Accolades for "The Christian West and Its Singers: The First Thousand Years"

Professor Eamon Duffy has chosen Dr Christopher Page's book The Christian West and Its Singers: The First Thousand Years, as one of his two books of the year in The Tablet.

The men and women who sang the sacred music of the West, from late antiquity to the central Middle Ages, have never had a history of their own. Many of them remain unremembered. The Christian West and Its Singers provides such a history for the first time.

Using epitaphs, images from the catacombs, chronicles, lives of saints, and a great wealth of other sources, written and pictorial, the book traces the rise of the Western-Christian ministry of music from its fragmentary beginnings in the house-churches, through to the consolidation of Christianity – in one of various contemporary forms – as the official religion of the Roman Empire. The narrative then passes on to the singers of the new barbarian kingdoms, to the Carolingian achievement – which owed so much to singers – and on to the tumult of the eleventh-century church which impelled, first as an aid to singers, the defining technology of the Western musical tradition: staff notation.

You can download the introduction to the book by following this link.

This is an archived news story, first posted in 2010.

News item posted Sunday, 3rd May 2015

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  • The Christian West and Its Singers
  • The Christian West and Its Singers