Musiek méér as woorde : die doel, waarde en funksie van liturgiese musiek in die erediens
Viljoen, Anja Maria
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In Protestant churches, it appears that more emphasis is put on the correct content of confessions and on edification in worship services than on hearty praise and worship. Accusations are made by some that hymn melodies of this church tradition became "unsingable" and that the musical and poetic style of these songs make them "ununderstandable". Consequently, it appears that the contribution of music in worship services is much under estimated in this church tradition. However, liturgical music should contribute towards a deeper experience of the worship service. This music should also contribute to a spontaneous, festive atmosphere of such a worship service. This research investigates whether the value of music in theology and religion is neglected. Music more than words explores the aim, value, and function of liturgical music. - From revelational and historical investigations of the relationship between word and music, it appears that views and practices of liturgical music of current reformational tradition are rooted in the history of music. The Greeks and Romans believed that power was generated by music; and music influenced the actions and thoughts of human beings. According to both the Old and New Testaments, music was used to express peoples' awe and worship of God. Their adoration resulted in song - songs of praise, songs about redemption, songs of thanksgiving, and in prayerful songs. Since the earliest ages, liturgical singing practices have ranged between chanting and melodic singing. The views of Augustine on liturgical songs in his Confessions had a strong impact on the thinking of the Reformers many years later. During the sixteenth century folk music and folk songs recounted almost all human emotions and actions. Luther and Calvin both appreciated the value of liturgical music, in contrast to Zwingli who viewed the results of music as detrimental and contradictory to the expression of faith. The fact that music has the capability to express more than words was taken to a peak from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century. Composers appreciated the value of music and utilized this to influence their audience via this emotional medium. Even liturgical music was downplayed to a mere vehicle to express feelings and emotions; music created an atmosphere or a space for pausing for devotional attention. These were the kinds of misuse of music Calvin had warned against. The decline of liturgy during the eighteenth and nineteenth century, also in South Africa, led toward a liturgical renewal in the twentieth century. With regard to church music, this renewal evolved in two distinct directions. In the traditional Protestant churches, there was an endeavour towards the restoration of songs from the musical tradition. In the Charismatic churches, the emotional value of music was emphasized. The responsible use of and sensitivity to the features of music (in general) and liturgical music (in particular) make it possible that music can express more than words alone. The character of music and its effects are based on different elements of sound as well as on their relation toward one another. Churches and individual worshipers should use these in a responsible way. In this dissertation, guidelines are set with regard to the use of beat, meter and rhythm, pitch, melody, harmony, accompaniment, intensity, and timbre (tonal colour). In liturgical music, the general features of music can be applied in such a way that the liturgical moments of praise, thanksgiving, humility, confession of sins and prayers are rendered from the depths of the heart. Liturgical songs should be of a high standard. However, they should be sober to support the message of the text. Therefore, this music must complement a dignified and trustworthy expression of the contents of the words that are being sung. If the versification of a song text is done in a musical idiom that is typical of the listening experience and understanding of the congregation, the understanding and communicative effect of the text are enhanced In such a case liturgical songs can contribute in a special way towards the edification of the congregation, the strengthening of the community of believers, and the expression of joy and praise toward God. This joy and praise are accomplished by the proclamation of the Word, confessions, pastoral care, and evangelization. For liturgical music, the guidance of the Holy Spirit should be sought and followed. Singing without the inspiration or the Holy Spirit is useless. Spirit-filled singing and music express and strengthen worship to the glory of the Lord.
- Theology