"What Makes Music Sacred?"

Oct 18, 2012
Social Sciences, Room 122
1126 E 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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William MahrtCenter for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Stanford University


Cosponsored by the Department of Music and the Medieval Studies Workshop

While it is easy to recognize traditional forms of sacred music: Gregorian chant, classical polyphony, organ music, choral music, and vernacular hymns it is difficult to pinpoint what it is that makes music sacred? This lecture will reflect upon the relation of the sacred and the beautiful in the liturgy. It will consider what is meant by sacred, as distinguished from holy and place those things considered sacred in the context of their reception and intrinsic suitability.

William Mahrt is Associate Professor and Director of Early Music Singers at the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Stanford University, President of the Church Music Assocation of America, and editor of Sacred Music, the oldest continuously published journal of music in North America. His research interests include theory and performance of Medieval and Renaissance music, troubadours, Machaut, Dufay, Lasso, Dante, English Cathedrals, Gregorian chant, and Renaissance polyphony.