Evolution of Church Music

I came across this video on how church music has developed in the last 1500 years. Note the same person is singing all the melodies. His name is David Wesley. I don't know much about him, but he has some very good videos on church music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SaBhN2idbM&list=PLPQ2oShZCi0KQJKInOy0fedM7cBShrLRL&index=14

Listening to it, I note there are some common threads. On the other hand, as one listener pointed out, there does come a point where the hymns are no longer communal, How do you feel about this?

Comments

  • I had seen this before but had forgotten about it. Interesting that apart from one gospel song from about 1937 I was familiar with every piece...until he reached the 21st century then I didn't know any! (The most recent one I knew was Hillsong's 'Shout to the Lord') - probably just a reflection on the sort of churches I have been in recently.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    I didn’t know 1939 or 1969, or anything from 1998 onwards. I was aware that it traced one particular path through church music (nothing from the Eastern Church, no chant, Gregorian or other). Also I thought putting the twentieth century translation of Rop tú mo baile (‘Be thou my vision’) with a folk tune of uncertain age as 6th century was pushing it a bit.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    edited May 23
    It is the development of a specific stream, that of the revivalist-evangelical line. The classic hymn line is almost totally omitted.
  • I think we've done all the recent ones in our church with the exception of 2017 which I didn't know. I'm not sure what it is about them that people think they are not communal. We manage to join in.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    I was OK up to 1969. After that it all sounded the same to me - you think you recognise it but then it might be something else.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    There is everything wrong about that vid, from the horrible lack of legato phrasing, through the ugly barbershop harmonies, to the historical inaccuracies in ascriptions.
    Just what is the point of it?
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Alan29 wrote: »
    There is everything wrong about that vid, from the horrible lack of legato phrasing, through the ugly barbershop harmonies, to the historical inaccuracies in ascriptions.
    Just what is the point of it?
    This. The video is full of inaccuracies, misapprehensions and anachronisms, and is, as has been noted, focused one very specific stream of hymnody. It may be a decent overview of of hymns within that stream over the years, but to describe it as the “evolution” of church music is almost laughable.

    Also the criticism that after a certain point the hymns are no longer communal is odd to me given that the supposedly oldest example given—which only dates back around 100 years in the form in which it’s presented—is completely in first person singular.

  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Yes, it was made from a very narrow point of view. And they have lovely voices and blend well, but they are badly in need of lessons in breath control, phrasing, dynamics and vowel technique. I stopped listening after 1988.
  • Just as an aside Miss Amanda, its just one person singing all the parts .... so not really 'they' .... but then we are back to using 'they' as a singular pronoun I guess! ;-)
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    No, I really thought it was a sextet. Miss Amanda would never knowingly commit a grammatical blunder so egregious as to use a plural pronoun to refer to a singular person. :hushed:
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    well ... six single persons ... er ... six single person ... er ...
  • ForthviewForthview Shipmate
    do you mean one person shown six times ?
  • snowflakesnowflake Shipmate
    It's clearly one person who was cloned five times for the purpose of the video, and then all five clones were shoved back into the Clone-a-nator.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    Which explains why they blended so well . . . also why all six of them had the same breath control and dynamic control problems.
  • orfeoorfeo Shipmate
    Saying that a version of a melody or words might date back to around 560 AD is completely different to saying that it sounded anything like this version.
  • yohan300yohan300 Shipmate
    I was looking forward to hear some O Filii El Filiae, John Dunstable, Marian antiphons and James Nares, but instead got the lyrics to a bunch of 20th century American stuff sung to me by what sounded like a new voice for Siri.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Ah, Siri. She's such a voice.
  • I haven't bonded with Siri or Alexa. But if either came in drag as HAL9000 I would be very tempted.
  • It would be like supping with the Devil, though.
  • I haven't bonded with Siri or Alexa. But if either came in drag as HAL9000 I would be very tempted.

    I can't let you do that, Mark.
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