DOI: https://doi.org/10.32461/2226-3209.2.2019.177692

Spiritual song in the genre system of sacred music: questions of terminology

Olga Zosim

Abstract


Purpose of the Article. The purpose of the article is to clarify the place of the spiritual song in the genre system of sacred music of the main Christian denominations based on the analysis of the basic definitions of the spiritual song genre in various national traditions. The research methodology consists of a combination of comparative, historical, cultural and musical-liturgical methods, with the help of which the spiritual song was described as a component of the genre system of the European liturgical musical tradition from the Middle Ages to the present. The scientific novelty of the work lies in the fact that for the first time in Ukrainian science, based on the characteristics of the definitions of the genre of the spiritual song in different national traditions and confessional centers, national and confessional features of the genre system of European sacred music were highlighted. Conclusions. The genre of the spiritual song throughout the history of Christian music has been interpreted in different ways. In early Christianity, the spiritual song was interpreted as a poetic fragment of the biblical text, which came on behalf of the Old Testament or New Testament characters. This tradition has been preserved in Western Christian and Eastern Christian hymnography. In the late Middle Ages in Western Europe, the genre of spiritual songs transformed. The term «song» («cantio») began to denote musical and poetic works of the strophic form written in Latin, and later in national languages, which performed the paraliturgical function, but over time became the central musical and poetic genre of the liturgy of the Western rite, radically changing it genre system. In the Ukrainian-Belarusian lands, under the influence of the Western liturgical tradition, the term «song» as a musical and poetic work of a strophic form became the basis for defining the genre in all Christian denominations. In the Russian spiritual-song tradition, which was fundamentally different from the Ukrainian-Belarusian lack of long-term connections with the Catholic culture, the musical and poetic works of the strophic form were called psalms or spiritual verses.


Keywords


sacred music; spiritual song; church hymnography; genre system of liturgical music; Christian denominations.

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