Young singers played a central role in a variety of religious institutional settings: urban cathedrals, collegiate churches, monasteries, guilds, and confraternities. The training of singers for performance in religious services was so crucial as to shape the very structures of ecclesiastical institutions, which developed to meet the need for educating their youngest members; while the development of musical repertories and styles directly reflected the ubiquitous participation of children's voices in both chant and polyphony. Once choristers' voices had broken, they often pursued more advanced studies either through an apprenticeship system or at university, frequently with the help of the institutions to which they belonged. This volume, edited by Susan Boynton and Eric Rice, provides the first wide-ranging book-length treatment of the subject, and will be of interest to music historians - indeed, all historians - who wish to understand the role of the young in sacred musical culture before 1700.
Young Choristers, 650-1700