Tuesday, I went to hear Alex Ross, the music critic for The New Yorker, speak about sacred music in the twentieth century. You might know him from his popular book The Rest is Noise.
I’ll admit much of it was a bit like listening to a baseball statistician: lots of names and dates and institutional affiliations, not a lot of popular context.
And I’m not completely ignorant of the subject.
What did strike me was that the movements and vernacular of twentieth-century music (especially of the classical variety) mirrored those of theology.
Ecumenism. Experimentation. DIscovery.
What if/how could/why did these disciplines develop in tandem with each other?
I’m curious how communities that didn’t follow twentieth-century theological trends, respond to the trends of twentieth-century music. Furthermore, I wonder what contrapuntal contributions these communities made to the musical landscape.