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Title Volume 10, Number 1, Spring 1975-1976
Subject Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Description Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
Publisher Dialogue Foundation, P.O. Box 1387, Arlington, VA 22210
Scanning Vendor Backstage Library Works - 1180 S. 800 E. Orem, UT 84097
Contributors Rees, Robert A.
Date 1975-1976
Type Text
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Language eng
Rights Management Digital image, copyright 2004, Dialogue Foundation. All rights reserved.
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Title Page 26
Identifier V10N01-2236_Page 26.jpg
Source Dialogue: Vol 10 No 1
Article Title Choral Music in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Description CHORAL MUSIC IN THE CHURCH Ralph Woodward Church music is that music which serves a worshipful purpose in a religious meeting. The Random House Dictionary defines worship as "reverent honor or regard paid to God or a sacred personage. . . . " In Psalms we are told, "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness" (29: 2). And in 2 Nephi we read that we should worship not only the Father, but the Son as well: Believe in Christ, and deny Him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before Him, and worship Him with all your might, mind and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out. (25:16,19) If we can accept these ideas, it follows that the music associated with worship, in order to fulfill its reason for being, must enhance such feelings if already present in the worshiper, or, if not, to help create them. Conversely, a piece of music which of itself seems to relate to circumstances not associated with worship, or which could more effectively be used as a love song or an inclusion in an operetta should probably be avoided for use in a worship service. (There are, of course, other functions for music besides that of worship in various of the Church-related meetings, but the main thrust of this statement has to do with that type of music to be used in meetings primarily associated with worship, or that segment of other meetings in which a worshipful atmosphere is desired.) Texts which are poorly conceived, in which the language is not lofty and eloquent, cannot be expected to elicit a worshipful response. Although there are cases in which master composers have clothed ordinary texts in music so glorious that they have been lifted far above their usual possibilities, as a rule, text and music must be equally fine if they are to enhance the worship experience. Music plays a significant role in the worship service. The members of the congregation cannot easily ignore it—they are usually involved in it either as listeners or participants. Because of this involvement, they have definite reactions to it: they may feel themselves ennobled by it, they may tolerate it as a habitual if not particularly rewarding part of the service, or they may experience boredom or even antagonism because of its inappropriateness or carelessness of performance. Every effort should be made to ensure that church music will ennoble and lift the worshipper; anything less is unacceptable. In the music sung by the choir the congregation is tacitly involved because the choir is a representative group from the congregation charged with the responsibility of defining and expressing particular musical and verbal ideas for the congregation. Likewise, the vocal soloist leads the listeners to whatever the potential of the song may be, whether it be musical doggerel with a "sacred" text or a sublime 26
Creator Woodward, Ralph
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