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Religions 2015, 6(2), 543-565; doi:10.3390/rel6020543

“There Is a Higher Height in the Lord”: Music, Worship, and Communication with God

School of Music, Newman Building/J301, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
Academic Editor: Edward Foley
Received: 17 December 2014 / Revised: 9 April 2015 / Accepted: 10 April 2015 / Published: 29 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music and Spirituality)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [419 KB, uploaded 30 April 2015]   |  

Abstract

Music is so vital in the services of African American Baptist churches that there are few moments in the service when music—either congregational or choral singing, or instrumental music of some sort—is not being performed. Sustained as an auditory or imagined presence, music acts almost as a timbral membrane for the presence of the Holy Spirit throughout the service. The Holy Spirit is physically manifested (inspiration by the Holy Spirit) in the church membership, predominantly (if not exclusively) in a musical context. In order to ground the general in the particular, I will give detailed consideration to two musical instances or events from the Sunday morning service at Clear Creek Missionary Baptist Church on 4 November 2012, contextualising those within a broader context. View Full-Text
Keywords: music; chant; fundamentalist; evangelical; African American; Baptist; Spirit inspiration/possession; text-and-context sermon; Gospel music; chant; fundamentalist; evangelical; African American; Baptist; Spirit inspiration/possession; text-and-context sermon; Gospel
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Smith, T. “There Is a Higher Height in the Lord”: Music, Worship, and Communication with God. Religions 2015, 6, 543-565.

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