Tuesday, June 15, 2010

World Music Day: singing the global church

Concerts and performances in 350 cities worldwide next Monday, will mark World Music Day (Fete de la Musique). Held June 21st each year, the festival aims to enhance the scope and diversity of all musical genres with an invitation to free and spontaneous music making. It encourages performance in non-traditional performance spaces such as museums, corporate foyers and public transport facilities, and is a non-profit enterprise.

The Global Church
Many congregations work intentionally to acknowledge their commitment to the global community through music and song. It is a powerful reminder that while our faith communities exist in a local area, they are part of an extensive network. Indeed, the irony of World Music Day is that the principles of participation, non-profit, musical diversity and spontaneity  and inclusivity are, or a least should, be the aspiration of all faith communties. Where these values are espoused, people of varying skill and expereince gather together in an spirit of generosity and goodwill, to make provision for and engage in participatory music in their faith community.

Music of the Global Church
If you'd like to recognise your community's connection to the global church, there are many music resources available. Here is just a sample:
Songs from World Council of Churches 9th Assembly (Brazil)
Global Worship Music
Freedom is Coming
For Everyone Born
Global Praise Music
Wild Goose Publications

Using Current Resources
Alternatively a leaf through any hymnbook will turn up songs of diverse origin. The key is to present these songs not as though they have western roots, but to recognise the song's origins principally by instrument choice. In other words, if you are sing a chant from Ghana, strong vocal leadership with rhythmic accompaniment on drum is preferable to a pipe organ!

In Your Community
Which songs of other lands do you sing?
How do you accompany them?
Are the songs you sing reflected by all the nationalities in your community?
Let me know how you enagage with the global church in your place.

You may also be interested in Exploring a Theology of Gratitude in the Land of Entitlement

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