Christian Congregational Music explores the role of congregational music in Christian religious experience, examining how musicians and worshippers perform, identify with and experience belief through musical praxis. Contributors from a broad range of fields, including music studies, theology, literature, and cultural anthropology, present interdisciplinary perspectives on a variety of congregational musical styles - from African American gospel music, to evangelical praise and worship music, to Mennonite hymnody - within contemporary Europe and North America. In addressing the themes of performance, identity and experience, the volume explores several topics of interest to a broader humanities and social sciences readership, including the influence of globalization and mass mediation on congregational music style and performance; the use of congregational music to shape multifaceted identities; the role of mass mediated congregational music in shaping transnational communities; and the function of music in embodying and imparting religious belief and knowledge. In demonstrating the complex relationship between ’traditional’ and ’contemporary’ sounds and local and global identifications within the practice of congregational music, the plurality of approaches represented in this book, as well as the range of musical repertoires explored, aims to serve as a model for future congregational music scholarship.
’A fascinating and down-to-earth exploration of congregational music in action, from the relatively new (but much-needed) perspectives of ethnomusicology.’ Jeremy Begbie, Duke University, USA ’Music has become the real distinguishing mark between Churches. If worship shapes Christian communities then what we sing is crucially significant. Christian Congregational Music brings together an exciting range of scholars from musicology, worship studies and theology to explore this important area. This interdisciplinary conversation is essential for the self-understanding of the Church and for ecumenical dialogue.’ Pete Ward, King's College London, UK 'Diversity is a key word in describing the material. In style it ranges from personal apologias for specific genres of congregational song to objective reflection on liturgical and musicological phenomena.' American Book Review ’…theologians and musicologists alike will find much thought-provoking material in this book.’ Church Times ’The content of the book is comprehensive and detailed, and deserves attention as a necessary stimulus to (particularly feminist) theologians who rarely interact with the significant discipline of childhood studies.’ Modern Believing ’…bring[s] a variety of voices, cultures, ways of worshipping, methodologies, and suggestions to the table of Christian congregational song. […]The book succeeds in part because each essay gives a taste of a deeper study and includes references for further readings. Those interested in the growing edges of the church and its music will want to dip into this engaging and thoughtful book.’ American Organist Review 'This book provides a well-documented picture of Christian congregational music today as well as a basic understanding of how and why it has changed in the past fifty years. It also explains why we should care.' Anglican and Episcopal History ’I recommend Christian Congregational Music to anyone who would like to be inspi
Congregational music-making is a vital and vibrant practice within Christian communities worldwide. Music can both unite and divide: at times, it brings together individuals and communities across geographical and cultural boundaries while, at others, it divides communities by embodying conflicting meanings and symbolizing oppositional identities. Many factors influence congregational music in its contemporary global context, posing theoretical and methodological challenges for the academic study of congregational music-making. Increasingly, coming to a robust understanding of congregational music's meaning, influence, and significance requires a mixture of complementary approaches. Including perspectives from musicology, religious and theological studies, anthropology and sociology of religion, media studies, political economy, and popular music studies, this series presents a cluster of landmark titles exploring music-making within contemporary Christianity which will further Congregational Music Studies as an important new academic field of study.