Today, Easter Sunday, is a day for singing at churches all around the world, a tradition of drawing on the power of music for a deeper religious experience that stretches back to antiquity.
Music has celebrated spirituality since the earliest times
By Mark Kanny, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Last updated: 7:33 am
Religious music takes many forms, from single-line music such as Gregorian chant to complex contrapuntal structures found in many Catholic Masses starting in the 12th century. Different denominations have different musical traditions. And not all religious music is intended for worship services.
The Hebrew Bible includes many references to instruments and music, including David's call to "Sing Unto God a New Song." Yet, little is known of the specific music, although there have been conjectural reconstructions of melody.
The biggest musical event in the Bible was the dedication of the Temple of Solomon, which was celebrated with vast musical forces. Solomon's father, King David, had formed choruses and orchestras totaling 4,000 musicians. Many of those performed at the dedication, where they were joined by 120 trumpeters. Of course, those instruments probably sounded quite different from their counterparts today, and not a note of what was performed survives.
Hymns, chants, Masses and chorales
The ancient Greeks and Romans sang hymns to their gods. Scholars believe early Christian worshippers adapted Roman music with changed words for their prayer. Borrowing music and turning it to new and different use has been a common practice throughout documented music history and continues today.
Chanting prayers is a widespread religious practice, not limited.......................
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