Academic journal article The Hymn

Letter to the Editor

Academic journal article The Hymn

Letter to the Editor

Article excerpt

"Evaluating Is Part of Our Job"

Dear Editor:

In her May 29, 2018, Letter to the Editor (Summer 2018, The Hymn, pg. 10), Ms. Alice Parker warns of "the danger of imposing an artistic judgement on diverse national voices," yet she proceeds in a subsequent paragraph to express her artistic judgment of the "Celebrity Model" as "a wholesale endorsement of mindless popular culture, devoid of poetry, melody, and silence."

Although the "Celebrity Model" may not have a national voice, it does include a variety of musics. By giving her opinion of the "Celebrity Model," Ms. Parker is doing what musicians routinely do: offering an analysis and response to music.

It is our job as musicians and teachers to study and select music. When we make evaluations and choices, we do not claim to know all the intricacies and contexts of the music we are reviewing. When we consider western and global music, we do not presume to know all the answers. But, if we happen to say, for example, that the Thomas Tallis "If Ye Love Me" anthem is more complex than the South African "Bambelela" folk hymn, have we spoken amiss? …

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