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
$33.10
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 IssueWrestling with Eternity
Subscriber Access Only Wrestling with Eternity
For many, predestination is a struggle to accept; for Paul, it’s a doctrine of love.
RecommendedWhere Did We Get The Doxology?
Where Did We Get The Doxology?
The story behind what may be the world's best-known hymn.
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickThe Grace of Church Discipline
The Grace of Church Discipline
We do no one any favors if we ignore or downplay core beliefs.
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.