Exploring Christian song

Publication Type:



Lanham, Maryland : Lexington Books, an imprint of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.,, United States, p.xix, 238 pages : (2017)



Call Number:



History and criticism., Hymns, Music, Religious aspects, Sacred music


Includes bibliographical references and index.This essay collection celebrates the richness of Christian musical tradition across its two thousand year history and across the globe. Opening with a consideration of the fourth-century lamp-lighting hymn Phos hilaron and closing with reflections on contemporary efforts of Ghanaian composers to create Christian worship music in African idioms, the ten contributors engage with a broad ecumenical array of sacred music. Topics encompass Roman Catholic sacred music in medieval and Renaissance Europe, German Lutheran song in the eighteenth century, English hymnody in colonial America, Methodist hymnody adopted by Southern Baptists in the nineteenth century, and Genevan psalmody adapted to respond to the post-war tribulations of the Hungarian Reformed Church. The scope of the volume is further diversified by the inclusion of contemporary Christian topics that address the evangelical methods of a unique Orthodox Christian composer's language, the shared aims and methods of African-American preaching and gospel music, and the affective didactic power of American evangelical "praise and worship" music. New material on several key composers, including Jacob Obrecht, J.S. Bach, George Philipp Telemann, C.P.E. Bach, Zoltan Kodály, and Arvo Pärt, appears within the book. Taken together, these essays embrace a stimulating variety of interdisciplinary analytical and methodological approaches, drawing on cultural, literary critical, theological, ritual, ethnographical, and media studies. The collection contributes to discussions of spirituality in music and, in particular, to the unifying aspects of Christian sacred music across time, space, and faith traditions. --