Back to index
Haste, Amanda

The Role of Music in Twenty-First-Century Anglican Monasticism

Bristol University, 2008

Anglican monastic communities represent a unique social environment in which music plays an integral part. English monastic life, suppressed at the Reformation, was revived in the 1840s but remained unrecognised by the Church until 1935. The absence of an authority structure thus gave Anglican monks and nuns the autonomy to create and develop their own musical tradition. This thesis explores concrete aspects such as musical composition, instrumental use and the development and loss of musical skills, contextualised within almost two centuries of Anglican monasticism. The final chapters explore the conflict between musical creativity and the need for silence, music as an agent for both conflict and reparation in community dynamics, and the self-identification of communities through their music and its subsequent commodification.