The musical role of the congregation in Christian liturgy changed significantly between late antiquity and the middle ages, as exemplified in two case studies from early medieval Gaul. From Caesarius of Arles we get a picture of varying practices and differing interpretations of congregational singing at the beginning of this period. When considering change over time, the developing musical roles of the congregation in Gallican Rogation processions provide a window into the ways that broader cultural trends shaped congregational singing as part of the process of creating Christian identity in medieval Europe. Through both of these case studies, we gain insights into questions of power and meaning in congregational singing in historical context.
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