In modern circles, the study of “Music” is pursued in the Fine Arts department or as an elective. In the classical liberal arts curriculum, Music refers to the doctrine of relative multitude, one of the four arts of the Quadrivium. However, in considering Music as a mathematical art, we must understand that the ancients understood music to have profound moral and spiritual effects on the soul of man. For example, Sacred Scripture teaches us that King David (right) charmed the demons that tormented King Saul with his music; ancient soldiers were stirred to bravery by musicians who formed part of the army; St. Augustine was moved to penitent tears by the hymns of St. Ambrose. Parents and pastors commonly acknowledge the dangerous effects of evil music, yet rarely do they pursue the benefits of wise and sanctifying music. It is no mystery whose will it is that the ancient art of Music continue to be neglected by modern Christians.
At present, this course is available only for students fluent in Latin. We study the medieval text De Musica of the Christian scholar Boethius.
When students have learned the doctrine of classical music, they will move from theory to practice with the study of Gregorian Chant.
While our focus in the CLAA is classical music theory as a part of the Quadrivium, we can recommend a number of excellent resources for families interested in studying piano and vocal music.
The Power of Music
Below, we’ve posted a sample of 6th century sacred music, composed close to the time of the Christian philosopher Boethius, who was an authority on classical Music theory. Close your eyes and listen to selection below and consider the effects on both your body and soul. What kinds of thoughts and emotions arise? What comes of your worldly anxieties and carnal desires as you listen? To what actions are you stirred? Whether you understand the words or not, it makes no difference. This is the power of music.