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Contents

Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century

THE LEGEND OF ST. GREGORY

Chapter:
CHAPTER 1 The Curtain Goes Up
Source:
MUSIC FROM THE EARLIEST NOTATIONS TO THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

From these squabbles we can guess at the reason for a venerable legend that became attached to the Roman chant around the time of its advent into written history. It was then widely asserted that the entire musical legacy of the Roman church was the inspired creation of a single man, the sainted Pope Gregory I, who had reigned from 590 until his death in 604. John the Deacon’s complaint about Frankish barbarism actually comes from his biography of the presumed author of the chant. “St. Gregory compiled a book of antiphons,” John wrote, using the contemporary term for a kind of liturgical singing. “He founded a schola,” the chronicler continued, using the contemporary term for a choir, “which to this day performs the chant in the Church of Rome according to his instructions; he also erected two dwellings for it, at St. Peter’s and at the Lateran palace, where are venerated the couch from which he gave lessons in chant, the whip with which he threatened the boys, and the authentic antiphoner,” the latter being the great book containing the music for the whole liturgical calendar.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 1 The Curtain Goes Up." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-001005.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 1 The Curtain Goes Up. In Oxford University Press, Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 30 Aug. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-001005.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 1 The Curtain Goes Up." In Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 30 Aug. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-001005.xml
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