Friday, January 25, 2008

Give Me That Old-Time Singing

Give Me That Old-Time Singing

" get us thinking yet again about what our music is and isn't..."

"For those with heartfelt desire to preserve the tradition of Sacred Harp singing, regardless of whether they are motivated by religious or secular considerations, it is important to recognize the central message contained in most of the music. Contrary to the primary themes of the Time article, the music was not written and sung to create a trendy art form, generate a place for 'hip advocates' to gather, or necessarily even do it merely for 'the sound'. Many - I would hope most - of the early singer/composers were writing and singing as a form of worship of our Savior, Jesus Christ the Son of God. Whether a portion of the singers, even a majority of the singers, now sing the music for other reasons (such as is their right), we must faithfully recognize the centrality of the spiritual roots of Sacred Harp. To do otherwise is to risk that Sacred Harp singing will go the way of all trends and fads; a flash in the pan rather than a continuing tradition."
-- Tom Mitchell, Posted 20 Jan 2008 on the Fasola Singings list


Anonymous said...

I think virtually all singers fully realize the deep spiritual meaning of what they sing. I can't imagine otherwise. It is the irreligious press that seeks to put secularist shackles on the music. Treating it like an interesting museum piece instead of what it is -- blessedly Christian praise to God!

R. L. Vaughn said...

I think that is basically true, though there is apparently a small minority of singers who would prefer if the text were secular and non-Christian. But I think that you are probably right that the press makes more of this than it is.