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How Can Music Have Theological Significance?

How Can Music Have Theological Significance? How Can Music Have Theological Significance? Clyde f. Steckel The task of discerning and articulating theological meanings in music involves an analysis of both religious music and music that is not overtly religious by text or usage, in order to determine how music expresses and mediates the dominant values of a culture and how music is an experience of encounter with whatever is taken to be divine or of ultimate importance. In this essay I will argue that music has theological significance in three ways: ( 1) in expressing experiences of divine encounter representing the composer, player, and audience/participants in musical experience, and thus the cul­ ture in which a given musical experience occurs; (2) in envisioning alternative domains of experience, those which are exceptionally beautiful or ugly, harmonious, unifying, and so forth, when com­ pared with the more ordinary and officially approved domains of experience offered by a given culture; and ( 3) in transforming the lives of participants in musical experience, and thus transforming the culture in which musical experience occurs toward a fuller man­ ifestation of the extraordinary realities experienced in music. Before developing these three themes, however, I will provide some definitions. By music I http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

How Can Music Have Theological Significance?

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Copyright
Copyright © 1994 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-8.1.13
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

How Can Music Have Theological Significance? Clyde f. Steckel The task of discerning and articulating theological meanings in music involves an analysis of both religious music and music that is not overtly religious by text or usage, in order to determine how music expresses and mediates the dominant values of a culture and how music is an experience of encounter with whatever is taken to be divine or of ultimate importance. In this essay I will argue that music has theological significance in three ways: ( 1) in expressing experiences of divine encounter representing the composer, player, and audience/participants in musical experience, and thus the cul­ ture in which a given musical experience occurs; (2) in envisioning alternative domains of experience, those which are exceptionally beautiful or ugly, harmonious, unifying, and so forth, when com­ pared with the more ordinary and officially approved domains of experience offered by a given culture; and ( 3) in transforming the lives of participants in musical experience, and thus transforming the culture in which musical experience occurs toward a fuller man­ ifestation of the extraordinary realities experienced in music. Before developing these three themes, however, I will provide some definitions. By music I

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 1994

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