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Author Topic: Orthodox Popular Music (MOVED FROM "CONVERTS PROTESTANTIZING")  (Read 1718 times) Average Rating: 0
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BrotherAidan
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« on: February 14, 2005, 04:08:11 PM »

re. contemporary Christian music
There are several Orthodox classical musicians writing wonderful religious music inspired by their Orthodoxy - Arvo Part and John Tavener

Then there were Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsy writing both liturgical music and Orthod0x-influenced classical music

There are some contemporary Orthodox musicians writing contemporary music that is either religious or reflects an Orthodox world-view. Peter Jon Gilquist's Cross-Culture I and II projects feature some of these individuals

Quite apart from the subject of group singing of western hymns and "praise" songs during the coffee hour immediately after liturgy, what do you all think of developing Orthodox popular (or classical) music by Orthodox artists?

Not for the liturgy, but because they are song-writers and composers who are Orthodox. and that's what songwriters and composers do - write music inspired by what moves them and motivates them?

Or ar we to just stick with non-vulgar American popular music and classical music (and for us converts, when no other Orthodox are around, the occassional CD of favorite hymns!- he he!)

In other words, is there a place for Othodox contemporary music (popular and classical) outside of the Liturgy?

Note to moderator - this might make an interesting new thread if you want to move this.

Done and done.  ~ Pedro
« Last Edit: February 14, 2005, 05:16:40 PM by Pedro » Logged
cizinec
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2005, 04:48:59 PM »

Aidan,

Ahhhhh! This is a horse of a different color! Now you're talking!

There is a great distinction between Peter Jon-Gilquist's music and that of Arvo Part.

Arvo Part, like Tavener, is a modern composer who is Orthodox and has written music for liturgical purposes (at least I think they both have). Those settings will not be used in liturgies unless approved. They were written with the Orthodox musical traditions in mind. Obviously, a lot of Part's work will not because it is either Latin or secular. Most of his works were commissioned and are heavily influenced by his faith. Some of Part's work uses the choral tradition within Orthodoxy (I'm using that term very lightly) to inspire a piece. That does not make it fit for liturgical purposes any more than Resanovic's "Collateral Damage for Clarinet and Orchestra."

Peter Jon-Gilquist's music does not generally follow the Orthodox liturgical traditions. They are folk-pop in style and are designed for use outside liturgical settings. I think this music is fine. I don't know about other traditions, but I know that very old Georgian folk music blends Orthodox theological concepts into everyday life. That doesn't make these folk songs liturgical. It simply means these people were living their faith to an extent that it merged with there other concerns.

I think the same is true for classical works. Would a devout Orthodox believer integrate his faith into his work? Of course! No less so than, say, Philip Glass.

I suppose it's like a painter who is Orthodox. Sometimes they may paint things that are not icons, but have religous themes. That doesn't mean they are good or bad, but they aren't fit for liturgy.

One has to remember that these composers are typically not theologians. They are subject to the same mistakes and corrections as the rest of us.

I admit that I have a copy of "Living in an Orthodox World: Singable Songs for the Young and Young in Heart." It is rarely listened to at our house, although my son is only four. Part, on the other hand, is played almost weekly. I have a copy of several of his pieces at work. If you like it and it isn't bad, listen to it. If there were a group of guys who liked punk and they started a punk band and they were all devout Orthodox and they weaved Orthodox principles into their loud, two-minute tunes, I don't have a problem with it. Maybe they'll compose one of those great prayers that gets used at church. But the music should stay outside liturgy.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2005, 05:17:59 PM by Pedro » Logged

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BrotherAidan
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2005, 03:01:59 PM »

I agree with just about all you've said Ciz

In the other thread it seemed like people were discouraging non-liturgical, faith-inspired Orthdox music, so I posed the question.

I have noticed the latin in Part also, particularly Credo, which includesthe filoque. Was that commissioned by Latins? He is Estonian Orthodox. Are they uniate?

Anyway, musically I agree with you - I listen to Part on a weekly basis too and actually like his compositions better than Tavener (and I like the Polish, Old Catholic, Henryk Goereki better then Tavener too!)

But I also love popular  music and folk music, so I listen to Cross culture Project quite a bit too.

But I also listen to roots music, blue grass, traditional americana, celtic and jazz
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BrotherAidan
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2005, 03:03:49 PM »

spelling alert above
filioque in paragraph 2
than in paragraph 4 in the parentheses
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BrotherAidan
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2005, 03:16:24 PM »

elsewhere someone commented that they  have noticed an "almost" Orthodox theology in certain traditional american music or in black spirituals

I have noticed that too - in certain songs by the Blind Boys of Alabama, Ralph Stanley and Olabel

Not, again I repeat, NOT that they should be at all considered for liturgucal use

It's just interesting that when Christians, even the "heterodox" are reduced to the most dire circumstances of necessity and struggle (the original composers of these songs, not necessarily the artists) they seem to intuitively land on something close to Orthodoxy. Some of the Chinese house church movements hold a view of sanctity almost like our understanding of theosis. Not that they do not stand in need of some correction and also of the fullness of the Faith. I just find it interesting. 

If I was independently wealthy and didn't have to work I would do a compilation CD and call it Orthodox themes in American Traditional Music and African-American spirituals, with a companion book. Perhaps it could be used as an evangelistic tool
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PhosZoe
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2005, 04:22:52 PM »

re. contemporary Christian music

Quite apart from the subject of group singing of western hymns and "praise" songs during the coffee hour immediately after liturgy, what do you all think of developing Orthodox popular (or classical) music by Orthodox artists?

Not for the liturgy, but because they are song-writers and composers who are Orthodox. and that's what songwriters and composers do - write music inspired by what moves them and motivates them?

Or ar we to just stick with non-vulgar American popular music and classical music (and for us converts, when no other Orthodox are around, the occassional CD of favorite hymns!- he he!)

In other words, is there a place for Othodox contemporary music (popular and classical) outside of the Liturgy?

Note to moderator - this might make an interesting new thread if you want to move this.

Done and done. ~ Pedro

YES! Creative works (Music, art, movies, books etc) inspired by Orthodoxy would be a welcome change to the watered down, schlocky and down right bad "contemporary" christian art that  is being created now.  I would draw the line at using contemporary works for liturgy but Orthodox inspired creative works would be a good alternative to what is available in "christian entertainment".

Have you ever seen a Left Behind movie? I would rather watch a secular adventure movie any day.   Enough said.
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2005, 05:56:16 PM »

I think a general goal for Orthodox musicians and so on would be to make music inspired by liturgical music (which in turn is shaped by the culture) but definitely not liturgical music in and of themselves. One thinks of Russian folk music, which was always influenced by the Liturgy (and so on.) I think it is dangerous to think of "sacred" and "secular" music in the same way that it is dangerous to think of a "sacred" church life and a profane "secular" life that we lead on the side. The Liturgy should permeate all of our life, especially its creative aspects. But in the meantime I listen to a lot of music which is in no way influenced by Orthodoxy.

Marjorie
« Last Edit: March 08, 2005, 05:57:28 PM by Marjorie » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2005, 12:36:31 PM »

PhosZoe and Marjorie
glad you both are in favor of Orthodox inspired art and music
agree with Phos about most evangelical music and fiction and movies
also agree with Marjorie that there is no real demarcation between secular and sacred - all of life is under the Lordship of Christ, including art, popular and folk music and entertainment.
As Orthodox we should be letting our faith speak to and shape these areas if we are involved in them

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BrotherAidan
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2005, 12:40:04 PM »

Also, for Phos and Marj -- Peter Jon Gilquist's Cross Culture Project CD has a nice sampling of Orthodox musicians - good lyrical content and a variety of musical styles
« Last Edit: March 10, 2005, 12:42:46 PM by BrotherAiden » Logged
BrotherAidan
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2005, 12:42:05 PM »

Ciznec
if you come back to this thread, still looking for more insight into Arvo Part , especially the latinisms that creep into his work
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