Religious Music

church music

church music:1 Music intended for performance as part of services of worship. With few exceptions, music is essential to the ritual of every religion; the singing of prayers and portions of Scripture is part of Judaeo-Christian tradition, and a large number of melodies for specific parts of the liturgy were embodied in the medieval collection of church music called Gregorian chant. Additional musical settings of liturgy from later times to the present have added to the liturgical repertory. Such customary interpolations in the service as the motet, chorale, and hymn have achieved an integral place in many church services. This is also true of the Anglican anthem and was at one time true of the Lutheran cantata. See anthem; antiphon; cantata; chant; chorale; hymn; Mass; motet; plainsong. 2 Music intended for performance in a church outside the regular worship service. This may include works taken from the repertory above as well as music of religious content, e.g., oratorios or sacred cantatas and instrumental music that is not specifically secular in nature. See cantata; carol; oratorio.

See E. Routley, Twentieth-Century Church Music (1964); E. H. Fellowes, English Cathedral Music (5th ed. 1969); E. Dickinson, Music in the History of the Western Church (1902, repr. 1970); R. C. Von Ende, Church Music: An International Bibliography (1980); C. Page, The Christian West and Its Singers: The First Thousand Years (2010).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Religious Music: Selected full-text books and articles

The Sound of Light: A History of Gospel Music By Don Cusic Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1990
The Making of Sikh Scripture By Gurinder Singh Mann Oxford University Press, 2001
Librarian's tip: "Rag as the Organizing Principle of the Adi Granth" begins on p. 87
The Aesthetics of Spiritual Practice and the Creation of Moral and Musical Subjectivities in Aleppo, Syria (1) By Shannon, Jonathan H Ethnology, Vol. 43, No. 4, Fall 2004
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Japanese Music and Musical Instruments By William P. Malm Charles E. Tuttle, 1959
Librarian's tip: Chap. 2 "Religious Music"
The New Oxford History of Music By Egon Wellesz Oxford University Press, vol.1, 1999
The History of Catholic Church Music By Karl Gustav Fellerer; Francis A. Brunner Helicon Press, 1961
Man and His Music: The Story of Musical Experience in the West By Alec Harman; Anthony Milner; Wilfrid Mellers Oxford University Press, 1962
Religious Perspectives in American Culture By James Ward Smith; A. Leland Jamison Princeton University Press, 1961
Librarian's tip: "Religious Music in America" begins on p. 289
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.