From Gregorian Chant To Polyphony

Source: The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Robert E. Webber, General Editor

Music in early Christian worship consisted of melody only. Toward the end of the Middle Ages, more complex music, featuring the simultaneous singing of more than one melodic line, was composed for use in worship. For several centuries, this complex-or polyphonic-music was composed by many of Europe's most famous and skilled composers.

For the first eight hundred years of Christian worship the musical vehicle for the liturgy was melody. It might take the form of a cantillated prayer of...


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