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Canticle

(333 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Christoph
In ancient tragedy the canticum was a monologue with flute accompaniment. In later Latin, canticum became a general term for a song. In the church the term at first came into use for very different kinds of songs, but later it was limited to OT and NT canticles used for the most part in the hours of prayer. In particular, three NT canticles came into liturgical use: the Magnificat, or Song of Mary (Luke 1:46–55); the Benedictus, or Song of Zacharias (Luke 1:68–79); and the Nunc Dimittis, or Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29–32). From the early days of the monastic hours of prayer in the fourth …

Cantata

(189 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Christoph
The cantata (It. cantata, choral piece with several movements, as distinct from the purely instrumental sonata), which was developed in Italy in the 17th century, involves an alternation of aria…

Choir

(487 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Christoph
The Greek word choros meant the place where a round dance was danced, the round dance itself, or the group that danced it. For a group of singers Latin adapted the loanword chorus for use in worship, and the group then gave its name to its place in the church. Both in the church and in secular settings, groups from ancient times have come together to make music on a higher level than that of the general public. In the earliest days of Christianity the choir had something of the function of the chorus in ancient drama, taking part in the action as representatives of the pe…

Raselius, Andreas

(113 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Christoph
[German Version] (Rasel, Raesel; 1563, Halmbach, Oberpfalz – Jan 6, 1602, Heidelberg), composer and musical theorist. In 1581 Raselius studied in Heidelberg, where in 1583 he became preceptor at the elector’s Pädagogium; in 1584 he became teacher and cantor in Regensburg; in 1600, court musical director in Heidelberg. He published two anthologies of songs (1591 and 1599), and two collections of German Gospel texts for Sundays and festivals (1594 and 1595). Raselius’s main work on the theory of music, Hexachordum seu quaestiones musicae practicae (1598), was of great importance…

Crüger, Johann

(414 words)

Author(s): Albrecht, Christoph
[German Version] (Apr 9, 1598, Groß Breesen near Guben – Feb 23, 1662, Berlin) was the most important Protestant creator of song melodies. The history of the hymnal is also indebted to him for essential impulses. After studying theology and music in Wittenberg, he was …