RE: [CalontirDance] Reilgious music and dance
- You know, in my music research I am beginning to suspect that the music
development actually worked the other way around. In the beginning, Church
music started off as very serious, highly scary. ( Really interesting series
of lectures on Religiosity in the Middle ages at Pennsic, but I digress).
The illusion I like is the church singing. No variations on the tune, it
has to be the same. That is why the Christian church had such a push to
codify the music.. leading to the need to figure out how to record the
sounds some how. (Written music, if you think about it is just a way to
help you remember how a tune you already know goes. Be sure to catch my
discussion of music theory at the October 30 Rush in Rolla- Crass commercial
Then, as time passes, things lighten up and "popular" music began to work
its way into the church music. So, I suspect that the Cantigas that we all
love so much are a reflection of well loved songs that got canonized into
the a religious form.
A modern example, (sorry it is the teacher coming out in me!) might be the
fun drinking song that has now changed into our very serious, National Pride
inspiring Star Spangled Banner. Do we sing it and immediately want a pint,
maybe... but I bet the people who sang it when it was first introduced had
to smile a bit!
Love Neathery of Safita
- I agree with both Conna and Seonaid that Christian religious music rarely
follows formed or coreographed dancing (in some cases dancing is a banned
thing all together, but in most it's just not done to the religious stuff).
This case is not as true for other religions, *think Hora* but in the
Christinaity of Rennaisance Europe I'm thinking that dancing, especially
social dancing, would not have been done to music about the blessed virgin.
A note on lyrical retread of christian songs:
There is evidence among the music of the Lutheran Reformation in Germany
that folk songs, plainchants and basically the popular tunes of the day were
re-worded with religious text to appeal to the masses. Much like the
Victorian Ding Dong Merrily becoming a christmas tune, All Green Hills and
Valleys became All Things That God Graces, and Beautiful Countryside became
Beautiful Savior, many religious songs are indeed Filks. I suppress laughter
just thinking of the theme "Lets Filk for Jesus!" So my rambling point is
that if there is music that we do a dance to that happens to be a familiar
hymn, look closely at the complosition, arrangement, and lyric dates - the
text is probably much newer than the tune. Also if the text is as old as the
music be suspicious that it is appropriate for the social hall - rather than
for the sanctuary.
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