Blezzard, Judith: Borrowings in English Church Music 1550-1950
This book looks at English church music from a new standpoint. It examines the relationship between English church music and the various types of other music that have influenced its development, revealing a vigorous tradition of interplay with extraneous musical material that is seldom apparent from the ways in which music is presented for church use.
The borrowing of music from churches outside England is explored, and a large section is devoted to the often surprisingly ingenious ways in which secular music has, since the beginnings of the English church, been appropriated as music for worship – often with controversial results. From madrigal to music-hall, from plainsong to popular styles: these and many other kinds of music have lent both styles and material to sacred music with English texts. By examining these musical transformations, this book demonstrates that English church music is far from being an exclusively insular and retrospective repertory, as is often presumed to be the case.
Although the book, with its use of musical examples, is designed primarily for the general musical reader – both amateur and professional, its broadly historical approach will appeal to those interested in English cultural heritage, the church, and its worship.