; Engl. ed. 1:304). Few in number, and sung to rude and simple airs, they yet had wonderful power over those primitive saints. The sacred song inspired their devotions both in the public and private worship of God. At their family board it quickened their gratitude to God, who gave them their daily bread. It enlivened their domestic and social intercourse; it relieved the weariness of their daily labor; it cheered them in solitude, comforted them in affliction, and supported them under persecution. "Go where you will,' says Jerome, "the ploughman at his plough sings his joyful hallelujahs, the busy mower regales himself with his psalms, and the vine-dresser is singing one of the songs of David. Such are our songs — our love-songs, as they are called — the solace of the shepherd in his solitude and of the husbandman in his toil" (Ep. 17, ad Marcellum). Fearless of reproach, of persecution, and of death, they continued in the face of their enemies to sing their sacred songs in the streets and market-places and at the martyr's stake. Eusebius declares himself an eye-witness to the fact that, under their persecutions in Thebais, "they continued to their latest breath to sing psalms and hymns and thanksgivings to the God of heaven" (Hist. Ecclesiastes 8:9; comp. Herder, Briefe zur Beforderung der Humanitat 7 Samml. page 28 sq.; Augusti, Denkwurdigkeiten, 5:29697; Coleman, Manual, pages 331-33).
II. Innovations. — From the 4th century onward the Christian Church greatly modified the mode of performing this part of public worship.
1. The first innovation occurred in the Syrian churches, where responsive singing was introduced, probably very early in the 4th century. Soon after it became the practice of the Eastern churches generally, and finally was transferred to the West also by St. Ambrose of Milan (A.D. 370), and was called there the Ambrosian style of music. Some critics believe responsive singing to have been practiced at a very early date. Thus it would seem from the epistle of Pliny that the Christians of whom he speaks sang alternately in responses. The ancient hymn from Clement, too, above mentioned, seems to be constructed with reference to this method of singing. There is besides an ancient but certainly groundless tradition extant in Socrates (Hist. Ecclesiastes 6:8) that Ignatius was the first to introduce this style of music in the Church of Antioch. It was certainly familiar to the Jews, who often sang responsively in the worship of the Temple. In some instances the same style of singing may have been practiced too in the primitive Church. But responsive singing is not generally allowed to have been in frequent use during the first 300 years of the Christian era. This mode of singing was then common in the theatres and temples of the Gentiles, and for this reason was generally discarded by the primitive Christians (Augusti, Denkwiirdigkeiten, 5:278).
2. The appointment of singers as a distinct class of officers in the Church for this part of religious worship, and the consequent introduction of profane music into the church, marks another alteration in the psalmody of the Church. These innovations were first made in the 4th century; and though the people continued for a century or more to enjoy their ancient privilege of all singing together, it is conceivable that it gradually was forced to die, as a promiscuous assembly could not well unite in theatrical music which required in its performers a degree of skill altogether superior to that which all the members of a congregation could be expected to possess. An artificial, theatrical style of music, having no affinity with the worship of God, soon began to take the place of those solemn airs which before had inspired the devotions of his people. The music of the theatre was transferred to the church, which accordingly became the scene of theatrical pomp and display rather than the house of prayer and of praise, to inspire by its appropriate and solemn rites the spiritual worship of God. The consequences of indulging this depraved taste for secular music in the church are exhibited by Neander in the following extract: "We have to regret that both in the Eastern and the Western Church their sacred music had already assumed an artificial and theatrical character, and was so far removed from its original simplicity that even in the 4th century the abbot Pambo of Egypt complained that heathen melodies [accompanied as it seems with the action of the hands and the feet] had been introduced into their Church psalmody" (Kirchengesch. 2:681: comp. Scriptores Ecclesiastici, De Musica, 1 , 3). Isidore of Pelusium also complained of the theatrical singing, especially that of the women, which, instead of inducing penitence for sin, tended much more to awaken sinful desires (in Biblioth. Patr. 7:543). Jerome also, in remarking upon Eph 5:19, says: "May all hear it whose business it is to sing in the church. Not with the voice, but with the heart, we sing praises to God. Not like the comedians should they raise their sweet and liquid notes to entertain the assembly with theatrical songs and melodies in the church, but the fire of godly piety and the knowledge of the Scriptures should inspire our songs. Then would not the voice of the singers, but the utterance of the divine word, expel the evil spirit from those who, like Saul, are possessed with it. But, instead of this, that same spirit is invited rather to the possession of those who have converted the house of God into a pagan theatre" (Comment. in Ep. Ephesians lib. 3, c. 5, tom. 4, page 387 [ed. Martianae]). Until the 6th or 7th century the people were not entirely excluded from participation in the psalmody of the Church, and many there were who continued to bear some part in it even after it had become a cultivated theatrical art, for the practice of which the singers were appointed as a distinct order of the Church, but it was mainly in the chorus or in responses that the people could have their part. Thus it soon came about that the many, instead of uniting their hearts and their voices in the songs of Zion, could only sit coldly by as spectators.
3. Heresy largely pervading the Church, and making rapid headway by incorporation into hymns which were the laity's property, various restrictions were from time to time laid upon the use of hymns of human composition in distinction from the inspired psalms of David; and finally the Church authorities, in order more effectually to resist all encroachments of heresy, were driven to the necessity either of cultivating and improving their own psalmody, or of opposing their authority to stay the progress of this evil. The former was the expedient of Ambrose, Hilary, Gregory Nazianzen, Chrysostom, Augustine, etc. But the other alternative in turn was also attempted. The churches by ecclesiastical authority were restricted to the use of the Psalter and other canonical songs of the Scriptures. All hymns of merely human composition were prohibited as of a dangerous tendency and unsuitable to the purposes of public worship. The Synod of Laodicea (A.D. 344-346, c. 59) felt itself compelled to pass a decree to that effect. The decree was not, however, fully enforced; the clergy eventually claimed the right of performing the sacred music as a privilege exclusively their own. And finally, the more effectually to exclude the people, the singing was in Latin. Where that was not the vernacular tongue, this rule was of necessity an effectual bar to the participation of the people in this part of public worship. Besides, the doctrine was industriously propagated that the Latin was the appropriate language of devotion, which became not the profane lips of the laity in these religious solemnities, but only those of the clergy, who had been consecrated to the service of the sanctuary. This expedient shut out the people from any participation in this delightful part of public worship. The Reformation again restored to the people their ancient and inestimable right. At that time the greater part of the services of the Romish Church was sung to musical notes. and on the occasion of great festivals the choral service was performed with great pomp by a numerous choir of men and boys. That abuses of the most flagrant kind had found their way into this department of Romish worship is beyond a doubt, as .the Council of Trent found it necessary to issue a decree on the subject, in which they plainly state that in the celebration of the mass, hymns, some of a profane and others of a lascivious nature, had crept into the service, and given great scandal to professors of the truth. But by this decree the council, while it arranged the choral service on a proper footing, freeing it from all extraneous matter, gave choral music also a sanction which it had hitherto wanted. From that time the Church of Rome began to display that profound veneration for choral music which it has continued to manifest down to the present day.
The Protestants at the Reformation differed on the subject of sacred music. The Lutherans in great measure adopted the Romish ritual, and retained the choral service. Some of the Reformed churches varied more widely from Rome than others. Calvin introduced a plain metrical psalmody, selecting for use in churches the version of the Psalms by Marot, which he divided into small portions, and appointed to be sung in public worship. This Psalter was bound up with the Geneva Catechism. When the Reformation was introduced into England, Henry VII, himself a musician of considerable celebrity, showed his partiality for the choral service, by retaining it. The cathedral musical service of the Reformed Church of England was framed by John Marbeck of Windsor, in a form little different from that which is at present in use. It is a curious fact that the ancient foundations of conventual, collegiate, and cathedral churches make no provision for an organist, but simply for canons, minor canons, and choristers. The first Act of Uniformity, passed in the reign of Edward VI, allowed the clergy either to adopt the plain metrical psalmody or to preserve the use of the choral service. The musical part of queen Elizabeth's liturgy is said to have been arranged by Parker, archbishop of Canterbury. The Puritans, however, objected strongly to the cathedral rites, particularly "the tossing the Psalms from one side to the other," as Cartwright sarcastically describes the musical service; and it was regarded as inconsistent with that beautiful simplicity which ought ever to characterize the ordinance of divine worship. The assaults made by Puritans upon the musical as well as other portions of the cathedral service were answered with great ability and power by Richard Hooker in his famous work on Ecclesiastical Polity, the first four books of which appeared in 1594, and the fifth in 1597. From the date of that masterly defence of the polity of the Church of England down to the present day no material change has taken place in the musical service of that Church. The Lutheran and Episcopal churches, both in Europe and America, have also a solemn service, while the Reformed Church, including the Presbyterian and Independent, have a plain selection of melodies to which the metrical Psalms, Paraphrases, and Hymns are set. There is almost universally a precentor or leader of the sacred music in the congregation, and in some cases a select choir or band of male and female voices, while the whole congregation is expected to join in this solemn part of the devotional exercises of the sanctuary. For a number of years past, while Romish churches in Europe and America have made a gorgeous display of their musical service, which is still divided between the chants of the priests and the theatrical performances of the choir, made up altogether, as a rule, of regularly trained musicians, vocal and instrumental, who have thus perverted most effectually the devotional ends of sacred music, the Protestant churches have aroused to a more careful training of their whole congregation in the art of sacred music, that this interesting and impressive part of divine worship may be conducted both with melody of the voice and of the heart unto the Lord. See, however, for details, especially on the innovations in the Protestant churches, the influence of sacred song as exhibited in recent times in revivals, the articles PSALMODY SEE PSALMODY and REVIVAL SEE REVIVAL .
III. Use of Instruments in the Church. — The Greeks as well as the Jews were wont to use instruments as accompaniments in their sacred songs. The converts to Christianity accordingly must have been familiar with this mode of singing; yet it is generally believed that the primitive Christians failed to adopt the use of instrumental music in their religious worship. The word ψαλλείν, which the apostle uses in Eph 5:19, has been taken by some critics to indicate that they sang with such accompaniments. The same is supposed by some to be intimated by the golden harps which John, in the Apocalypse, put into the hands of the four-and-twenty elders. But if this be the correct inference, it is strange indeed that neither Ambrose (in Psalm 1 Praef. page 740), nor Basil (in Psalm 1, volume 2, page 713), nor Chrysostom (Psalm 41, volume 5, page 131), in the noble encomiums which they severally pronounce upon music, make any mention of instrumental music. Basil, indeed, expressly condemns it as ministering only to the depraved passions of men (Hom. 4. volume 1, page 33), and must have been led to this condemnation because some had gone astray and borrowed this practice from the heathens. Thus it is reported that at Alexandria it was the custom to accompany the singing with the flute, which practice was expressly forbidden by Clement of Alexandria in A.D. 190 as too worldly, but he then instituted in its stead the use of the harp. In the time of Constantine the Great the Ambrosian chant (q.v.) was introduced, consisting of hymns and psalms sung, it is said, in the four first keys of the ancient Greek. The tendency of this was to secularize the music of the Church, and to encourage singing by a choir. The general introduction of instrumental music can certainly not be assigned to a date earlier than the 5th and 6th centuries; yea, even Gregory the Great, who towards the end of the 6th century added greatly to the existing Church music, absolutely prohibited the use of instruments. Several centuries later the introduction of the organ in sacred service gave a place to instruments as accompaniments for Christian song, and from that time to this they have been freely used with few exceptions. The first organ is believed to have been used in Church service in the 13th century. Organs were, however, in use before this in the theatre. They were never regarded with favor in the Eastern Church, and were vehemently opposed in some of the Western churches. In Scotland no organ is allowed to this day, except in a few Episcopal churches. SEE MUSIC, INSTRUMENTAL. In the English convocation held A.D. 1562, in queen Elizabeth's time, for settling the liturgy, the retaining of organs was carried only by a casting vote. SEE ORGAN.
IV. Sacred Music as a Science. — A certain sort of music seems to have existed in all countries and at all times. Even instrumental music is of a very early date; representations of musical instruments occur on the Egyptian obelisks and tombs. The Hindui, Chinese, and Japanese music is probably what it was thousands of years ago. The Chinese, whose music practically is unpleasant to refined ears, have some sweet-toned instruments, and a notation for the melodies played on them which is sufficiently clear. Their history and fables touching the art antedate by many centuries those of classic nations. The higher style of Oriental music, which has a limited degree of melodious merit, with rhythms logically and distinctly drawn from consociation with poetry as refined and liquid as the Italian, may be found in that of India, dating also from remotest antiquity. The poetical legends of Hindostan, and indeed of all Southern Asia, rival those of China and Greece in ascribing fabulous effects to music. The Hindus consider every art as a direct revelation from heaven, and while their inferior deities communicated other arts, it was Brahma himself who presented music to mortals. The music of the Hebrews is supposed to have had a defined rhythm and melody. The Greeks numbered music among the sciences, and studied the mathematical proportions of sounds. Their music, however, was but poetry sung, a sort of musical recitation or intoning, in which the melodic part was a mere accessory. The Romans borrowed their music from the Etruscans and Greeks, and had both stringed instruments and wind instruments.
The music of modern Europe is a new art, to which nothing analogous seems to have existed among the nations of antiquity. We look therefore to the early music of the Christian Church, to whose fostering influence through several centuries the preservation and progress of art was due, for the foundation upon which the modern system is built. The early music of the Christian Church was probably in part of Greek and in part of Hebrew origin. The choral was at first sung in octaves and unisons. St. Ambrose and Gregory the Great (590-604) directed their attention to its improvement, and under them some sort of harmony or counterpoint seems to have found its way into the service of the Church. The latter was the father of the Gregorian chant, upon the broad foundation of which the music of the Church rested for several centuries. Further advances were made by Guido of Arezzo, to whom notation by lines and spaces is due; but the ecclesiastical music had still an uncertain tonality and an uncertain rhythm. Franco of Cologne, in the 13th century, first indicated the duration of notes by diversity of form. He and John of Muris in the following century contributed greatly to the more rapid progress of sacred music. It is during their period of Christian ecclesiastical life that modern music first attained the character of an art, by which the devout heart gives utterance to its emotions. Its style was at that time serious, grand, and full of expression only when taken as a whole; and as the Church would 'not renounce the few melodies which had long been used, art could exert its power only on the harmonies by which they were embellished. The consequence was that many imitators adopted an artificial, dry, and learned kind of music, which derived all its life from some secular airs mingled with it. The Synod of Trent entreated the pope that he would devise some plan by which this state of things might be improved. Marcellus II accordingly disclosed his views to an enthusiastic young man, and soon after, under the papacy of Paul IV, Palestrina presented to the world his Missa Marcelli (1555). This was the commencement of a revolution in sacred music, which by his influence became simple, thoughtful, aspiring, sincere, and noble, but destitute of passion and tenderness. The most spiritual of all arts, it raised the heart into immediate communion with the Infinite, and, while celebrating the mystery of the divine sacrifice in the different parts of the mass to which it was especially set, it found opportunity to express and to elevate, by its various combinations of sounds, every kind of Christian feeling. The centre of this school was the papal chapel, and its last creative master was Gregorio Allegri (t 1640), whose Misermere, composed for a double choir, expresses with wonderful simplicity all the calm and profound sufferings of a Christian heart beneath the Saviour's cross.
The invention of the organ, and its use in accompanying the choral, had a large share in the development of harmony. Along with the music of the Church, and independently of it, secular music was making gradual advances, guided more by the ear than by science; it seems to have had a more decided rhythm, though not indicated as yet by bars. The airs which have become national in different countries were developments of it, but it had its chief seat in. Belgic Gaul; and the reconciliation of musical science with musical art, begun in Flanders by Josquin Depres in the 15th century, was completed in the 17th century by Palestrina and his school at Rome, and reacted eventually on the ecclesiastical style. "Mediaeval Church music," says Prof. Paine, "did not fulfil the entire mission of the art, for it failed to embrace within its scope of expression all the nature of man, leaving out an important element of artistic representation — his earthly acts and passions. It was reserved for secular music to supply this want. Music can also express outside of the Church the highest principles of religion and morality, as they influence the sentiments and actions of men. The Reformation of the 16th century was undoubtedly the means of giving a new impulse to the cultivation of secular music, which previously had been ignored and held in contempt by the educated musicians and ecclesiastics; and in Germany the Reformation was also the source of a new style of sacred music of popular origin. During the absolute reign of mediaeval counterpoint the sense of melody which existed later in the songs of the troubadours and minnesingers, and other popular melodies of a very early date, was almost wholly lost, and consequently melody had to be discovered again, so to speak, about the year 1600. It was not the learned musicians, but mere dilettanti, who took these first steps on a new path. In Italy the increasing interest in ancient literature and art led to an ardent desire on the part of cultivated men to restore Greek tragedy. Enthusiasts painted its splendors in glowing colors. They believed that modern counterpoint could not compare with ancient music, either with respect to the simple beauty of the melody or the comprehensive clearness and rhetorical expression of the words. This idea of restoring the ancient drama and music was first advocated at the meetings of a society of scholars and artists at Florence. The names of Vincenzio Galilei, Caccini, Cavaliere, and Peri have come down to us as associated with these feeble beginnings of the musical drama. As the result of their efforts they unfolded a new element in music, the modern recitative, out of which the air was gradually developed. It is true the heavy and monotonous recitative which the Florentine dilettanti had introduced remained for a time a doubtful experiment; yet the love for dramatic representations helped to sustain the novelty until the advent of original masters, like Monteverde, Carestini, and, above all, Alessandro Scarlatti. Under their guidance the recitative grew more flexible and expressive; the dramatic action and lyric passion of the play were heightened by means of the orchestral accompaniment, and the true arioso style of singing was formed. Finally, the air sprang into life, and the sera of beautiful and sensuous melody was fairly inaugurated." The opera, which thus appeared nearly contemporaneously with the Reformation and revival of letters (about 1600), greatly enlarged the domain of music. Italy advanced in melody, and Germany in harmony.
Instrumental music in this way came to occupy a more and more prominent place. Upon sacred music the influence of the opera was very marked. It brought about the introduction of solo singing and instrumental accompaniment into sacred music, and in consequence the strict ecclesiastical style was greatly modified. in the course of the 18th century Italian Church music had wandered so far away from the chaste ideal of Palestrina as to lose its sacred style almost wholly. These innovations in the field of music brought about a conflict with the old ecclesiastical style, which struggled in Rome to maintain its ground. The consequence was that the school of music founded by Neri began to perform in the oratorium pieces relating to subjects from sacred history. In this way came into existence the oratorio, intermediate between the ancient and modern styles of music, and more distinctly expressive of precise characters and situations, more agreeable in its melodies, and richer in its instrumental accompaniments (comp, Hase, Ch. Hist. page 465). Not only on the Continent, but also in England, this species of sacred music made its way. During the changes introduced there in ecclesiastical music at the Restoration the school of Purcell (q.v.) had arisen. This paved the way for the oratorio, and a little later England adopted the German Handel, who was the precursor of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Spohr, and Mendelssohn. These masters, though they exercised their gifts in almost every noble form of musical composition, dedicated their genius especially to the pure and sublime themes of religion. Handel's forty operas are almost forgotten; his long career as a dramatic composer, however, served as an excellent school for his faculties, and his triumphs in the field of oratorio music were but the natural fruits of his previous discipline. Handel's strength of character and sincere faith rendered him fully worthy as a man, as well as an artist, to create such works as the Messiah and Israel in Egypt. These masterpieces are not mere lyric and dramatic works; they possess a grand objective and ideal character, comparable only to the greatest works of art; to the Greek drama or the romantic tragedies of Shakespeare. But the oratorio we do not care to see regarded as the highest type and expression of modern Church music. As such the cantatas and passion music by Bach express more intensely and vividly than any other compositions a profound religious conviction. The Passion to St. Matthew has no rival in its special form. It is the most dramatic and vivid conception ill art of the trial and death of Christ. Among hundreds of similar works, this is the only music that has lived.
Here it may most appropriately be stated that all sacred music since the 16th century must be divided into two general divisions, choral and figurate music. Choral music is. in its original form, Church singing only, in which the melody is solemnly slow. It is devoid of ornament, and not bound to a strict observance of time. Figurate music is the execution of religious pieces with accompaniment of instruments, and arose from the choral melodies arranged for four or more voices, and having for their theme hymns, psalms, or passages of Scripture. From the signs or figures used in the different parts, and which were not used in choral music, this style received the name of figurate. The organ was generally used in it to conduct and assist the voice, and subsequently stringed and wind instruments were gradually added. At first the instruments were used only to give the tone to the singers. At the Reformation the Calvinistic Church entirely rejected the use of instruments. The ancient Italian masters, such as Palestrina and Orlando di Lasso, composed no instrumental music. Yet Luther introduced the custom of having chorals executed by instruments. The general use of the organ for accompaniment dates from about the year 1640. Figurate music and choir singing, as distinguished from congregational singing, appears already in the fugues and motets of the 14th century, in which, after one part had commenced the singing, it was taken up by a second, then by a third, a fourth, and finally taken up again by the first, and so on to the end. We find it also in many compositions of the times of the Reformation, as, for instance, in the festive songs of John Eccard (t 1611). Hammerschmidt (t 1675) gave to this style a fuller development, and entitled it by the name of madrigal. In Italy, in the 16th century, the appearance of the opera, as we have seen above, was not without influence on sacred music, which gradually acquired a more secular style. Besides, this also led to the use of musical instruments in the churches. From Italy the custom was introduced into Germany by John Prmetorius (t 1621) and Henry Schitza (t 1762), and thus gave rise to the cantate, in which John Sebastian Bach particularly distinguished himself, and of which we have spoken above. By all these innovations it is believed the old solemn style of sacred music lost ground, and the oratorio itself gradually turned more to the opera. Mozart and Beethoven wrote sacred music in precisely the same style as operas. On the other hand, the Romish 'clergy did not better the position by returning to the ante-Palestinian mode of chanting mass, and this was not without a certain influence again in making the sacred music of the Protestant churches more secular. The importance of instrumental music was also on the increase; overtures and dancing-tunes were often played on the organ before and after service. It is only with the revival of evangelical piety that a change commenced to be perceptible in sacred music it was brought about mainly by the efforts of such composers as C.F. Becker, J.C.H. Rick, G.W. Korner, and by the collection of classical pieces for the organ published by Kocher, Silcher, and Frech in 1851. The ancient figurate pieces were also remodelled by such composers as Ruick, A.W. Bach, C.G. Reissiger, Silcher, Frech, Palmer, etc. In this country Lowell Mason (q.v.) may be said to be the father of Christian Church music. He is certainly the founder of the American school of sacred song, though it should be borne in mind that our musicians, especially composers, are very largely influenced by European culture, particularly German. See Hawkins, General Hist. of the Science and Practice of Music (Lond. 1776; new ed. 1853, 2 volumes, 4to); Burney, Hist. of Music (Lond. 1776-89, 4 volumes, 4to); Forkel, Geschichte d. Musik (Leips. 1788, 2 volumes); Hullah, Hist. of Mod. Music (Lond. 1862); Fetis, Hist. generale de la Musique (Paris, 4 volumes, out, but yet unfinished); Chappell, Hist. of Music (Lond. 1874 and sq., 4 volumes); Naumann, Umgestaltung der Kirchenmusik (1852); Psalmengesang in der Evangel. Kirche (1856); Tonkunst in der Culturgesch. (1869-70); Riddle, Christian Antiquities, pages 384-391; Bingham, Origines Ecclesiasticce, page 315 sq.; Thibaut, Ueber Reinheit der Tonkunst (Heidelb. 1826); Laurenzin, Geschichte der Kirchenmusik bei d. Italienem u. Deutschen (Leips. 1856); Mansi, 29:107; Wiseman, The Offices of Holy Week (Lond. 8vo); Fink, in Zeitschrit. f. hist. Theologie, 1842; Pierer, Universal Lexikon, 9:507; Milman, Hist. of Christianity and Latin Christianity; Neander, Ch. Hist.; Schaff, Ch. Hist.; Baxter, Ecclesiastes Hist. of England, page 263; Ch. and World, 1867, art. 9; Brand, Pop. Antiquities in Great Britain, 2:267 sq.; Hardwick, Hist. of the Reformation, pages 387-389; Hase, Hist. of the Christian Church, pages 153, 465, 675; and especially Coleman, Man. of Prelacy and Ritualism, chapter 12; Lond. Qu. Rev. April 1861, art. 2; July 1871, art. 5.; October 1872, art. 1; Cath. World, March 1870, art. 3; For. Qu. Rev. 20:29 sq.; 23:121-248; Grove, Dict. of Music and Musicians (Lond. 1872-88, 2 volumes, 8vo.).