Guest / Limited Access /
Reviews

/

They're Playing Our Song: The Secret Multiracial Churches Know About Music
Christopher Futcher
They're Playing Our Song: The Secret Multiracial Churches Know About Music
Worship across the Racial Divide: Religious Music and the Multiracial Congregation
Our Rating
5 Stars - Masterpiece
Book Title
Worship across the Racial Divide: Religious Music and the Multiracial Congregation
Author
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Release Date
January 23, 2012
Pages
280
Price
$33.95
Buy Worship across the Racial Divide: Religious Music and the Multiracial Congregation from Amazon

So you want to have a multiracial, multicultural church. Music, you decide, is an important vehicle to get there.

But what type of music? This is the core question of Gerardo Marti's fascinating new book, Worship Across the Racial Divide: Religious Music and the Multiracial Congregation (Oxford University Press), and one that occupies the minds of many a Christian leader attempting to do multiethnic ministry.

Marti's answer is shocking.

After carefully studying twelve successfully integrated churches, he came to a clear conclusion:

It doesn't matter what type(s) of music.

What? This answer seems counterintuitive, and Marti admits it is not the one he thought he would find. He also notes that it is not the answer most anyone gives, even those heading up successful multiracial churches.

When asked, most leaders fall into one of two camps as to how they answer the question, "What type of music is most conducive to being multiethnic?" 

They fall into either the one-size-fits-all camp (there is a universal language of music, a particular rhythm that speaks to us all as humans) or the musical-buffet camp (you need to play a variety of musical forms to appeal to the varieties of people). About half the people interviewed fall into the first camp, about half into the second camp.

Quickly, Marti finds that the theory he subscribed to when he began his research—the one-size-fits-all theory—is simply wrong. Ethnomusicologists, sociologists, and missionaries have all concluded there are no universals in music. People can and do ascribe different meaning to and have different feelings about the exact same musical sounds, even if the people are in the same room together when hearing the music. If you think about it, you have probably ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Browse All Book Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueI Went From Fighting in a Cage to Living in a Hut
I Went From Fighting in a Cage to Living in a Hut
How an MMA fighter found Jesus—and discovered his calling in the Congo.
RecommendedHow Lifting My Hands in Worship Became My Protest to God
How Lifting My Hands in Worship Became My Protest to God
I have to let go of how inappropriate it feels to approach Christ with such boldness.
TrendingThe Story Behind Trump’s Controversial Prayer Partner
The Story Behind Trump’s Controversial Prayer Partner
What Paula White’s Washington moment implies for the prosperity gospel’s future.
Editor's PickThe Church’s Integrity in the Trump Years
The Church’s Integrity in the Trump Years
It begins by recognizing the name above every name.
Christianity Today
They're Playing Our Song: The Secret Multiracial Churches Know About ...
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

June 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.