Monday, January 24, 2011

"God's Lyrics"

I haven't posted here for well over a year now! I've been busy graduating, getting married and working and haven't had a lot of time to devote to this area. I've just started reading a book that is reviving my interest and enthusiasm in the area of Church Music.
So far God's Lyrics by Douglas Sean O'Donnell, promises to be a fantastic read. His basic idea is to look at the songs from the Old Testament that God gave to his people, analyze them, and compare them with the songs used in worship over the past century or two. He specifically focuses on a handful of the longer and more prominent songs in the Old Testament including Moses' song of victory after the Egyptians are drowned in the Red Sea, Moses' song he teaches Israel before he dies, Deborah's song, Hannah's Song, and "the Song of Habakkuk." I find it a little odd that he doesn't use a Psalm, but I bet he will address that before the end of the book.
O'Donnell identifies four major themes he claims are the "meat" of the OT songs:
  • The LORD is at the center: our God is addressed, magnified, and adored.
  • His mighty acts in salvation history are recounted.
  • His ways of living are encouraged.
  • Finally (and I think most notable for our culture and time), His acts of judgement are rejoiced in.
I think that much of 19th century hymnody is fairly strong on points 1 and 3, but I don't think points 2 and 4 come up much in the worship music I am familiar with.

1 comment:

dura mater said...

Sounds like a good book, especially if it's inspiring you to think and write about Church music again. Delighted to see you posting again!