Unpacking Sonic Theology.

Posted January 12, 2018 @ 11:50am | by Tripp

The church musician is an icon of the holy. She represents style, genre, tradition, and the complexity of local practice. She represents the theological convictions that people bring to singing in worship. She represents the theological convictions and spiritual insights that people bring when they listen to music in church. She also represents herself. The semiotic snowballing that the church musician represents is an aspect of liturgical celebration that is often ignored in liturgiological research.

We often examine artifacts such as books and candlesticks. We examine architecture. We even examine compositions. We examine practices. And when we examine people, we often examine the laity rather than the clergy. This impulse is generally to prevent us from front loading our analysis with “officialdom.” But let’s not assume that the clergy or the church musician necessarily or only represent official theologies of any given worshiping tradition. 

She represents much more. 

She represents the musical and spiritual desires, the multiplicity of expectations that the entire worshipping community brings with them. 

I’m slowly unpacking this notion of sonic theology. God help me. 

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