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Professor Carol

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So many people asked for this course on Early Sacred Music, it became a special mission for us.  As we were planning how to film it, I found an interesting little email in my spam box.  It was an invitation to become a speaker on a cruise ship (my first such invitation) to the Holy Land.  Suddenly, filming in Jerusalem, Rome, and Athens was within easy reach. 

And yes, when we talk about “early sacred music,” we don’t mean the hymns your grandmother taught you (marvelous as they are).  We are talking about Old Testament times, music in the Temple, music of early Christianity in ancient Greece and Rome, and Gregorian chant as it developed throughout the Middle Ages and shaped the wondrous complexity of Western music in all its forms.

If you’re studying Ancient or Medieval history, this is your companion.  We focus on music and architecture, language and philosophy, economics and conquests.  We look at how Greek and Jewish traditions formed Christian liturgy, the rise of monasticism, the development of music notation, and the hand-copied manuscript that was the most technologically advanced and prized creation of its time.

I do not recommend that you start with this course simply because it precedes Discovering Music in historical chronology.  It is not a prerequisite, but in most cases students will benefit from having studied later periods of music before tackling the unfamiliar sounds of the ancient and medieval worlds.

The music for this course is integrated into the video with performances primarily by the Ring Around Quartet (from Genoa, Italy) and Synaulia (providers of music for the film Gladiator).

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Alicianz

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Good morning Prof.Carol.
We were very happy to be able to purchase your Discovering Music program through Memoria Press. We have just started and enjoyed the first lesson! My two students are 9th graders this year. I would like to know if you feel we should start the Sacred Music program based on our family situation.
We are Orthodox Christians so the kids are studying Byzantine Chant for the first time this year with clrconline.com though they hear it in church monthly. They are also in year 2 of Oxford Latin Program and studying Year 1 of the Great Books program, one taking French and the other Arabic - all through CLRC. Together we are starting our 18 month study of the medieval era for world history. They have studied with the Suzuki method for the past 6 years- both with piano and then one on viola the other on cello.
They want more music! I read your intro post above and wonder if at a certain point in Discovering Music they could start Sacred Music? There is a lot of music in this house! It's where all the money goes I swear. I think my husband consumes more music then they do. He is part of the reason we are starting late, he wants to watch and do it with the kids. He played the organ as a child. They all love traditional classical styles of music though they -like most teens- enjoy modern as well. 
Your suggestions or input of any kind are most welcome as I am the least musical of the family. There is one preteen piano/cello player as well. 
Regards, 
Alicia in New Zealand
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Professor Carol

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Dear Alicia,

What a wonderful post to read!  Thank you for writing about your family and all of your activities.  We’re delighted that you’re finding Discovering Music to work well for you.  And, yes, based on what you have written, I would say you could begin Early Sacred Music at any point that you wish.  

You’ll find that one unit deals specifically with the Eastern tradition.  Since you are Orthodox, it’s possible much of that information will be familiar.  I’ll be interested in hearing your comments about that it and about any of the topics in the courses. 

Thank you too for including the link for your study of chant.  It’s so helpful when people share links and recommendations.  That’s one of the primary purposes of the Forum.

Post whenever you can.  I’ll be looking forward to your ideas.

Best regards,

Carol 

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