Although during the liturgy the words can also bring the holiness and wonder each person is striving to, music enriches a prayer with spirit and inspiration, makes worshiping full of feelings of loftiness. Due to the author’s illustrative example, a large majority of people are expressing a strong desire of becoming closer with God. The latter can be realized by means of changing the current service music to another kind, a capela, which proves to be more intimate, sacred.
To proceed, the author claims that a sensible combination of preaching and music applied can positively influence on people and their worshiping. However, the writer expresses disapproval of present disregarding attitude towards music education, clergy in particular.
As far as music is inextricably bound with culture, it is impossible to reveal the meaning of the latter without knowing the former. The problem is that music education as a separate subject at school or seminary schedule is not being paid much attention to. Hence, the subject, due to its poor popularity, does not have much influence.
Further, the author explains that beauty is a powerful force, which can cause changes. It can be traced even in the examples of Christians’ parables, which represent a specific kind of divine metaphors, uniting people with God. Music as a kind of art is also closely connected with a notion of “beauty”. Thus, the point is not in high-qualitative music, but in its exposure to the people. The author mentions the words of Eric Routley “Give us the best music we can have, but make it friendly to the people”
The next are presented the reasons for writing this particular book, which is based on author’s long-term church musician experience and further observations of the students during discussions. The writer describes the process of teaching as a mutual activity, where both a teacher and students learn from each other.
Music is not a kind of art assigned especially for a chosen number of people, who appreciate it. Music is available for each person and, what is more, it is omnipresent. Although for clergy this kind of art can appear incomprehensible due to its interiority and mystery, the author claims that the language of music is just as easy to learn as any other language, and knowing a written language is not necessary for getting joy from music.
Each person has a musical talent – either in appreciating, or in producing music. However, with time passing the priorities have changed, and now there is a clear people’s preference to consume rather than to perform the music. This can be traced on a simple example of music stores, suggested by the author.
The writer explains that knowing the language of music is the aim which can be realized, because nobody is deprived of musicality. Thus, nowadays there is a popular tendency to discourage people who are getting engaged in music by pointing out their lack of ability.
Musical languages around the globe differ to the great extent. Hence, the author is disproving the idea of internationalism of music, being convinced by a practical example, when commissioners were trying to teach indigenous peoples western hymnody.
Music is a subjective phenomenon, on which different kinds of people have different responses. So, there cannot exist the “proper” music system, which has always been regarded to be European. It is a mistake to consider other musical systems inferior. There is an obvious connection between cultural identity and specific musical style.
Roberts, William Bradley “Music and Vital Congregations: A Practical Guide for Clergy” — New York: Church Publishing, 2009, pp. 1-18.