Liturgy 33.4: Communities of Musical Practice


Issue 33.4 of Liturgy dealing with “Communities of Musical Practice” was guest-edited by E. Byron Anderson. The following as an excerpt from their introduction to the issue:

This concept, “communities of musical practice,” is the focus of this issue of Liturgy. In the essays that follow, we have attempted to provide a diverse, though necessarily limited, exploration of several distinct musical communities: the eclectic or cosmopolitan music of a Berkeley, California, Episcopal parish—Tripp Hudgins; the liturgical and musical practice in a Lutheran college chapel—Lorraine Brugh; contemporary worship music as used in the Vineyard Church—Kristin Daley Mosier; the interaction between the vows of Benedictine monasticism and the musical liturgy of a monastic community— Godfrey Mullen; an increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse Mennonite congregation adjacent to a college campus—Rebecca Slough; a culturally and ethnically transitioning Roman Catholic parish—Steven Janco; and two African American megachurches in Los Angeles—Birgitta Johnson. Each not only represents a particular liturgical tradition but also particular traditions of musical practice. Each sees the ways in which liturgical traditions and musical practices are intertwined. Each describes a “community of musical practice” and suggests ways in which you might think about your own communities. . . .

Religious communities are perhaps the oldest and most continuous communities of musical practice, yet with few exceptions, such as Mary McGann’s work in A Precious Fountain, little attention has been given to this aspect of their identity and history.10 Who and what do our musics make us to be as worshiping communities? What follows in this issue is but a start on this question.

David Turnbloom