Wednesday, 27 May 2015

A lamentable eurocentrism

Read a great comment from the Church Music blog

There is a lamentable eurocentrism to our music in Church. What we now loosely call sacred music was merely the secular music of another age co-opted by the church and old enough now that no-one remembers that organ music was originally popular entertainment and frowned upon by the Church. Besides the Psalms call for stringed instruments, not organs.

This popular music called Rock comes from Black, Jewish and Scots-Irish sources, and has much to recommend it. Certainly in Australia rock music means more to people than church organ music (unsuited to hot climates where pipe organs suffer in any case).

I've been contemplating researching the history of the pipe organ to try to understand why some people think it is so much more suitable for liturgy than any other instrument. Sure, the church says so - but why???

Personally I find it that the way it is used in church is often distant, pompous, antagonistic, triumphal - anything but able to encourage a personal or communal relationship with a loving God.

Obviously other people don't have the same visceral reaction I do - but mine is no less valid, and I suspect not all that uncommon.

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