Introduction to Church Music Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, music continued to play a very important religious role within communities. Music can move and involve a congregation intensifying the spiritual experience. Although Protestants were skeptical of visual displays and the use of statues, paintings, and ornaments in church, they approved of the use of music during church services. In the seventeenth century, major Protestant congregations began forming orchestras and choirs, thus hiring organists, soloists, and music masters. As in previous periods, much of the music was produced for religious purposes. It was a common practice during the Baroque period, however, for composers to write secular music for all types of ceremonies, such as marriages and other private occasions. Another important development during this period was that churches and orphanages started providing music education for talented young boys and sometimes girls, who manifested the desire to become musicians.
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