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Contents

Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE LITURGY

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

One of the first steps toward organizing the ceaseless cyclic psalm-chanting of early monastic vigils into a liturgy—that is, a prescribed order—was taken by St. Benedict of Nursia in his famous Regula monachorum, the book of rules that governed the lives of the monks in the monastery Benedict founded at Monte Cassino in 529. With apologies for the laxity of his ordinance, he required that the Psalter be recited not in a single marathon bout but in a weekly round or cursus of monastic Offices, eight each day. The greatest single portion went to the Night Office (now called matins, literally “wee hours”), in which twelve or more full psalms were performed, grouped by threes or fours (together with prayers and readings from scripture) in large subdivisions known as “nocturns.”

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. 18 Dec. 2014. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-001008.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 18 Dec. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-001008.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 18 Dec. 2014, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-001008.xml
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