- Carol A. Doran
Following the Revolutionary War, the Protestant Episcopal Church was established by English clergy and lay people living in the newly independent United States. From its earliest days, the wealth and beauty of English psalmody and cathedral music have been foundational to the liturgical tradition of the Episcopal Church. The mid-20th century brought an enrichment of that tradition through the addition of music adapted from cultures and practices of the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church is a member.
The Episcopal Church in the pioneer society of North America during the late 18th century had no cathedrals, choir schools, or organized systems to train musicians for leadership of church music. Even English professionals who had received their musical education in cathedrals before traveling to the American colonies were forced by the circumstances they encountered to practice their art at a much reduced level of excellence. There was no strong unity of liturgical practice among Episcopal churches during this early period. The influence of Puritanism in the young country discouraged many from building pipe organs in their churches. But a letter written before ...