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Posted by Richard Ruquist on November 1, 2002 14:01:25 UTC

The development of organum illustrates my point that the church has inhibited the development of music. From your post:This is nonsense as the concept of harmony was invented by the Church! It was originally called Organum.

It was called organum because it was accompanied by an instrument, which came to be called the organ. Instrumental accompanient is necessary for most trained singers to maintain harmony.

The Greeks never invented harmony, even though Pythagoras worked out its number theory, just because all instrumental music was considered to be a lower form of music. This persisted in the early church and never changed in the eastern orthadox church where the music became stagnant.

In the 600 to 800 AD period, instrumental music and harmony began to enter the western or Catholic church. It began in monasteries as an adjunct to the service. In the service itself, non-rhymical plainsong remained entrenched. The more conservative elements of the church were opposed to the use of instruments.

So it is true that western music developed in the church. But that was largely a result of outside, secular influences which initiated the use of instruments in the monasteries and later the church, in particular the Church of Notre Dame in Paris. Indeed, the development of music in the Europeon church was mostly due to the influence of the northern church starting with Charlemagne, even though he made plainsong or Gregorian chant the official music of the church. But I read that the northern peoples, the Celts, Franks, Goths, Anglos,etc., needed more inspiring forms of music.

My guess is that the northern church had to compete with the rather rousing secular music that the northerners had already developed, and so had to incorporate it into the church. It is because of this that the Catholic Church, as opposed to the Eastern Church, has always been open to all forms of music, and it is probably why the Catholic Church sponsored the development of western music up to Bach. However, I disagree that western music went into decadence as soon as the church stopped its funding. I think the best classical music was composed after it was set free from the church.



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