Power has always accompanied music. Though we can never fully understand its mysteries, each of us has been moved by song across the expanse of our hearts. Gregorian chant has affected man for centuries by its ability to calm the mind and create an inner stillness which is uniquely conducive to prayer and meditation.
As Terry Glaspey explains in 75 Masterpieces Every Christian Should Know :
As Christianity spread, differing styles of chant began to develop throughout the Christian world. Between the fifth and eighth centuries, chant developed its own regional peculiarities that were characteristic of the musical traditions of the local areas and their own respective pronunciations of the Latin texts. The Roman chant came to be known as Gregorian chant, named after Pope Gregory the Great, though scholars doubt he actually had any role in the composition of the chants themselves. More likely it is connected with him because he was responsible for important liturgical reforms that had far-reaching influence throughout the medieval church. But legends don’t die easily, and during the Middle Ages he was sometimes pictured as receiving chant music directly from the Holy Spirit, who whispered in his ear in the form of a dove perched upon his shoulder. He is famous for calling Gregorian chant “the song of the angels.”
Have you heard a live performance of Gregorian Chant? What were the circumstances?
John 1: 1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
D I G D E E P E R
Foil, David. Gregorian Chant and Polyphony. New York: Black Dog Music Library, 1995.
Hourlier, Dom Jacques. Reflections on the Spirituality of Gregorian Chant. Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 1995.
Le Mee, Katharine. Chant. New York: Bell Tower, 1994.
Smith, Huston, ed. Gregorian Chant: Songs of the Spirit. San Francisco: KQED Books, 1996.
I’m really looking forward to discussing my book, “75 Masterpieces Every Christian Should Know,” with the members of Literary Life Book Club. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts and perspectives on some of the art, music, and literature you’ll discover in the book. I’m interested in how it speaks to you in your life and the ways it inspires, challenges, or maybe even annoys you! I’ll try to share some “deleted scenes” stuff I had to leave out and will tell a few stories about what I experienced while doing the writing and research. Hope that many of you can join us as we look at he stories behind some truly wonderful art.
Let’s explore together!
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Terry Glaspey is a writer, an editor, a creative mentor, and someone who finds various forms of art—painting, films, novels, poetry, and music—to be some of the places where he most deeply connects with God.
He has a master’s degree in history from the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!), as well as undergraduate degrees emphasizing counseling and pastoral studies.
He has written over a dozen books, including 75 Masterpieces Every Christian Should Know: Fascinating Stories Behind Great Art, Music, Literature, and Film, Not a Tame Lion: The Spiritual Legacy of C.S. Lewis, The Prayers of Jane Austen, 25 Keys to Life-Changing Prayer, Bible Basics for Everyone, and others.
Terry enjoys writing and speaking about a variety of topics including creativity and spirituality, the artistic heritage of the Christian faith, the writing of C.S. Lewis, and creative approaches to apologetics.
He serves on the board of directors of the Society to Explore and Record Church History and is listed in Who’s Who in America Terry has been the recipient of a number of awards, including a distinguished alumni award and the Advanced Speakers and Writers Editor of the Year award.
Terry has two daughters and lives in Eugene, Oregon.
Dig Deeper at TerryGlaspey.com
Some of the greatest painters, musicians, architects, writers, filmmakers, and poets have taken their inspiration from their faith and impacted millions of people with their stunning creations. Now readers can discover the stories behind seventy-five of these masterpieces and the artists who created them. From the art of the Roman catacombs to Rembrandt to Makoto Fujimura; from Gregorian Chant to Bach to U2; from John Bunyan and John Donne to Flannery O’Connor and Frederick Buechner; this book unveils the rich and varied artistic heritage left by believers who were masters at their craft.
Terry Glaspey, 75 Masterpieces Every Christian Should Know: The Fascinating Stories behind Great Works of Art, Literature, Music, and Film (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2015).
Order it HERE today.