Definition and background:
In the Baroque period this term indicated music that was suitable to be performed in church. It usually implied the four movement style of composition, consisting of a slow, a fast, a slow, and a fast movement. This style was distinguished from chamber, or camera music. "church" church music, as opposed to chamber music, or camera
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary