Category Archives: Articles on Music

tobyMac and the state of Evangelical piety

tobyMac and the state of Evangelical piety

Paul’s Words to the Ephesians The beginning of Ephesians 5 is striking. Paul writes to former idolaters and fornicators, reminding them of their new life in Christ. He opens with a call to holiness. Believers must “be imitators of God,” walking “in love.” To walk in love means that believers must live making personal sacrifices to build… Continue Reading

Some thoughts concerning Hymns on Christ’s Resurrection

Some thoughts concerning Hymns on Christ’s Resurrection

I know this post is somewhat badly timed, but I wanted to provide a bit of help for those who are looking for good resurrection hymns, either for personal devotion, to teach to their families, or to teach to congregations.1 Sometimes I hear the lament that there aren’t that many good Easter hymns. There are probably more… Continue Reading

Theological Issues at Stake in Discussions of Culture and Contextualization

Theological Issues at Stake in Discussions of Culture and Contextualization

Discussion of culture is an essential ingredient in any intelligent philosophy of Christian music. Especially in today’s globalized, multicultural environment, understanding what culture is and how it relates to worship and music is critical. The Standard Evangelical View J. Nathan Corbitt, in his The Sound of the Harvest: Music’s Mission in Church and Culture,1 presents an… Continue Reading

It’s Not Just Us Saying It

It’s Not Just Us Saying It

The seldom-boring Peter Leithart did not write an entire review of Daniel Albright’s Panaesthetics, but he culled a familiar theme from a very few pages of it. We intuit the meanings of physical gestures; we also intuit the meanings of musical gestures. A sample, with a page number corresponding to Albright’s work: The analogy with “musical gestures” is… Continue Reading

A Psalm for Giving Thanks

A Psalm for Giving Thanks

This setting of Psalm 100 to “Old Hundredth” was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The conductor is Sir David WIllcocks and the organist is Stephen Krahn. Also featured are the Abendmusik Chorus and Plymouth Brass. Continue Reading

Samwise Gamgee understands the power of poetry and music

Samwise Gamgee understands the power of poetry and music

I have spoken many times about the power of poetry and music to express what words alone cannot. Yesterday evening, as I was reading The Two Towers with my son, I came across this passage where Sam is asked about the beauty of Galadriel: “The Lady of Lorien! Galadriel!” cried Sam. “You should see her, indeed… Continue Reading

The most significant misconception about music in worship

The most significant misconception about music in worship

Here’s one of the most important concepts about music in worship I think needs to be communicated to pastors and parishioners alike: Music in the context of corporate worship is not primarily about giving people an authentic expression through their preferred musical style. Music in worship is (as is liturgy and preaching) formative. It shapes right spiritual… Continue Reading

On Texas heat and musical meaning

On Texas heat and musical meaning

I grew up in Michigan. I now live in Texas. Texas is hot. Really hot. And it stays hot for a long, long time. However, as I was working on some yard projects Monday, I noticed that after four years of living in Texas, I’ve grown accustomed to the heat. I found myself observing that… Continue Reading

Free eBook of Back to Basics Series

Free eBook of Back to Basics Series

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Back to Basics You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Over the past several months I have written a series of short articles in which I dealt with the major categories of a biblical philosophy of worship and music in a brief way. My desire was to introduce the basics of these issues to those who hadn’t carefully considered them. I have the posts linked below,… Continue Reading

Reading recommendations on musical meaning

Reading recommendations on musical meaning

I received some good feeback from my post last week briefly explaining musical meaning. Several were on Twitter: “@ScottAniol: Meaning in music is a tricky thing. http://t.co/0jyftIC025” This is the best article I’ve read on this topic! — Daniel Wilson (@NinjaDan4287) May 29, 2014 Excellent article “@ScottAniol: Received some good feedback on this simple article… Continue Reading

Meaning in Music

Meaning in Music

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Back to Basics You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Meaning in music is a tricky thing. Most people think it’s tricky because music is so abstract and lacks specificity such that describing its meaning with words is nearly impossible. On the contrary, meaning in music is tricky for exactly the opposite reason. As Felix Mendelssohn once noted, “What music expresses its not too indefinite to… Continue Reading

More on pastors and musical training

More on pastors and musical training

There has been a profitable discussion happening in the comments of my recent observations about the need for pastors to be trained in worship and music if they are going to (rightly) reclaim their role as those primarily responsible for worship music choices. A commenter asked for a fuller explanation for why I believe this… Continue Reading

Harold Best vs. Ken Myers on Musical Meaning

Harold Best vs. Ken Myers on Musical Meaning

This is an excellent illustration of where Evangelicalism is on issues related to music and worship. I’m thankful to 9Marks for doing this. It’s very instructive. The folks at 9Marks asked three questions to two individuals who have written and spoken on the subject of musical meaning: Can God employ any musical form for redemptive… Continue Reading

Article 13: On Today’s Congregational Music

Article 13: On Today’s Congregational Music

This entry is part 14 of 16 in the series A Conservative Christian Declaration You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

  This is a series to further explain the articles of “A Conservative Christian Declaration.” . We affirm that twenty-first-century churches, like the churches of every age, must worship God in their own words, with their own voice. We add the qualification that these expressions must both embody ordinate affection and build on the tradition that… Continue Reading