Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New blog

New to me anyway.  The New Liturgical Movement looks right up my alley.  Especially note the post on Teen's reject popular music in Church which links to the article about Dr. Resch's research of 500 teenagers on what they consider to be appropriate music for church.
As you prepared your survey, what results did you expect?
First, I expected that the music deemed appropriate would, like their church affiliations, be diverse. Second, knowing that the vast majority of teenagers enjoy listening to rock and pop music, I also expected that those styles would be identified as appropriate for church by their standards.
What did you learn?
Surprisingly, neither of my predictions proved true. Across this diverse group of students there was clear agreement about the kind of music that was "right for church": it was
* choral music, not instrumental
* sung by a group of singers rather than a soloist
* characterized by a simple musical texture and understandable text.
Musical examples reminiscent of popular styles (rock, jazz, country) were overwhelmingly rejected as church music.
And depending on your perception of what you were at church for,
The study revealed connections between the teens' ideas of the role music takes in the service and the kind of music considered suitable to fill that role. They had been asked on the survey how they thought music functioned in the church service, and they ranked the stated possibilities in this order, from most to least important:
Church music is an expression of religious belief.
Church music is part of the presentation of God's Word.
Church music is a way for people to use their talents to serve God.
Church music establishes or changes people's moods.
Church music is a performance that entertains.
My analysis showed a strong connection between the students' perceptions of the way music functions in the service and the kind of music they thought was appropriate for the service.
Students who saw music as part of the presentation of God's Word considered traditional choral music most appropriate for the service.
I would say #3 and #5 should be cast out for the Catholic churches.  We aren't at Mass for the "look at me" soloist performance or the "have you made me laugh" crowd.  Although the establishing of moods ranked low, it pretty much fits how many Masses feel.  When we have the pop or folk music, it feels like a Karaoke banquet where most of your neighbors can't sing.

No comments: