The first music schools in Europe were associated with the Catholic Church. Originally, the Church commissioned music, as composers and the clergy used the power of music to exalt God. The lineage of sacred works not only forms a glorious tradition within Western music, but also ultimately produced some of the greatest masterpieces in Western art, and created the foundation of the Western musical canon as we now know it.
In The Great Works of Sacred Music, you’ll study these extraordinary creations and many more, taking in a rich panorama of Western sacred music and its most magnificent artistic landmarks. Professor Charles McGuire of the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music takes you on a deep dive into the history and evolution of sacred music in the West in this online class. Professor McGuire, a celebrated musicologist with a richly detailed knowledge of this tradition, fills these 16 engrossing lectures with essential insights and stunning musical excerpts, covering over 1,200 years of music, from medieval chant to the massive sacred works of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An accomplished musician himself, Professor McGuire sings excerpts and examples for you throughout the course.