The National Music of America - online book

The Sources & Factors Influential In Forming America's Music.

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The National Music of America. 13
XV. and Daniel III. were treated in similar, choral manner; Origen (in the second cen­tury) intimates that the congregations sang together in his day. But probably the clear­est statement of early congregational singing is made by St. John Chrysostom when he describes part of the Christian service thus : "The Psalms which we sing united all the voices in one, and the canticles arise harmo­niously in unison. Young and old, rich and poor, women, men, slaves, and citizens, all of us have formed but one melody together."
The Catholic Church, however, soon abol­ished the practice of congregational music, although, in Germany, it still continued, in spite of the prohibitions of councils and of popes. The German priests, finding that they could not prevent their flocks from joining in the musical part of the services, wisely resolved to direct this popular singing in a fitting channel, and numerous simple songs in praise of the Virgin were composed
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III