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A History of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

A History of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

Barra Boydell
Copyright Date: 2004
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 236
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  • Book Info
    A History of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
    Book Description:

    Christ Church has had a complex and varied history as the cathedral church of Dublin, one of two Anglican cathedrals in the capital of a predominantly Catholic country and the church of the British administration in Ireland before 1922. An Irish cathedral within the English tradition, yet through much of its history it was essentially an English cathedral in a foreign land. With close musical links to cathedrals in England, to St Patrick's cathedral in Dublin, and to the city's wider political and cultural life, Christ Church has the longest documented music history of any Irish institution, providing a unique perspective on the history of music in Ireland. Barra Boydell, a leading authority on Irish music history, has written a detailed study drawing on the most extensive musical and archival sources existing for any Irish cathedral. The choir, its composers and musicians, repertoire and organs are discussed within the wider context of city and state, and of the religious and political dynamics which have shaped Anglo-Irish relationships since medieval times. More than just a history of music at one cathedral, this book makes an important contribution to English cathedral music studies as well as to Irish musical and cultural history. BARRA BOYDELL is Senior Lecturer in Music, National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-227-6
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vii)
  3. List of plates and musical examples
    (pp. viii-x)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xii)
    John Paterson

    ‘Not angels but Anglicans’, the title of a 1970s book on Anglicanism, might be a fair summary of this splendid account of the music and musicians of Christ Church Cathedral. This writer has memories of angelic choirboys giving a deep bow to each member of the congregation on receiving back collection plates that were rather more valuable in themselves than in the amount of money that lay on them. He also has memories of organists and choirmen equally as grumpy as any of those listed in this history. Cathedrals may be houses of God but the people that run and...

  5. Preface and acknowledgements
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  6. Editorial Conventions
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    Cathedrals have long held a special place not only in the religious but also in the social and cultural lives of the cities of which they have formed such prominent architectural features since medieval times. Since the Reformation English cathedrals have also symbolised secular authority and the political establishment through the intimate association established by Henry VIII between church and monarchy. This association would manifest itself in cathedral music particularly between the later sixteenth and eighteenth centuries when the Chapel Royal provided the musical model which cathedrals sought to emulate. The study of music within the Anglican cathedral tradition therefore...

  8. ONE ‘Dulces Fecit Modos’: the Medieval Cathedral-Priory
    (pp. 11-31)

    As the Introduction emphasised, it is to the south of England that one must look in order to understand the musical and liturgical practices at Christ Church during the first century or so of its existence. The Benedictine cathedral-priory of Worcester, where Bishop Pátraic of Dublin was trained between 1074 and 1084, was already noted by the ninth century for its classical tradition of Roman chant,¹ and surviving sources of the early eleventh century from Winchester and Canterbury demonstrate that English chant was closely linked to French and Rhenish forms of the Roman liturgy.² The early eleventh-century Winchester troper, the...

  9. TWO ‘For the More Honour of God’s Divine Service’: the Reformation and Early Seventeenth Century
    (pp. 32-62)

    In the autumn of 1537 royal commissioners arrived in Ireland charged by Henry VIII with authority to suppress monastic houses.¹ Archbishop George Browne of Dublin supported reform and may have had a hand in the resignation early in 1537 of William Hassard, prior of Christ Church since 1520. He ordered reference to ‘the bishop of Rome’ to be removed from all liturgical books, this being carried out in the case of the church of St John the Evangelist which was under the cure of Christ Church. The priory of All Hallows, the second Arrouasian house of the Augustinian canons regular...

  10. THREE ‘So Great and Solemn Service’: the Restoration and Later Seventeenth Century
    (pp. 63-100)

    The Restoration in 1660 initiated a period of exceptional activity and creativity in the musical life of Christ Church cathedral. This activity is closely related to the cathedral’s role as the state cathedral and chapel royal for the English administration in an Ireland whose political and religious landscape had been transformed since the 1640s. More than a decade of warfare had followed the rebellion in October 1641 in which the lines of conflict were not simply defined. Initially the Irish Catholics had risen in rebellion in Ulster where the largest numbers of Protestant plantations and land seizures had taken place....

  11. FOUR ‘The Increasing Excellence of the Choir’: the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries
    (pp. 101-149)

    The eighteenth century was a defining period in Dublin’s cultural history, the physical appearance of the modern city being to a significant extent still dominated by the public and private buildings erected during that time. As a capital city and the second in size after London within Great Britain and Ireland, Dublin enjoyed a prolonged period of prosperity and at least superficial peace. Over the period covered by this chapter its population increased from nearly 60,000 in 1700, to about 140,000 in 1760, and approaching 250,000 by the 1820s, an increase which brought with it an ever larger number of...

  12. FIVE ‘A More Efficient Performance of the Duties of the Choir’: the Mid-Nineteenth Century
    (pp. 150-171)

    If the opening decades of the nineteenth century had witnessed a decline in the status and fortunes of Christ Church cathedral, those following the passing of the Church Temporalities Act in 1833 would see that process continued to the point where the cathedral’s very survival would be cast into doubt. The Protestant domination of politics was on the decline and Ireland’s Anglican cathedrals now occupied an increasingly marginal place within the country as a whole. Freed from the repressive legislation of previous centuries, the majority of the population could now openly express its Catholic identity and new cathedrals were built...

  13. SIX Decline and Revival: Disestablishment and the Twentieth Century
    (pp. 172-188)

    The century after the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1871 would witness social and political changes arguably more challenging than any that had previously affected Christ Church, changes which would alter the relationships between the cathedral, the city of Dublin and the country as a whole and which would at times call into question the very survival of the cathedral, not to mention the continuation of its musical traditions. The Land Acts of the late nineteenth century, the establishment of democratically elected county councils in 1898 and the vigorous growth of Ireland as a Catholic nation had contributed...

  14. Appendix One: Succession Lists of Organists and Assistant Organists
    (pp. 189-192)
  15. Appendix Two: Succession List of Masters of the Boys/Music Masters/Choir Masters
    (pp. 193-194)
  16. Abbreviations and Bibliography
    (pp. 195-204)
  17. Index
    (pp. 205-218)