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Scholars Symposium 2023: Music & Worship

To advocate and advance the scholarly work of students and faculty at Cedarville University

Music & Worship

The Development of the Clarinet: A Historical Analysis

by Corrine G. Turner (Undergraduate)

The clarinet is a beautiful instrument that has been enjoyed by many throughout time. Some love its rich sound. Others make it a huge part of their lives, performing amazing sonatas, concertos, and so much more. While many people love to play and listen to this instrument, many do not understand where it came from. How did this little, yet powerful, instrument come to be what it is today? The clarinet has a long, interesting, and dramatic history that includes the involvement of many composers, performers and inventors. It is a story of drama, odd improvements, and a deep passion for something new.

Opera-tional: The Evolution of the Metropolitan Opera through Its Leadership

by Olivia Caroline Mauterer (Undergraduate)

The Metropolitan Opera is renowned for its excellence in producing high quality opera within the United States, and this reputation has grown over the decades in large part due to the successive teams and individuals placed in positions of authority within the opera company. Their strengths, whims, and failures have kept the company alive and developing through periods of hardship and financial struggle to produce the famous New York City opera house known throughout the world. The Metropolitan Opera has made lasting musical, artistic, and historical impressions on the world stage and in the culture of the United States - none of which would have been possible without the efforts of the people guiding it. This lecture explores the successes and failings of the prominent men and women behind the story of the Met.

Venetian Ospedali: A Dichotomy Between the Sacred and the Secular

by Abigail Kenyon (Undergraduate)

Venetian ospedali were charitable institutions established by various religious orders for the care of the sick, homeless, or orphaned children. Having focused on the education of children primarily, they further specialized their instruction toward music, creating a vocal and instrumental ensemble called the cori. Throughout the 1700s, the ospedali rose to prominence for their virtuosic women musicians, being considered henceforth a conservatory. The same musical prominence of the ospedali began to create a tension between their religious origins and their appeal to the secular public. The institutions pulled musical instructors from the renowned operatic scene, infusing their performers with a virtuosic style and individual fame much more aligned with the secular world than the sacred world, despite using traditional sacred forms.

The Kingdom of This World is Become the Kingdom of Our Lord: Revealing the Theology Preached in Handel’s Messiah

by Lily Catherine Reese (Undergraduate)

Handel’s Messiah has brought the compassionate message of Christ and His saving grace to nations across the globe since 1742. Composed in a mere twenty-four days by Handel and with a libretto written by Charles Jennens, Messiah preaches to audiences then and now of the coming of Christ, how His people responded, and how we, as listeners, should respond. Through Messiah’s textual foundation, composition, and extramusical performance aspects (outside the explicit score), Jennens and Handel spread this message of hope to all who would come and listen. The aim of this presentation is a demonstration of specifically how the creators used these features to convey that life-changing substance.

The Beginnings of the Opera Craze

by Karenna Schick (Undergraduate)

Opera is a well-loved genre that was born around the beginning of the seventeenth century and has continued to exist today. However, it is more the culmination of several attempts in the past to blend music and drama than an entirely new genre in and of itself. It draws from ideas that existed as early as ancient Greece, and from genres that existed near its own time. But although it does draw from the past, at its birth it was truly a Baroque invention, incorporating the characteristics of this musical period that began at nearly the same time. Both the Baroque period and opera is known by its elaborative melodies and expressiveness. There was also an emphasis in connecting and reenforcing the lyrics of a song to the music itself. Composers such as Monteverdi learned how to meet the goal of a creating a musical drama using the innovative techniques of the time, helping opera become the leading genre of its time.

Exoticism in Debussy's Estampes

by Abigail Lilite (Undergraduate)

In this performance, I will discuss Debussy's various influences on his set of piano pieces, Estampes, including Japanese gamelan and Spanish habanera rhythms. I will then play excerpts of the pieces that best illustrate his use of exoticism within French impressionism, and explain the unique qualities of the piano that allow for this type of composition.

Sending Waves: A Look into How Female Musicians of the Late Renaissance and Early Baroque Period Influenced Music, Composition, and Performance

by Elise Taylor (Undergraduate)

Despite many societal prejudices and obstacles that professional female musicians faced, the women of the Renaissance contributed to many practices that are still important today. In the 16th century, there was a clear line between the expectation of a musically proficient woman and a professional female musician. To pursue any kind of musical career in music was not a welcomed idea. However, many musically gifted women such as Maddalena Casulana and the singing ladies of Ferrara Italy influenced music and those around them. Maddalena Casulana sparked a rise in female music composition upon the publication of her First Book of Madrigals. The singing ladies of Ferrara or “Concerto delle donne,” also had a lasting effect on music and the people of the 16th century. This small, virtuosic vocal ensemble founded in Ferrara Italy inspired other composers and performers to participate in more virtuosic styles, and ultimately led to the bel canto style of singing. Although there was a social price to pay through the lens of the 16th century, female musicians of the late Renaissance and early Baroque sent waves through music composition, performance, and history.

From Natural to Valved Horn: How Did It Affect Composers' Musical Choices?

by Kauri Lauryn Fields (Undergraduate)

The French horn, like all the instruments we see today, has evolved into one of the biggest sounding brass instruments used in repertoire today. Existing from around the 16th century, it can be traced back to early hunting horns. Now, it plays a significant role in ensembles like wind symphonies or symphony orchestras. It underwent many changes so that it could get to be the marvelous instrument it is known as today. These changes ended up having effects on how composers would use the French horn in their music.

This presentation will take a deep dive into understanding the whole development of the French horn and how it affected composers’ choices on the sounds that they wanted the horn to portray in their music. Some composers that will be used in talking about this subject are Reinhold Glière, Richard Wagner, and Hector Berlioz who prominently used the horn in a variety of ways by either taking it back to its roots or making use of its more modern valved techniques. These composers were all seriously notable composers, but the focus will be on Glière due to his high status within the horn community since he primarily composed music for the French horn. Once the choices of these composers are examined more closely, when it comes to having the horns accomplish a certain goal, it will be clear just how much the development of the French horn from its natural state to its valved one influenced music.

The Jesus Movement's Effect on Christian Music

by Thomas Robert Bell (Undergraduate)

The Jesus Movement, a movement on the West Coast in the 1960's and 1970's, caused a great deal of change on sacred music. Musicians of this time began writing music in new styles and genres all in the name of Jesus Christ, and its effects are very prominent today in Christian communities.

The Role of Music in the Sixteenth-Century Lutheran Church

by Megan Gorog (Undergraduate)

After the Reformation in 1529, Martin Luther’s theology began to influence the customs of church worship leading to widespread modifications in both the role and function of music in the Lutheran church. This paper explores how Luther thought of music in church worship and how his philosophies resulted in gradual changes in the musical liturgy of the Lutheran church throughout the sixteenth century. As was true of the Catholic church, Lutheran music served to structure the service, but it also served as a means of broadcasting the theological doctrine of the Lutheran church through vernacular hymns that elaborated on the essential Reformed doctrines Luther wished to instill in the congregants. Additionally, elements in the music itself became representative of certain theological truths. Because the congregation could understand the words to the songs, the music now served another new role of unifying the church as a community set on glorifying God. While still maintaining the integrity of the music and its foundations in Latin chant, Luther promoted the practice of composing using Contrafactum Lieder based on secular tunes that would be easy for the congregants to learn. For example, he took the words of portions of the Latin Mass Ordinary and translated them into German in the Deutche Messe. Thus, through the work of Martin Luther and other musicians in the newly formed Lutheran congregations, church music was changed in a variety of ways that would pour into the centuries to come.

Foundations of Music Education: You Can Thank The Greeks

by Abigail Karn (Undergraduate)

The Ancient Greeks laid a great foundation for music education that lasted throughout early music history. They taught music as a scientific subject with the goal of creating good members of Greek society. Music education was a key part of their society, therefore it was taken seriously and had specific regulations. Music education evolved throughout time, but these foundational beliefs are evident throughout the Middle Ages, the Renaissance Era, and the Baroque Era. The beliefs about music education that were held during these time periods, as well as the music education techniques that were used, prove that the Ancient Greeks’ beliefs were crucial to the foundation of music education.

Psalms and Saints in the Offices: From Prayerful Praise to Commemorating Cults

by Paul Scanlon (Undergraduate)

Through the Medieval Era, the function of the Offices shifted from continual God-directed prayer to advancing and preserving local culture. The early form of the Offices found in the Rule of St. Benedict was built on the Psalms, engraining their words in the participants through the structure of the services and the weekly repetition. Commitment to primarily scriptural content is evidenced in early church traditions, papal decrees, and conservative efforts from clergymen. However, this focus changed with the emergence of cults of saints, which integrated the Offices into civic culture. As the number of feast days greatly expanded, cantors across Europe wrote versified Offices derived from saints’ vitae, drastically changing the textual content of the Offices and often with the purpose of aiding a specific political cause. The integration of religion into the broader culture demonstrated how worship in the Offices was gradually redirected away from God towards saints who could be used to lend authority to a ruler, a state, or church. This shift is explored through examining primary sources from the earliest years of the Offices and the later versified Offices, such as the Notre Dame setting for the Virgin Mary, the Beneventan Offices during the Carolinian invasion, and many less prominent Offices.

Role and Work of Women in Church Music: Early Church to Reformation

by Ashley Ann Armstrong (Undergraduate)

How has the role and work of women in church music shifted over time? First, women participated during the early church period in evangelism, in practicing Christianity in the home, and in communal worship, in spite of the surrounding Roman culture that viewed women as subservient to men. Next, as the church grew into the Medieval era, the roles women had in music fluctuated. Events in the lives of Hilda of Whitby and Hildegard of Bingin serve as examples of the freedoms and restrictions that these women faced. Finally, the Reformation brought certain restrictions to both Catholic and Protestant women. Certainly, Catholic women’s music making of the Reformation period was more restricted than before the Reformation. Nonetheless, women overcame restrictions from church leaders, social standards, and even the busyness of everyday life to create church music that stands on equal footing with that of their male peers. Christian women today stand on the shoulders of these women who refused to be downtrodden, but rather lifted their songs to God. This paper establishes that the role and work of women in church music is the role and work of every Christian, male or female: to bring glory to God.

Sing to Him a New Song: Early Christians in the Midst of Myths of Competing Culture

by Sandra Yang (Faculty)

Alexandria in Northern Egypt during the second century of the Christian era was a thriving multicultural metropolis not unlike many urban centers of today. Second only in size to Rome itself, it attracted many races, practices, and philosophies, all facilitated by the Pax Romana. In particular, many cultured Greeks came to study in Alexandria’s famous library. One such Greek, who came to be known simply as Clement of Alexandria, arrived around AD 150 as a convert to Christianity. With the death of Marcus Aurelius in AD 180, a period of relative peace began for Christians. Clement found a nearly ideal platform for spreading the good news of Christ. As a cultured Greek himself, Clement directed much of his teaching to his fellow Greeks. His goal, like the author of Hebrews, was to unveil the superiority of Christ to the religious background of Greek mythology. One of his most famous comparisons was of Christ to Orpheus, a mythological demi-god who was able to tame wild animals and conquer death by singing and by playing his magical lyre. In his first writing, the Protreptikos, loosely translated as Exhortation to the Gentiles, Clement argues that at best Orpheus’s song is but music of the old creation, an old song, and does not have the ultimate power of salvation that can overcome man’s fallen condition. But Christ as the New Song is powerful and able to save man both from himself and the destiny of the fall. The New Song proclaims the victory of Christ’s redemption, purchasing men from every tribe and tongue, making them a kingdom to God, and who will reign on the earth (Rev. 5:9-10).

This paper examines the main points of comparison of Orpheus with Christ in the Protreptikos. It then explores the legitimacy of such methodology by comparing Clement’s practice to that of Paul in Acts, when he took the opportunity of revealing to the Athenian’s exactly who was the “unknown god” that the Greeks worshipped (Acts 17:23). Are there points in Clement’s approach that should give us pause as Christians, or is this a model for us today?

Making Music in the House of God: How Augustine Influenced Jean Calvin and Martin Luther's Opinions on Musical Worship

by Emma Ross (Undergraduate)

Music for worship has been a divisive topic throughout church history. Augustine of Hippo influenced the reformers Jean Calvin and Martin Luther’s theology of music, although in different ways. Their opinions differed, but all three men cared deeply about applying a correct interpretation of the Bible to church music. Augustine’s opinion of music was that, when correctly understood, it had the capacity to glorify God. However, music could become a dangerous earthly pleasure if the senses were allowed to have control. Calvin argued that music must be used with care, not due to the problem of music, but rather the weakness and corruption of man. Martin Luther understood music to be a gift from God—a reference from Augustine—placing it of highest importance second only to theology and the scriptures, and desired to follow in the tradition of the early Christian church.

This paper was researched by an examination of primary and secondary sources. It argues that Calvin’s views were greatly influenced by Augustine, and he aligned more closely in practical aspects. Although Luther was impacted to a lesser extent, his writings about music do contain direct references to Augustinian thought that can be demonstrated in Luther’s theology of music. Christians can learn much about the role of music in worship from the example of these God-honoring theologians.

Romantic Music's influence from Poetry, As Seen in the Romantic Era’s Genres, Composers, and Ideals.

by Caden James Lantz (Undergraduate)

The musical era of Romanticism leaped forward from the individuality of Beethoven and developed composers that were unafraid of expressing their passions through their music. The leading figures of Romanticism, like Schubert and Liszt, no longer saw themselves as servants of their audiences but instead made it their goal to show what they loved in their music. Even despite the stark individualism that was prevalent in this era, there was a shared passion many composers had that was able to unify them, a love for poetry. By studying emotive vocal genres like the German Lied as well as the influences of poetic literature on purely instrumental works, we can better define what is true "Romanticism."

In an era of wild imagination and individual personality, poetry is a unifying factor that gives familiarity and shared characteristics of the Romantic era.

Violin Intonation: The Connection between the Violin’s Tuning System and Performance

by Marion J. Johnson (Undergraduate)

The history of the violin’s intricate tuning system is rich with various pitch standards, the influence of musicians, and diversity of violin craftsmanship. The violin offers a wide array of tuning techniques, and even the smallest intonation adjustment can wildly impact the violin’s pitch and playability. Violinists possess an enormous capability to facilitate effective tuning in a solo and ensemble setting. The design of the instrument’s body, dating as far back as the early Renaissance and extending to the modern violin, impacts timbre, resonance, and string tension. Every detail of the violin, even those that may seem inconsequential, affects its performance outcome.

Mozart's Opera - The Magic Flute

by Abigail Motter (Undergraduate)

Absolute music is the term that refers to music for its own sake, while programmatic music refers to music that is associated with a particular event, story, character, or idea. I will be leading a presentation on absolute and programmatic music, followed by a performance of one of Beethoven’s great piano works. In this presentation I will explore what constitutes both absolute and program music, and then dive into a little history of these two categories. I will discuss how these terms came about, when they were first used, and when they were popular in Western music history. Next, we will take a look at a popular Beethoven piece, Piano Sonata No. 14 in C# minor, and discuss which category it might fall into. Should the meaning of this piece be subjective to the performer or not? Could it be simply absolute music, or could it be given extra-musical associations such as imagery or ideas? At the end, I will narrow the discussion to the third movement of this sonata, Presto agitato. After giving a brief description of this piece and sharing how it relates to myself, I will leave it to each audience member to determine what it means to him/her as I perform it. My goal with this presentation is to introduce my audience to two important categories that have been used for centuries in music history. Upon hearing the performance, the question should arise: Is this absolute music or programmatic music and why would I say so?


African American Spirituals of the Civil Rights Movement

by Grace Guthrie (Undergraduate)

African American spirituals are a distinctly crucial American genre of song. The anthems often provided comfort and eased the boredom of daily tasks. They were an expression of spiritual devotion and a yearning for freedom from the bondage that they experienced, but they were also a means of releasing suppressed emotions and expressing sorrow and loss. Even removed from slavery, certain denominations of evangelists expressed their praise through powerful songs of worship. There are few figures more influential for this genre during this time than Hall Johnson, Harry Burleigh, and Roland Hayes. They held a very influential yet distinct roles in the direction of choral and solo vocal music in America during the Civil Rights Movement. In this performance presentation, I will describe the impact of these figures and preform a spiritual from each of them.

Robert and Clara Schumann: The Power of Musical Communication and Connection

by Esther Dixon (Undergraduate), Lillian Fox (Undergraduate), and Jason De Mets (Undergraduate)

This presentation discusses the many ways in which the Schumanns came together to create music. Collaboration was not a foreign concept to this renowned, Romantic era couple. Although this was common for them, the Liebesfrühling was their only officially collaborative creation. There was also a trend between them of dedicatory works. When Clara was a young girl, not even fourteen years of age, she composed her Romance Varié for Piano, Op.3, for Robert. They were both very traumatized from their respective pasts, and had a need to express their struggles through music when words were not enough. Both of them had a very deep and personal understanding of each other’s struggles. In turn, they borrowed musical material from each other and worked on projects together both officially and unofficially. The way they transferred musical material demonstrated their excellence in innovative composition.


Defining the American Sound: Literary Influences in Aaron Copland Works

by Lillian Fox (Undergraduate)

Aaron Copland is best known for his unique and innovative composition style. He often took familiar songs and disassembled them to then reconfigure them in an advanced and imaginative way. He used counterpoint, dissonant harmonies, and twelve-tone rows in his works for orchestra, ballet, chamber ensembles, opera and film scores, and even voice. Copland artistically defined the sound of American music by combining modern and classical techniques with the influence of American poetry and literature. This presentation will look at the works of Aaron Copland, particularly his song cycles, which include the Twelve Poems for Emily Dickinson (1950) which is based on the work of an American poet. I will show how Copland’s interpretation of American folk music and American literature was a stepping stone in defining the American sound. Additionally, I will sing a small sample of Aaron Copland’s Twelve Poems for Emily Dickinson (1950).


The Perfect Fourth: An Intervallic Chameleon?

by Timothy Barnes (Undergraduate)

The perfect fourth is a fascinating music interval that has historically lacked a stable definition of consonance. Where in earlier times this interval and the eleventh were both considered consonant intervals in their music, later composers and even composers of the modern period generally considered them to be dissonant. Why is that? The math seems to tell us one thing, but general tonality suggests otherwise. The Greeks determined that the perfect fourth was a consonant interval in their music because it had a simple mathematic ratio of 4:3. Later, the Medieval scholars and musicians drew from Greek principles in their music and came to similar conclusions of the perfect fourth’s identity. On the other hand, scholars and theorists of the Renaissance deemed this interval to be a dissonance that needed to be treated with special care. This treatment of the perfect fourth remained largely unchallenged throughout the Baroque, Classic, and Romantic periods. Even to this today, the perfect fourth is considered widely to be a mostly dissonant interval, although some may argue that it is neutral without context.