Christian song in a global church: The role of musical structure in community formation

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While recognizing the importance of musical style in congregational singing, this article suggests that the underlying structure of the people's song influences how they receive theology and the relationship of song to ritual action. The author, after introducing sequential, cyclic and refrain structures, defines the characteristics of each and proposes ways that each structure may enliven a ritual and enable community building.

Keywords: cyclic; musical structures; oral tradition; refrain; sequential; sung prayer

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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  • The International Journal of Community Music publishes research articles, practical discussions, timely reviews, readers' notes and special issues concerning all aspects of Community Music. The editorial board is composed of leading international scholars and practitioners spanning diverse disciplines that reflect the scope of Community Music practice and theory.
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