Organs and hymnody, USA

The development of the organ as the primary vehicle for leading congregational song in churches of the USA proceeded initially from established English trajectories, although in subsequent centuries the organ’s ecclesiastical role would parallel the development of the USA’s musical, social, and liturgical priorities. The Anglican Church had maintained a complex and tenuous relationship with church music, its Calvinist concerns frequently commandeering the journey down the via media. Its noted divine, Richard Hooker (1554-1600), in 1599 lauded liturgical vocal music as he explicated the psalms, even cautiously sanctioning liturgical instrumental music. (Secor, 2000, p. 163) To clergy and...

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