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‘Full in the panting heart of Rome’: Roman Catholic music in England: 1850-1962

Muir, Thomas Erskine (2004) ‘Full in the panting heart of Rome’: Roman Catholic music in England: 1850-1962. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF (Volume 1)
PDF (Volume 2)
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This thesis is the first in-depth study o f music regularly heard by a community that grew from 0.5 million to 3.72 million people between 1850 and 1962. The sheer quantity and variety o f material is enormous; but much o f it is rapidly disappearing, since the music is no longer in regular use. Regardless o f its often dubious quality it is a socio-musical phenomenon that cannot be ignored. No assessment of music in England can be complete without it. The period is bounded by two events: the restoration o f the Episcopal Hierarchy, and the opening o f the Second Vatican Council. It is bisected by Pius X's influential 'Motu Proprio' decree Tra le Sollectudini of 1903. The quotation in the titlecomes from Cardinal Wiseman's mid-nineteenth-century hymn God Bless Our Pope; highlighting the uneasy symbiotic relationship between English Catholics and Rome. There are three sections. Part 1, after discussing perceptions o f Catholic music, describes the historical, hturgical and legislative framework. Part 2 examines trends shaping the musical agenda: developments in plainchant, the revival of Renaissance polyphony, the emergence o f vernacular hymnody and Benediction music, the role o f the organ, and events during the 1950s. Part 3 (in a separate volume) provides a detailed analysis of repertoire, based on a representative sample of musical collections and sources organised into databases on the accompanying CD and Zip disk. This is a new technique in musicology. For the first time, instead of relying on pronouncements by individual commentators and ecclesiastical authorities, backed by selective study of particular pieces o f music, people's actual experience 'on the ground' can be measured; the importance, in this context, o f developments in the music publishing industry can be properly assessed; and the degree o f centralised (sometimes foreign) control actually exerted within an apparently monolithic and authoritarian church can be measured.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2004
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:57

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