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302 CURIOSITIES OF' MUSIC.
as monuments of the cultivated taste of this pioneer in church music. The composition of the " Te Deum Zaudamus," has been ascribed to St. Ambrose, and St. Augustine; but it was composed nearly a century after their death. Among other persons to whom this beautiful production has been assigned, may be mentioned St. Hilary. St. Abundius, St. Sisebut, and St. Nicat; but it may be safely affirmed that its real author has never been discovered.
The greatest boon bestowed on the church by St. Ambrose was the rhythmical hymn, mentioned above, all of which, and many others he wrote for the Cathedral which he built at Milan.
" The entire accent, and style of chanting as regulated by him. was undoubtedly an artistic and cultivated improvement on that of preceding church services, such as would naturally result from the rare combination of piety, zeal, intellect, and poetical and musical power by which he was distinguished." The Ambrosian chant was eventually merged, but certainly not lost in that vast repertory of plain song, (whether then ancient or modern,) which we now call Gregorian, from the name of the next great reformer of church music, St. Gregory the Great.* St. Ambrose died A. D. 397; it was but a short time afterwards that the great invasion of the northern barbarians took place. The history of the vicissitudes of the ecclesiastical music, during the general disruption of Europe and the western civilization, which
•GroTe's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, parti, to1. 1, articl* " Ambrosian chant," by Rer. Thomas Helmore.