Saturday, 2 March 2013

Village Choirmasters & Cyberchurch Technomusos

In surveying the full spectrum of Church music literature and repertoires, I'm increasingly struck by the glaring disjunct between nostalgic attachment to the comfortable, nostalgic village choir model, versus adventurous pursuit of state of the art Church technomusicianship. Church music leaders seem drawn either to past traditions of various kinds, or alernatively to forward-looking Church music sounds and genres. Contrary to expectations, young musicians are not exclusively drawn to technologized music, and many. techno-obsessed Church musos are well on in years. But the most effective Church music leaders are always those who are prepared to move out of their musical "pleasure and comfort" zone just a little, and strike a compromise between these two extremes.

Consider Johann Sebastian Bach, a solid family man, the most staid of village Kapellmeisters, well versed in traditional hymnody and counterpoint. Yet he was so fascinated by the new hammerklavier and its well tempered tuning, that he composed the series of studies in all keys, still used as the basis of building keyboard technique today. Genius, it seems, is open to new ideas and methods, especially when they can be used to shape old musical forms in new ways relevant to the time.

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