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A cappella
(112 words)

[German Version]

(Ital.: in the manner of a chapel) historically refers to choral music accompanied by instruments colla parte; today to unaccompanied choral music of any genre (sacred or secular). The practice of unaccompanied singing stems from ancient prohibition of musical instruments in church. Via reforms of the Council of Trent (1545-1564). The choral singing in the Sistine Chapel became the model of choral music for worship. Especially the Cecilian reform of the 19th century revived idealized notions of a…

Cite this page
Flynn, W.T., “A cappella”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 19 June 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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