Sermon hymns

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christopher Cody Curtis (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Mark Engebretson

Abstract: "The Gospel of Jesus Christ" is the first movement of a planned multi-movement composition entitled Sermon Hymns, which offers a new way of using music for Christian corporate worship. Its novelty derives from its presentation: a multimedia composition for piano with electronic audio and video playback. Sermon Hymns consists of sermon clips sequenced together to communicate a specific narrative; in this case, the narrative is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but later movements will focus on different narratives. Original music, both electronic and acoustic, accompanies the sermon excerpts, which are further complemented by a video emphasizing the text. Could such a medium be used in a Christian church setting? What role does music - or more specifically, "textual music" - play in Christian worship from a theological perspective, and is Sermon Hymns consistent with this role? If Christian worship is a human's appropriate response to God's revelation and must engage both emotion and thought, as I will argue, then textual music efficiently mediates this marriage of heart and head, allowing the Christian to worship God "in spirit and in truth." Despite its unusual form of presentation, Sermon Hymns is consistent with this model and could be included as a part of Christian corporate worship. This document contains an overview of the role of textual music in Christian congregational worship from a theological perspective, which is followed by a discussion demonstrating how Sermon Hymns fits within this mold. A score is also included, along with the video file from the premier performance.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
Christ, Gospel, Hymn, Multimedia, Scandal, Sermon
Contemporary Christian music

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