Welcome to the Exhibit Gallery of Cedarville University's institutional repository.
With the coming of the Protestant Reformation, the 15th and 16th centuries were religiously tumultuous in England and Europe with some of the struggle focusing on whether it was appropriate or not for the Scriptures to be made available in the common language for all to read. This conflict was most evident in England where in significant periods of the 16th century under the Roman Catholic Church, it was illegal to translate the Scriptures into the English language from Latin. There were times when it was illegal to read those illegal translations in public–or to own one. There were times when people were martyred for doing both. This exhibit of early printed English Bibles is intended to tell that story and recognize those who gave up comfort, safety, living in their own country, and in some cases their lives, to make sure that everyone would have the privilege of reading the Bible in their own language.
For centuries, those who composed music for the church were arguably the major influencers on the development of music in the western world. At other times, the culture of music in vogue was adopted by the church and integrated into worship elements. Church music has generally been based on singing, written for individuals and choirs to express the words of Scripture and the experience of faith as encouraged by the words of Bible, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:19)From the early, simple monophonic chants sung by the clergy and monks alone, to the complex polyphony of the Renaissance sung by choirs, to the vibrant congregational singing inspired by the Reformation and the revivals, to the simple singing of the Psalms without instruments in the settlements of the New World, music has continued to lead God's people in personal and corporate worship experiences. This exhibit provides selected examples of church music starting with the plainsong of the Middle Ages on through the development of Gospel hymns and the shape-note tradition of the 19th century.