Sunday, July 16, 2017

On Taxonomies of Music/Worship Philosophies

In a blog post at Religious Affections Ministries Scott Aniol, Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, digs into the topic of “Taxonomies of Music” or “Worship Philosophies” – that is, how to categorize different approaches to church music. In it he first notes three taxonomies that ranged from “quite unhelpful” to “most accurate and helpful.” Following this, Aniol attempts to resolve problems with existing categories, and I think he is on to something. He points out that “various positions on worship/music” cannot accurately “be put on a sliding scale…because text choice, motivation, and musical styles are all quite mixed among positions.”

Because of this, Aniol seeks to classify with “descriptive terms that can be mixed and matched to most correctly describe one’s position on music and worship.” 
“Each person’s philosophy has a governing motivation, text characteristic, and music characteristic.”
  • Evangelism
  • Revivalism
  • Engaging Worship
  • Modest Worship
  • Doctrinally weighty
  • Doctrinally simple
  • Progressive
  • Cautious Progressive
  • Traditional
  • Conservative
“Most of the terms in this classification system are probably self-explanatory, but some may require explanation, mostly under the music category.”
Please read On Taxonomies of Music/Worship Philosophies for the rest of the story.

[Note that Aniol calls this a work in progress.]

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