Music plays such an important part in everyone’s life but how much do we know about the history of music? How did music shape our civilization and how was music itself shaped by the Catholic Church? Susan Treacy, an experienced professor of music, is an excellent guide to the history of music. Every Catholic should own at least one book on music. This is it.
“While substantial enough to be a textbook, Treacy’s ‘Christendom’ walks us through music history in just enough detail, yet with the easy style of a friendly BBC television narrator anyone can understand and enjoy.”
— Michael Kurek, Academy Award winning composer, Author of The Sound of Beauty, Professor of Music Emeritus, Vanderbilt University
“The Music of Christendom is the best short introduction to western music you’ll find.”
— Mike Aquilina, author, How the Choir Converted the World: Through Hymns, with Hymns, and in Hymns
“There has long been a need for a narrative account of the history and development of music in relation to its cultural matrix – Christendom. Susan Treacy responds to this need magnificently in an account which is not only factually comprehensive but full of musical and spiritual insight.”
— Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth, Executive Director, International Commission on English in the Liturgy
“Dr. Treacy guides us through the music of Christendom—from its roots in antiquity to the works of contemporary composers—offering a narrative of the western musical tradition that is accessible to non-musicians and illuminated by the light of the Catholic tradition. Even for those familiar with the Church’s musical patrimony, there are surprises in store. Treacy invites us to ‘Take, read, and listen.'”
— George A. Harne, Executive Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, University of Saint Thomas, Houston, TX
“More than answering the questions that a curious Catholic might have about the role of the Faith in the history of Western music, Dr. Treacy guides the reader to discover the stories behind the most significant musicians and masterworks in music history. Chronicling the faith lives of composers, describing the influence of the liturgy and Catholic doctrine on compositions, and helping the reader hear musical monuments with intelligence and insight, Dr. Treacy’s book is a helpful introduction to music history for the faithful who want to understand how Catholicism built an enduring legacy of musical beauty.”
— Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka, Director of Sacred Music, St. Joseph’s Seminary, New York
“Here is a pilgrimage through the History of Western Music from the Greeks to its most recent masters, with special attention to the role of sacred music in this history.”
— William Mahrt, Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Music at Stanford University, President of the Church Music Association of America, Editor of its journal Sacred Music, and author of The Musical Shape of the Liturgy.
“The Music of Christendom is an important and much-needed book. Anyone dedicated to renewing Christian culture, especially in music, will find this book an invaluable aid.”
— John Henry Crosby, Hildebrand Project
Susan Treacy is Professor of Music Emerita at Ave Maria University. She holds the Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from University of North Texas and B.Mus. and M.Mus. degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music. Besides scholarly articles, she writes a column, “Musica Donum Dei”, for the Saint Austin Review (StAR), and has written A Plain and Easy Introduction to Gregorian chant (Cantica Nova Publications).