The Effects of Christianity on Music Development
San Antonio College
Christianity has became very important to peoples lives. People let this religion decide how they live. So it is not very surprising that music, one of the earliest ways of expression was also influenced by Christianity. It has had an effect on bits of music throughout history.
Lots of people would agree that it is completely natural and also proper for music to have a place in Christian worship. It is natural because music and religion have been associated since the earliest times, and proper because the Bible sanctions its use. (Harman 1) “The Church was born in song. It sang hymns, Psalms, and spiritual songs as the parallel passages in Ephesians 5:18-20 and Colossians 3:16-17 indicate. All of these types of songs were sung as an image of unity and harmony of all Christians.” (Westermeyer 63)
During the Medieval period, the Catholic Church had enormous power and control over lots of people. This period began with the collapse of the Roman Empire. Since most people were in disarray at this time the Roman Catholic church became the main unifying source that held many cultures together. With the importance of the church during the Medieval period it isn’t very surprising that the music to survive this period is only sacred music.
Medieval music of the Roman Catholic church started as Gregorian Chant. This consisted of a melody set to sacred Latin texts and sung without instruments. This was meant to help enhance certain parts of the religious services. (Kamien 67) In the Catholic liturgy it is hard to tell the difference between text and music. (Appleby 34) Gregorian Chant was sung by priest and choirs, never by the congregation. Gregorian Chant was the only type of music accepted in churches at the time of the early Medieval period. Other music such as instruments was not accepted...