Abstract: There were two kinds of chant in Victorian Britain - one theological, the other scientific: Gregorian chant, the traditional music of the church; and primitive chant, the earliest human music. Because of their rudimentary nature Victorians described them as 'simple'. This essay explores how science and theology used simplicity to help define themselves through chant. It begins with an exploration of the 'war' between the two disciplines; then examines the meaning each discipline ascribes to simplicity and chant; and concludes with a reflection on the nature of their 'peace' and its implications for the history of musicology.
Journal of the History of Ideas – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Jul 10, 2014