Contemporary Worship Music and Everyday Musical Lives: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Contemporary Worship Music and Everyday Musical Lives

1st Edition

By Mark Porter


198 pages

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Whilst Contemporary Worship Music arose out of a desire to relate the music of the church to the music of everyday life, this function can quickly be called into question by the diversity of musical lives present in contemporary society. Mark Porter examines the relationship between individuals’ musical lives away from a Contemporary Worship Music environment and their diverse experiences of music within it, presenting important insights into the complex and sometimes contradictory relationships between congregants’ musical lives within and outside of religious worship. Through detailed ethnographic investigation Porter challenges common evangelical ideals of musical neutrality, suggesting the importance of considering musical tastes and preferences through an ethical lens. He employs cosmopolitanism as an interpretative framework for understanding the dynamics of diverse musical communities, positioning it as a stronger alternative to common assimilationist and multiculturalist models.

Table of Contents


Introduction – The Quest to Understand Diverse Musical Experiences

Chapter 1: Setting the Scene

Chapter 2: Music, Attachment, Ethics and Community

Chapter 3: Bridging Worlds Through Common Modes of Being in Music

Chapter 4: Boundaries – Communal and Private, Spiritual and Secular

Chapter 5: At the Edges – Value Transfer, Judgments, Discontent

Chapter 6: Alternative Musical Spaces


Appendix A: Morning Service Repertoire List – January 2012

Appendix B: Worship Team Agreement 2013/14



About the Series

Congregational Music Studies Series

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.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General