12 November 2018

Piety and Polyphony in Sixteenth-Century Holland. The Choirbooks of St Peter’s Church, Leiden

In November publisher Boydell & Brewer published Piety and Polyphony in Sixteenth-Century Holland. The Choirbooks of St Peter’s Church, Leiden, a book by Dr Eric Jas (Musicology).  

The musical culture of the Low Countries in the early modern period was a flourishing one, apparent beyond the big cathedrals and monasteries, and reaching down to smaller parish churches. Unfortunately, very few manuscripts containing the polyphonic music of parish churches from the northern part of the Netherlands have survived, and what we know rests to a huge extent on six music books preserved from St Peter’s Church, Leiden. 

The zeven-getijdencollege 

Dr. Eric Jas
Dr. Eric Jas

This book describes these manuscripts, their provenance, history and repertory, and the zeven-getijdencollege, the ecclesiastical organization which ordered the music books, in detail. The zeven-getijdencolleges, which have their roots in fifteenth-century piety, were founded on the initiative of individuals and town administrators throughout Holland, principally to ensure that prayers and Masses were said for those in the afterlife. Music, both chant and polyphony, played an important part in these commemorative practices. The present book shows how these services were organized and adorned with the finest music that was available.