ABSTRACT

The revival of Renaissance polyphony and the burgeoning output of imitations thereof was one of the most important musical developments in the nineteenthcentury Catholic Church. As such it had considerable implications for the English Catholic community. From small beginnings, officially at least, by 1900 it was poised to become the most important form of church music after plainchant. However, as with plainchant, that did not necessarily mean that this status was automatically accepted at grass-roots level. The unspoken tension between official policy and local willingness or ability to comply is one of the more revealing themes of the early twentieth century.