Introduction to Sacred Music






The primary focus of this course is introduce students to the history and performance of Catholic Church music. Students also become aware of the need to share the gift of sacred music with others as a work not only of evangelization but also as one of the highest forms of praise and petition, which can be offered for needs of others and the glory of God.   Promoting the use of music in the work of evangelization is an essential element to the program, and so the philosophy of music and its influence on our culture is discussed through the study of both the theological and moral importance of good musical forms based on writings of popes, church fathers, theologians, and philosophers.


Students will learn the history of music, proper singing technique, reading, Gregorian Chant, sacred polyphony in the Renaissance style, vernacular hymns, and other appropriate compositions.



  • To become acquainted with the history of sacred music in the Roman Catholic Church, from its roots in the Jewish tradition until the 21st Century.
  • To learn about the different types of Sacred Music in the West, and the general rules Church guidelines for their implementation.
  • To gain a basic working knowledge in the reading and singing of Gregorian Chant.



Students are expected to watch the class videos, do the required reading for each lesson, and answer multiple choice and short essay questions. Additionally, as class participation students will be required to upload audio files of singing examples to prove progress in the reading of Gregorian Chant.



75% Quizzes

25% Class Participation


Required Texts:

Daniel Saulnier, Gregorian Chant: A Guide to the History and Liturgy, trans. Mary Berry (Paraclete Press, 2009)

Shaefer, Edward Catholic Music Through the Ages (Hillenbrand Textbook Series)

Pope Pius X Motu Proprio Tra Le Sollicitudini



If you are looking to enroll in the Masters degree in Sacred Arts please complete the application and we will contact you shortly.


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Pontifex University Course:Introduction to Sacred Music ...-3 Payments of $100/month


Here is the class outline:

1. Lesson 1: What is Sacred Music & Syllabus

2. Lesson 2: Types of Sacred Music

3. Lesson 3: The Place of Sacred Music

4. Lesson 4: The Proper of the Mass

5. Lesson 5: The Place of Sacred Music Part 3