Curiosities of Music - online book

Rare facts about the music traditions of many nations & cultures

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
that the clerks only (called canonical singers " Canonitos Cantores,") should be allowed to sing during the service.* The abuses which accompany paid singing, appeared even in the second century. Singers found themselves sought after in propor­tion to their talents, and therefore (in the absence of an exact method of notation) sought to make those talents more conspicuous by an introduction of florid ornaments and cadenzas into their music; they gradually forgot, or disregarded the old traditional style of singing, and sought only to excite the admiration of the masses by exhibiting to the best advantage the power and agility of their voices.
It was, without doubt, to remedy this abuse that Pope Sylvester I, who occupied the pontifi­cal chair, A. D. 320, founded a school in Rome for the formation of singers t At this time also, the choir had its own gallery or place in the church assigned to it, and every art was called into play to impress and enthrall the worshipper. Sculp­ture, Painting, Architecture and Music combined, as they had previously done for Pagan theatres and amusements, to render the church a beautiful as well as holy resort. Charity combined in some instances with policy; for we learn that a singing school founded in A. D. 350, by pope Hilary, was called an orphan asylum (orphanotrophia), and here the education of clerks for the church, was commenced at a very tender age.J
* Fetig.
t Marciilac Histoire de la Mus. Moderne, p. 27.
I Ambros, Ge&chlchte d Mas., v. 2, p 13.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III