Academic journal article The Hymn

Letter to the Editor

Academic journal article The Hymn

Letter to the Editor

Article excerpt

May 10, 2019

I am deeply grateful to Deanna Witkowski for her letter [The Hymn 70:2 (Spring 2019): 6-7]. I am glad for the chance to respond and to clarify the content and purpose of my original article ["Hymn Performance: The Art of Listening in Multicultural Worship," The Hymn 69:4 (Autumn 2018), 36-37]. I also hope that this response will continue the dialogue that Witkowski's letter has helpfully established.

I must begin by agreeing with Witkowski's main argument: that white people should be able to (appropriately) play music from other cultures when they have the proper abilities, training, and, dare I say, authorization. I made this point in my original piece. As is evident from Witkowski's oeuvre she has proficiently done so, and I meant no insinuation that work such as hers should be blunted.

Instead, my point was that white people need to stop taking-or trying to take-the lead on conversations surrounding multicultural worship. My example was meant to pose the problem, not become the problem. Questions of ownership and origins are notoriously difficult, as Marissa Glynias Moore's work1 has recently demonstrated. Should white people play jazz? …

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