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Title:Cecilian reform in Baltimore, 1868-1903
Author(s):Silverberg, Ann Louise
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Temperley, Nicholas
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Religion, History of
History, United States
Abstract:"Cecilian Reform in Baltimore, 1868-1903" traces the reform of Roman Catholic liturgical music during one of its most controversial and least researched phases. Focusing on a single American city illustrates how a portion of the ethnically diverse, rapidly growing American Catholic church responded to the importation of a liturgical music aesthetic approved and eventually legislated by the Vatican. Baltimore, the first episcopal see of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, has a history of ethnic and racial diversity among Catholic citizens, illustrating the progress of liturgical music reform in parishes serving different ethnic groups.
The era considered is the last period during which the orchestral masses of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven were commonly used in liturgical services. Advocates of the Cecilian movement attempted to ban such works from liturgies, as well as trying to eliminate the use of theatrical works in church. They contended that Gregorian chant and Renaissance-style polyphony were models for universal liturgical use.
In the United States, and specifically in Baltimore, the Cecilian movement encountered difficulties in pursuing its agenda. It was closely tied to its Bavarian and German roots, and consequently to the culture of German immigrants. Furthermore, it had to cope with an American church hierarchy that by and large sought to develop an "Americanized" form of Catholicism. In the last two decades of the nineteenth century, the Cecilian movement lost impetus in Baltimore, clearly shown by the declining number of Cecilian works used in liturgies.
The Cecilian movement nevertheless left its mark on the music of the Roman Catholic Church. As a result, a number of masses and other works disappeared from liturgical use, resurfacing in the concert repertory. The Cecilian movement also paved the way for the more thorough liturgical music reforms legislated by Pope Pius X in his Motu Proprio of 1983. By returning to the essential questions regarding the role of music in worship and whether specific styles of music are necessary for liturgical propriety, the Cecilian movement generated interest in the church music of the distant past, calling for a more transcendental view of its function.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Silverberg, Ann Louise
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9236594
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9236594

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