Monday, March 08, 2004
Indoor versus outdoor sacred music Help me on this; where did I read this analysis? Northern (read European) cultures developed a sacred music for mainly indoor ritual. Christian churches of both the East and West developed chant traditions because buildings (good ones) confine, resonate, and amplify the human voice naturally. Dance and rhythm developed as sacred art in warm climates (Africa, for example) because open worship experiences demanded a different and more effective way to unify people in prayer. Even Christian church bells are a percussion instrument, and bells are the only major outdoor expression of traditional Christian music. Do these considerations affect present and future considerations for sacred music? Is chant primary only in interior spaces? Is it primary only in non-carpeted churches? Does electronic amplification alter the landscape? Is plainsong's "pride of place" a legislation of an imposed Roman taste, or does it actually have artistic and/or pragmatic merit on its own behalf? Comments?