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Text and Context: The Provision of Music and Ceremonial in the Services of the First Book of Common Prayer (1549).

Scot, Stefan Anthony. (1999) Text and Context: The Provision of Music and Ceremonial in the Services of the First Book of Common Prayer (1549). Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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This thesis is primarily concerned with two inter-related fields of study: firstly, how composers responded textually (rather than musically) to the first Book of Common Prayer (1549), and the continuing influence of that Book on musical settings up to (and in some cases beyond) the Commonwealth, and secondly, how music was integrated into the wider ceremonial with which the services of the first Prayer Book might have been conducted. Its subject matter, construction and methodology are bom out of a conviction that music is always part of a particular cultural and social milieu and only when considered within that context can it fully be understood. This is particularly true of church music, which has as its raison d’etre performance within the liturgy. The first part of the thesis begins with a comparison of the texts usually included in the musical service as they are found in the different issues of the first Prayer Book, and then collated with the texts of the second and subsequent Books. It is suggested that two distinct versions of the first Book can be identified, one associated with the publisher Grafton and the other with Whitchurche; the former seems to have enjoyed a greater measure of authority since it derived from the King’s Primer and is considerably closer to the second and subsequent Books than Whitchurche’s version. Musical sources in which Edwardine settings of service music have predominantly survived are identified and the texts of the 175 services they contain (whether Edwardine or not) are examined in detail; the results are set out in an extended appendix. It is found that distinctive clauses derived from the first Prayer Book continued to be set up to (and in some cases after) the Commonwealth, that entirely unauthorised textual variants were ubiquitous, and that musical settings frequently anticipated changes to be made in subsequent Books. Composers seem to have relied for their texts as much upon memory and other exemplars as upon the Prayer Books themselves, copyists were inconsistent in their "correction" of texts, and authority seems to have been unconcerned to police the texts sung except in the Communion ordinary items where greater orthodoxy is found. The second part of the thesis examines the provision and role of music in the ceremonial context of the first Prayer Book services. The survival of church music and of choirs is discussed; it is suggested that both could flourish where encouraged in cathedrals, great establishments and London churches, but that in provincial churches there is virtually no evidence for musical activity during much of the reign. It is shown that when priests came to celebrate the new services they had several traditions on which to call for guidance in ceremonial matters: on their experience of the Mass, on liturgical changes made between 1536 and 1548, on exemplary Edwardine services and on writings setting out the Protestant ideal. The crucial matter of the replacement of altars by tables and their reorientation leads to a conclusion that by late 1550 or during 1551 celebrations using the ceremonial of the Mass were well-nigh impossible. A ceremonial analysis of the discrete sections of the Communion service follows, and it is shown how that service could legitimately have been celebrated in several different ways from the traditionally Catholic to the austerely Protestant. The role of music in the service is considered, and methods by which the priest’s chants were adapted to vernacular use is shown from examples in three noted first Prayer Books (two hitherto unpublished) and in Merbecke. The conclusions reached are tested in two reconstructions of the Communion service; these have been recorded on video tape and are included as part of the thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Scot, Stefan Anthony.
Date : 1999
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1999.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 14 May 2020 14:03
Last Modified : 14 May 2020 14:10

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