A New Song for an Old World: Musical Thought in the Early Church by ProQuest


After a chapter on the references to music in the New Testament and an overview chapter of the fate of the church in the pagan milieu of the Late Roman Empire, chapters 4-8 open with an exposition of the sociopolitical and religious climate of the times of Clement of Alexandria, Tcrtullian, St. Ambrose, and St. John Chrysostom and end with a discussion of their attitude toward music, discovered most of the time only in their literary writings, with the exception of the Ambrosian Chants. The author mentions in passing the names of Pythagoras, Plato, the Stoics, and Plotinus without bringing up the most convincing evidence of the important role that music played in ancient cosmological views, about the metaphysical dance of soul around the ultimate Good and the One in Neoplatonism or the Neopythagoreans' painstaking effort to explain the universe in numerical and rhythmical proportions.

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