Dyslexic Mystic

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Hymns and Music (comment reposts)

Music is very sacred to me. We all have our preferences for how it is used in worship. I prefer to stand when I sing Hymns. I feel far more justified in standing as a form of respect for songs about our Prophets and declarations to God than the handful patriotic hymns which crop up once a year. I do however admit to the hassle that it can be when you have handful of children in sacrament. I think standing in Priesthood and RS is entirely appropriate.
I love the music of our hymns because it is so steeped in Western European folk music. I do want to say that there is so much beautiful music in the world that brings the spirit outside of the western heritage. So often it seems we are bombarded by choices of pop music with a spiritual bent, classical/romantic music or Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I continually find beautiful ethnic/folk music from around the world which bring the spirit into my home and life.

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Often when I sing or contemplate hymns, I think of the pioneers and about long long long walks with my family out in nature. When I hike I tend to end up singing to myself or singing with whoever might be with me if the conversation lags. I am quite sure many of our hymns were sung up and down the trail in as many styles and modes of experience that each pioneer brought with them from their own cultures. I imagine it was beautiful in the evenings around the fire singing. As a musician I am always looking for a way to bring music into my life that way and not just canonized hymns, but new personal songs and hymns that burst from us. As sacred as we hold the idea of creation I am surprised we don’t see much more in the way of music and other art. Then again, the realm of the professional artist has long been under the sway of Mammon.

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