• Start: May 6, 2017 1:00 pm
  • End: May 6, 2017 2:00 pm

Tickets Available: Price: $$5.00


John holds undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in medieval history, musicology, art history, theology and Latin. He is currently pursuing an MPhil at the University of Divinity. He is a foundation member of the acclaimed vocal ensemble, e21, which is dedicated to exploring the chant and polyphony of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance. John is currently Choir Master of the Chapel of Queen’s College at the University of Melbourne.  John has taught the history of music in the Renaissance and Baroque period and harmony and counterpoint for the Faculty of Music at the University of Melbourne and currently co-teaches a performance subject on the music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Tradition has it that dove alighted on St Gregory the Great shoulder and dictated the entire corpus of the chant that bears his name to him. The story about St Gregory is viewed with suspicion these days and we know that the origins of ‘Gregorian’ chant probably stretch right back into the earliest history of the Christian church. Calling the chant of the Christian church ‘Gregorian’ also often leads us to think of Christian chant as a single tradition.

This lecture/workshop is being offered as a companion to e21’s concert Crux fidelis, a programme of chant appropriate for Holy Week and Easter. We will examine the general history of the body of music called ‘Gregorian’ chant as well as the distinctive contribution that chant made to the notation of Western music. A major focus of the lecture, however, will be to debunk the idea that ‘Gregorian’ chant is a single tradition. The lecture will look at what is now thought to be one of the oldest traditions of Christian chant (Old Roman chant), a non-Roman tradition (the Ambrosian chant tradition of Milan), and music from the traditions of the monastic  orders (chant for the Dominican order), as well as traditions that based themselves on the ‘Gregorian’ tradition – the ‘art’ music tradition of the conductus and sequence and the ‘popular’ tradition of the lauda spirituale. The lecture will also introduce the audience to some of the smaller traditions of the ‘Gregorian’ repertoire, including the forms of the tract, responsory and hymn.

The lecture will be richly illustrated with live sung   examples, but bring your own voices and join in!