Ordet blev sång. Liturgisk musik i katolska kloster 2005-2007.

by Strinnholm Lagergren, Karin, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
Abstract Strinnholm Lagergren, Karin 2009: The Word Became Song. Liturgical song in Catholic Monasteries 2005-2007. The intention of this dissertation is to study the musical praxis and associated conceptions in Catholic monasteries during the early 21st century. The dissertation will analyse the musical life in approximately 20 Catholic monasteries with an emphasis on Gregorian chant. The background for the dissertation is Gregorian chant’s diminished importance after the Second Vatican council (1962-65). The Second Vatican council was a Catholic council that aimed to reform the Catholic Church which also affected the liturgy. The study has been conducted as an ethnomusicological study in which the material is interpreted via the framework of the sociology of knowledge and Cultural Analysis. The theory of the symbolical universe as the place where Gregorian chant exists and is legitimized is central. The empirical data consist of interviews, sheet music and CD recordings gathered during fieldwork visits. The study encompassed monasteries in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Italy, France. The orders that have been studied are Dominicans, Benedictines, Carmelites, Bridgettines and Cistercians. The musical material has been divided into three categories that are analysed using the terms Recreated, Reshaped and Renewed. The Recreated category refers to liturgies that maintained Gregorian chant in Latin, the Reshaped refers to Gregorian chant that have been adapted to be sung in the vernacular language and the Renewed category refers to brand new compositions composed in individual monasteries for their personal liturgies. All three categories can coexist in the same monastery. The music in the Renewed category is modelled after Gregorian chant but the music's theoretical ties are in most cases more ideological in nature than musically traceable. Regardless as to how great an extent the monasteries sing the three different categories, Gregorian chant has a very important role and is the foundation of both liturgical and musical identity of the Catholic monasteries today. Gregorian chant’s role in the symbolical universe is fortified through different legitimization processes, of which the teaching exercise is an important example. The practical and ideological factors behind the unique monastic musical ideal are discussed as are the reasons why so many monasteries chose to record their repertoires on CD. Finally the dissertation discusses a present tendency in the monastic world which sees an increasing use of Gregorian chant in the liturgy, a so called Re-gregorianisation. The most important factors behind this process are the Western world’s great interest in the past alongside a desire for a less divided Catholic liturgy.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Göteborgs universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:HUMANITIES and RELIGION; Aesthetic subjects; Music; Gregorian chant; Catholic church; monasticism; Second Vatican Council; postconciliar liturgy; adaptations; ethnomusicology; Solesmes; sociology of knowledge; cultural analysis


Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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