return to religion-onlineChristian Music
A conversation with Andrew Lloyd Webber, the prolific and popular British composer who frequently employs religious themes in his work. Lloyd Webber has demonstrated in Requiem that he can also write beautiful serious music in the English choral tradition – while still holding on to his more rock-inspired identity.
Cats appeals to those latent religious impulses through dance and dramatic ritual, interwoven patterns of words and music, archetypal motifs and other intimations of a deeper order at the heart of things. It celebrates with equal intensity the word and body of the world.
The field of contemporary Christian Music is diverse -- ethnically, stylistically and theologically. One can list problems -- triumphalism, commercialism, individualism, a dearth of inclusive language and an uncritical approach to scripture. Such dysfunctions are also endemic to American popular religion today.
It was the note of incarnation that was missing in that contemporary "gospel" concert. The sounds and the technology were the latest, but the heresy was the oldest -- Docetism. Christ was off in heaven, waiting. Resurrection and ascension had completely superseded incarnation.
Turning to music, Trotter provides a challenge to increased openness to diverse forms and styles of music. He provides careful analysis, following Tillich, of what constitutes "religious" music, then suggests that most believers consider that music to be religious with which they are familiar, in both content and style. Unwillingness to be open to new ways of expressing faith seriously restricts the possibilities of growth in our faith.
A biographical sketch of Robert Shaw and his thoughts on music and religion. "Worship is an art . . . in that it has a certain amount of time in which to consider matters of worth."
The classical hymn and choral music people, as well as those loving the good old gospel songs, register their dismay at the level of "pap" in praise-oriented songs and choruses. Yet the mainliners are offering at least some "blending of worship styles," or in larger churches, multiple worship services "cafeteria-style."
Sound patterns are well suited to draw us into Godís purposes through musicís power and sound patterns. The author discusses music from a Christian perspective.
Explanations of Contemporary Christian music. The author takes a look at the "spiritual adventuring" of a rock band named The Call.
The author challenges us to be brave enough to be moved by a song thatís "not our style." Whatever that style, its authenticity should bring us into the presence of the Holy Spirit.