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Posts by Salvatore Basile

New York’s Gilded Age of Liturgical Music—and How it Ended

A New York choir rehearses in the 1870s.For millennia, worship has been coupled with music. This bond often has been an uneasy one, and nowhere has that uneasiness been so openly displayed as in the churches of New York City. Beginning in the Colonial era, when a handful of musicians stubbornly tried to practice their craft in the face of indifference and puritanical sneers, New York's liturgical music slowly gained in artistry until it reached dizzying heights in the Gilded Age of the 19th century. By that time, many of the city's churches had become famous for services that featured 

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