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Open Access Music and the Jesuit “Way of Proceeding” in the German Counter-Reformation

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Music and the Jesuit “Way of Proceeding” in the German Counter-Reformation

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The present essay considers the Jesuits’ relationship to musical culture along the confessional frontier of Germany, where the immediate presence of religious difference led to an explicit marking of space and boundaries, not least through visual and aural media. While Jesuit reservations concerning the appropriate use of music were always present, individual churches and colleges soon developed ambitious musical practices aimed at embellishing the Catholic liturgy and stimulating religious affect. The present essay traces a gradual shift in Jesuit attitudes toward music between roughly 1580 and 1650, showing steady growth in the Society’s use of musical resources in churches, colleges, hymnbooks, processions, and theatrical productions in the confessionally-contested German orbit.

Affiliations: 1: University of British Columbia, fisher@mail.ubc.ca

The present essay considers the Jesuits’ relationship to musical culture along the confessional frontier of Germany, where the immediate presence of religious difference led to an explicit marking of space and boundaries, not least through visual and aural media. While Jesuit reservations concerning the appropriate use of music were always present, individual churches and colleges soon developed ambitious musical practices aimed at embellishing the Catholic liturgy and stimulating religious affect. The present essay traces a gradual shift in Jesuit attitudes toward music between roughly 1580 and 1650, showing steady growth in the Society’s use of musical resources in churches, colleges, hymnbooks, processions, and theatrical productions in the confessionally-contested German orbit.

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2016-06-08
2017-08-20

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