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Contents

Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century

MARIAN ANTIPHONS

Chapter:
CHAPTER 3 Retheorizing Music
Source:
MUSIC FROM THE EARLIEST NOTATIONS TO THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY
Author(s):
Richard Taruskin

The very latest genre of medieval chant to be incorporated (in some part) into the canonical liturgy was the votive antiphon. Votive antiphons were psalmless antiphons—that is, independent Latin songs—attached as riders onto the ends of Office services to honor or appeal to local saints or (increasingly) to the Virgin Mary. As a human chosen by God to bear His son, Mary was thought to mediate between the human and the divine. One fanciful image casts her as the neck connecting the Godhead and the body of the Christian congregation. As such she was the natural recipient of personal prayers or devotional vows (and it is from “vow” that the word “votive” is derived). From the cult of Mary arose the Marian antiphon or “anthem to the Blessed Virgin Mary.” Our English word “anthem,” meaning a song of praise or devotion by now as often patriotic as religious, descends (by way of the Old English antefne) from “antiphon.” These ample songs of salutation to the Mother of God appear in great numbers in written sources beginning early in the eleventh century. By the middle of the thirteenth, a few had been adopted for ordinary use in monasteries to conclude the Compline service (hence the liturgical day itself). At English cathedrals they enhanced the Evensong service, which lay worshipers attended. It was to keep these prayers for intercession going in perpetuity that the “choral foundations”—endowments to fund the training of choristers—were set up at English cathedrals and university chapels. They have lasted to this day.

Citation (MLA):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 3 Retheorizing Music." The Oxford History of Western Music. Oxford University Press. New York, USA. n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2018. <http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-003008.xml>.
Citation (APA):
Taruskin, R. (n.d.). Chapter 3 Retheorizing Music. In Oxford University Press, Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century. New York, USA. Retrieved 19 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-003008.xml
Citation (Chicago):
Richard Taruskin. "Chapter 3 Retheorizing Music." In Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century, Oxford University Press. (New York, USA, n.d.). Retrieved 19 Dec. 2018, from http://www.oxfordwesternmusic.com/view/Volume1/actrade-9780195384819-div1-003008.xml
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