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Renewal and Resistance

Catholic Church Music from the 1850s to Vatican II

Paul Collins

The Roman Catholic Church has always been concerned with the quality of the music used in the liturgy, and the essays in this volume trace the church’s efforts, during the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth, to cultivate a more appropriate liturgical music for its Latin Rite. The task of restoration – expressed, for example, in the chant revival associated with the monks of Solesmes, the efforts of the Cecilian movement, and Pius X’s determination to reform sacred music in the universal church – is a recurring theme in the book. Meanwhile resistance, particularly to the reforms decreed by the pope’s 1903 motu proprio, also finds a voice in the volume. The essays collected here describe selected scenes and episodes from the unending story of imperfect human beings trying to express in their music the perfection of God.

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