Gampel, D. H. (2019). Sacred Matters: Contemporary Oratorio Practice Through A New Lens. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.14418/wes01.1.1538
This thesis explores the question of what unites us at the intersection of social theory and musicology, and posits contemporary oratorio practice as a potential answer. Chapter 1 investigates sacred music’s significance in a secularizing society, and subsequently deconstructs the dichotomy that renders music “sacred” using a Durkheimian framework. Chapter 2 discusses oratorio’s origins in the prayer halls of 17th century Rome and examines the evolution of oratorio’s social function in the centuries following. Chapter 3 focuses on two contemporary oratorio examples and highlights their sacred properties. Ultimately, this thesis urges readers to reconsider what “sacred” means in the context of the 21st century oratorio.