Rome and the use of hymns

[This entry is in two parts. The first, by Joseph Dyer, discusses Roman hymnody from its beginnings to the 15th century. The second, by Daniel Zager, details 16th-century developments.] Early and Medieval hymnody Rome proved very reluctant to introduce the singing of hymns in the Divine Office. They were accepted by the papal court and the major basilicas only towards the end of the 12th century. In this they probably differed from the urban monasteries that followed the Rule of Benedict*, but information on this topic is extremely sparse. Evidence of the Roman disinclination to accept hymns may be seen in the medieval Office for the last three days of Holy Week from which hymns were...

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