• Sort All Books
  • Information

Opinions on Church Music
Comments and Reports from Four and a Half Centuries

By Elwyn A. Wienandt

Opinions on Church Music
Paperback, 224 pages $29.95
Published: 1st June 1974
ISBN: 9780918954305

Subjects: All Practical Theology, Worship and Ritual

The place of music in worship has varied widely throughout the centuries. In the last two decades,music for the church has undergone drastic changes in style, in function, and in the attitudes of the people who perform it and listen to it. Understanding these changes is easier if we know the viewpoints of the past.

Opinions on Church Music will help the reader do just that. In a representative selection of letters, essays, sermons, memoirs, dedications, prefaces, and other documents taken from the writings of musicians, critics, historians, clergymen, and the lay public, this anthology reflects a wide range of reactions to the musical scene as it touches upon the church.

From Erasmus's criticism of choirboys to Stephen Koch's evaluation of Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell, Dr. Wienandt has brought into focus a picture of the changing course of music with a religious message.



Desiderius Erasmus—A Brief Comment about Church MusicPreface


Desiderius Erasmus - A Brief Comment about Church Music

Martin Luther - Preface to Georg Rhau's Symphoniae iucundae

Thomas Cranmer - Letter to King Henry VIII

Royal Injunction to Lincoln Minster

Rules for Sacred Music by the Council of Trent

Thomas Morley - Extract from A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke


"Orders for the Attendance of the Gentlemen of his Majestes Chappell" from The Old Cheque-Book of the Chapel Royal

The Coronation Service of Charles I, from The Old Cheque-Book

Thomas Ravenscroft - Preface to Psalter (1633 edition)

Preface to the Bay Psalm Book

Edward Lowe - A Short Direction for the Performance of Cathedrall Service (Extract)

Orders to the Chapel Royal, from The Old Cheque-Book

Decree on Sacred Music by the Sacra Visita Apostolica (1665)

Thomas Mace - Extracts from Mustek's Monument


Thomas Walter - Introduction to The Grounds and Rules of Mustek Explained

Roger North - "Ecclesiasticall Musick," from The Musicall Grammarian

Johann Sebastian Bach - "Short but most necessary draft for a well-appointed Church music"

Encyclical Letter of Pope Benedict XIV

John Alcock - Dedication from A Morning and Evening Service

James Lyon - Dedication to Urania

William Hayes - "Rules necessary to be observed by all Cathedral-Singers in this Kingdom"

Leopold Mozart - Letter, November 1-3, 1777

Wolfgang Mozart - Letter, November 4, 1777

Charles Burney - Venice; The Sistine Chapel; Vienna

John Mellen - "The Service of God," from Religion Productive of Music

Samuel Arnold - Preface to Cathedral Music

Richard Eastcott - "Of the use and abuse of Church Music"

William Billings - "A Commentary ... by way of Dialogue" from The Continental Harmony


Ludwig van Beethoven - Some letters about the Missa Solemnis

Vincent Novello - Extracts from the Travel Diaries

Felix Mendelssohn - A letter about sacred music

Thomas Hastings - Some remarks to the American Musical Convention, 1845

Raymond Seely - Some remarks to the American Musical Convention, 1845

Samuel Sebastian Wesley - Extract from A Feu' Words on Cathedral Music

Lowell Mason - Letter from Berlin, 1852, about the Cathedral Choir

The General Directions of November 18, 1856, concerning appropriate Church Music

F. A. G. Ouseley - A brief defense of English church music

R. B. Daniel - Women and boys in church choirs

Charles Villiers Stanford - "Music in Cathedral and Church Choirs"


Motu Proprio of Pope Pius X on Sacred Music

O. G. T. Sonneck - Extract from "A Survey of Music in America"

Archibald T. Davison -"Individualism"

H. C. Colles-"Church Music," 22 July 1922

James F. White - Excerpt from "Church Choir: Friend or Foe?"

Howard D. McKinney - "Winds of Change"

Frank Cunkle -"Invitation to Arson"

Dave Brubeck- The Light in the Wilderness, program notes

Ralph Thibodeau-"Threnody for Sacred Music, 1968 or, The People of God Have Been Had"

Stephen Koch -"God on Stage"



ELWYN A. WIENANDT is professor of musicology in the Baylor University School of Music. He has published more than 110 compositions for vocal and instrumental ensembles, editions, arrangements, and original works. His interests in research have taken him, in addition to church music and its history, into lute music, choral music, and the history of American music.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 224 pages

 Baylor University Press

Other visitors also viewed:

Spanish Bourbons and Wild Indians Renewing Christian Theology The Politics of Sacred Rhetoric Stumping God Toying with God