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Examining Contemporary Congregationsl Song - beyond sung theology

Magee, Fay R. (2013) Examining Contemporary Congregationsl Song - beyond sung theology. Master of Arts (major thesis) thesis, UNSPECIFIED.


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What Christians sing as they worship is a focus of considerable attention in the contemporary church and yet it has been a contentious issue at almost every period of Christian history. Since the mid-twentieth century, significant social, cultural, and technological changes, all against a backdrop of increasing global consciousness, have affected the way music functions and the ways opinions about repertoire and performance practices are formed.
The primary focus of this project is the analysis of eight songs composed between 1983 and 2001. The essential question is how musical analysis contributes to a greater understanding of the nature of contemporary congregational song and various performance practices. This project will
focus on analysis of harmonic structures as the major element. This will provide a framework from which comparisons of other musical elements can lead to a greater awareness of the issues of music and worship, and of music
and theology. Developing a greater understanding of how music works enables more receptive and discerning listening and participation.
The more difficult aspect of congregational song, that of it being not just 'sung theology’, can be explored to some degree from a clearer understanding of the musical and textual components and their interrelationship. Various writers are contributing significant insights to how
music itself provides meaning and thus how the singing of congregational songs contains and conveys meaning. As Don Saliers suggests,
‘(t)he question of meaning in music hinges on the interaction between order, sound, and the range of other senses – visual kinetic, gestural – it conjoins…. Music is not therefore simply an ornament of something already understood, such as a text.’1
Taking account of a range of perspectives, the analysis and comparison of the songs can contribute to a more constructive critique of contemporary trends and what happens when congregations sing.

Item Type: Theses (Master of Arts (major thesis))
Repository Version: Author's Final Manuscript
Keywords: Congregational song, modern hymn, contemporary worship music, sung theology
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950404 Religion and Society
Type of Activity: Applied Research
Subjects: D - Liturgy
College/Association with University of Divinity: UFT-TCTS: United Faculty of Theology - Trinity College Theological School
Depositing User: Cate Headey
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2013 01:04
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2013 01:04
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1240

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