This is a critical assessment of Victorian cathedral music, unique in its detailed treatment of the cultural intellectual, philosophical and religious issues that shaped the composer's creative world and so influenced compositional practice. Among the issues investigated by William Gatens are the status of music in Church and society, the Victorians' views on the moral dimension of music, the aesthetic implications of Christian orthodoxy and notions of stylistic propriety. The careers and works of seven eminent composers - Thomas Attwood, T. A. Walmisley, John Goss, S. S. Wesley, F. A. G. Ouseley, John Stainer and Joseph Barnby - are discussed in some detail with emphasis on anthems and fully composed service settings. These provide specific illustrations of stylistic trends and the practical effects of theoretical principles. The study seeks to correct some of the misunderstandings and distortions that were common among earlier twentieth-century writers on the subject.