Music always has its context. Sacred music would not “work” unless buttressed and enhanced by other sacred sounds as well as sacred sights, tastes, smells, places, gestures, texts, and objects. In this course, we will place Christian music in its context by examining the various ritual, performative, sensual, interpretive, literary, and theological experiences that surrounded it. In doing so, we will also come to understand sacred music’s larger context: that is, the social, political, and economic forces that also contribute to making the music “work.” Any study of ritual must involve performance (bodily knowledge). So, in addition to reading and writing assignments, students will be asked to partake in performance work that engages with the topics and themes of the class.