Magazine article The American Organist

Letters

Magazine article The American Organist

Letters

Article excerpt

Opinions expressed in this column are those of the correspondents, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the AGO, APOBA, or the editors of this journal. Letters accepted by the editor may be published whole or in part. Please send letters to Todd Sisley (tsisley@agohq.org).

WHAT'S WRONG WITH CCM?

We owe David Music thanks for taking on the subject of Contemporary Christian Music (April TAO), fraught with difficulties in even defining the genre. He opens the discussion from historical and stylistic perspectives in helpful ways. Missing from the analysis, however, are the starting points for choosing music, and the discernment we can use from what we have learned about music and its use in worship from the long trajectory of history. Do we really want to choose music based primarily on style for the worship of God?

First, context. Bach's or gospel music's borrowing from secular tunes occurred prior to the advent of technology gurus and pop-music stars who turn sacred music into huge commercial enterprises disassociated with the church. Granted, there has always been and continues to be an open path between sacred and secular music-which there should be. Many tunes in any denominational hymnal are folk tunes, some of the most beautiful and singable melodies ever written. Theologically astute musicians, however, have always taken great care to use music from the secular realm so that any associations with the secular would not deter the worshiper from the sacred purpose of worshipping God. …

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