Tag Archives: church music

Why else are we in this mess?

Why else are we in this mess?

I suggested last week, springing from Kevin Bauder’s excellent article, that one of the reasons worship is in such trouble today is that pastors who should be the primary leaders of worship are often ill-educated in matters of worship and music. I suggested that while pastors used to give careful attention to the leading of… Continue Reading

Why should we study the history of Christian worship?

Why should we study the history of Christian worship?

Tomorrow I begin another semester teaching a graduate class in the history and theology of worship. The class is largely a survey of the historical, theological, and philosophical events and ideas that have shaped worship today, and one of the first tasksI tackle on the first day of class is to answer the question, “Why?”… Continue Reading

Did Luther use tunes from love songs?

Did Luther use tunes from love songs?

It is irresponsible to claim that Luther used tunes from secular loves songs for his hymns and compare it to today’s situation. If there is one argument in defense of bringing secular musical forms into the church that I’ve heard more than any other, it is certainly one that insists that Luther used tunes from… Continue Reading

Reforming Influences in 19th Century American Church Music

Reforming Influences in 19th Century American Church Music

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series 19th Century American Church Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

There were many composers, writers, and organizations during the nineteenth century that objected to the current condition of American church music and encouraged reform. Yet none had as lasting influence as the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, Thomas Hastings, and Lowell Mason. Boston Handel and Haydn Society The Handel and Haydn Society was formed in 1815 in Boston… Continue Reading

"Indigenous" vs "European" Music in 19th Century America

"Indigenous" vs "European" Music in 19th Century America

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series 19th Century American Church Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I have suggested that the 19th century in America was a time in which three forms of culture began to emerge distinct from one another: cultivated, communal, and commercial culture. There exists some disagreement amongst scholars, however, over whether this  division between folk, popular, and cultivated music was really a distinction between American music and European… Continue Reading

Cultivated, Commercial, and Communal Music

Cultivated, Commercial, and Communal Music

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series 19th Century American Church Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Church music in nineteenth century America can be summarized very simply with one word: reform. In many ways, the influential writers and composers of the nineteenth century were bent upon rejecting the new music of eighteenth century American composers and returning to more established classical traditions. In order to understand their motivation, however, one must consider both the changes… Continue Reading

Three Cultural Streams in 19th-Century American Church Music

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series 19th Century American Church Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The development of American church music during the nineteenth century has important implications for the philosophy and practice of church music in the twentieth century and beyond. Indeed, “it would be difficult to overstate the impact that antebellum sacred music reforms had on subsequent musical developments in America, and many scholars identify this period as… Continue Reading

A Humble Request and Prolegomena

A Humble Request and Prolegomena

This entry is part 3 of 16 in the series Missions and Music You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In my handful of posts this month, I want to give some anecdotes from church history to inform us as to how missionaries, attempting to plant indigenous church, should approach the issue of music in the culture in which they minister. My posts will not always touch on music per se, but instead explore the… Continue Reading

Two Roads Diverged

This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series The Hymnody of the Christian Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The dethroning of the Church by Reason and the creation of pop culture left the Church in an awkward position. Its cultural influence was non-existent. As the culture around it plunged into sanitized paganism, the Church’s traditional forms became foreign. The Church was in Babylon, yet it was free to worship as it pleased. So… Continue Reading

Early Church Hymns

Early Church Hymns

This entry is part 9 of 14 in the series The Hymnody of the Christian Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The hymnody of the early church was naturally an extension of Hebrew hymnody.1 Therefore, we can expect the hymnody of the early church to have the same general characteristics of Hebrew hymns: Early church hymns were word-centered, modest, and distinct, and they continued to nurture the forms they inherited from Jewish worship. The only change would… Continue Reading

The Cultivation of Form

The Cultivation of Form

This entry is part 7 of 14 in the series The Hymnody of the Christian Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

On the wall in my study I have three portraits. All three are portraits of theologians who were also heavily involved with music. They are Martin Luther, J.S. Bach, and Isaac Watts. All three men fought their battles in defense of high standards for worship music. All three had their share of controversy. And all… Continue Reading

A potential danger in writing hymns in an age of mass media

There seem to be a lot of hymns being written today, and a lot of them are really pretty good. One of the reasons for that seems to be that pastors are beginning again to write hymn texts instead of just musicians or publishers. There is one relevant potential pitfall into which hymn writers today could easily… Continue Reading

InTune for July 2009

InTune for July 2009

Click here for a FREE subscription to InTune. InTune is a newsletter for church music directors, church musicians, and pastors (especially those without qualified music directors). Each issue includes reviews of church music, including carefully selected choral music, instrumental selections, etc. for the local church as well as practical articles, CD recommendations, church music tips,… Continue Reading

Introducing ChurchMusicFiles.com!

Introducing ChurchMusicFiles.com!

I am thrilled to announce a new web site that we have been developing that seeks to help pastors, church music directors, and other church music directors as they choose music. If you have spent any time at all choosing music for your church, you know how much time, effort, sweat, and (sometimes) tears (!)… Continue Reading

What Others Are Saying About Worship in Song

What Others Are Saying About Worship in Song

Pre-order for 30% off | Book Website “Scott Aniol has contributed a reasoned, thoughtful, Scripture-infused, and theological approach to his subject. This book should prove to be a helpful volume to any serious worshiper.” Paul S. Jones, D.M. Organist and Music Director – Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia Author, Singing and Making Music: Issues in Church… Continue Reading

Contents of Worship in Song by Scott Aniol

Contents of Worship in Song by Scott Aniol

Pre-order for 30% off | Book Website SECTION ONE: LAYING THE FOUNDATION Chapter One: Biblical Authority in Matters of Faith and Practice Many Christians insist that because the Bible says nothing explicitly regarding the kind of music that pleases God, God must not care what we listen to. This chapter dispels that idea by demonstrating… Continue Reading