Academic journal article The Hymn

Letter to the Editor

Academic journal article The Hymn

Letter to the Editor

Article excerpt

To the Editor of The Hymn May 29, 2018

Dear Adam,

Greetings! I found much to ponder and affirm in the Spring issue of The Hymn. It was wonderful to read about the initial meeting of The Center for Congregational Song. And the articles by Lim Swee Hong and Cynthia A. Wilson were both informative and thought-provoking.

As you know, I've been involved in congregational song for my whole life, and am fascinated by the way it works to unite a group. We certainly need to be aware of the global influence of "western" music, particularly as it is trumpeted around the world via the internet. There are two factors here that need more consideration: one is the music "business" in our society that dictates so much of what we hear. Money, profit, and stardom are the driving features, rather than the cultivation of meaningful song.

The other is the danger of imposing an artistic judgement on diverse national voices. I'm wary of the "highest aesthetic expression" mentioned by Lim. This very phrase is very western, very rational: it attempts to erect a scale of values that puts artistic expression at the top. Much as I love and honor the Bach B minor Mass, I must give equal love and honor to the indigenous and unknown singers who, world-wide, create folk songs that last for generations. …

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