diversity and style

Here are some thought-provoking reflections on what Unitarian Universalist music is, could be, should be, from two musicians at the forefront of expanding our musical worship vocabulary.

Music and Cultural Change in UUism

I disagree with a couple of points (almost all American popular music since 1900 has been africentric to one degree or another, so it is our music now). But Jeannie and Nick are fabulous musicians and deep thinkers about the role of music in worship, so I commend their thoughts to you.

About liberalreligiongetsloud

Contemporary Music and Worship Director (retired), First Unitarian, Albuquerque NM
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2 Responses to diversity and style

  1. cindy says:

    I found this article frustrating. Not all UUs come from a highly intellectual background with a deep understanding of classical music, so why make the assumption that this is our “natural” musical style? Many of us have more familiarity with country music, folk music, or pop music than with classical.

    I am very tired of the idea that if you can’t do music well, you shouldn’t do it at all. This elitist attitude is particularly hostile to small churches. Small churches do not have the resources to produce music that is up to the standards of highly trained professionals like Nick and Jeannie. It may “sound bad” (ha ha). But we still need music in our worship services, and we’re doing the best we can with what we have.

    There are a lot of small UU churches out here, although we’re relatively invisible to the larger organization.

  2. Cindy, to both your observations, I say “RIGHT ON!”

    I think there’s too much “music as performance art” (at least, in larger congregations) and too little “music as community worship”. There’s a Sunday morning brunch-and-classical-music program here called “The Church of Beethoven”. THAT is where people should go if they want virtuoso performances, but which are devoid of spiritual content. Rather than being played or sung AT, worship should be about singing or playing music WITH.

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