Thursday, November 7, 2013

What Comes Next? Performing Music and Proclaiming the Word

Chapter 10, Clayton J. Schmit, “What Comes Next? Performing Music and Proclaiming the Word” pp. 169-190

Schmit compares a sermon to a piece of music, observing that both are effectively intended for aural reception, are prepared, and follow typical conventions. How do the musicians and preacher prepare? Through thorough knowledge of the materials and the conventions of presenting their art form both the musician and preacher can grasp and remember the overall flow of the message. Most pieces of music (Schmit says all) follow a recognizable organizational pattern. They follow naturally to their conclusion. Likewise, the sermon will always have demands and resolution, the gospel promises. In different settings the preparatory style may vary, but the final product always shows familiarity with the style and patterns used.

Schmit’s analysis of music is not always adequate, as the notes on the page or what the musician conceptualized are actual music. But as far as the public performance and transmission of music are concerned he does draw insightful parallels to the world of preaching.

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