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The Beauty of Simplicity

In our preceding article we embarked upon a survey of the musical situation in the Church at the time of the Reformation. Our first point was that the music in the Protestant worship service, like the preaching, had to be in the vernacular. This departure from the Latin called for the establishment of a whole […]

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The Need for Constant Improvement

When faced with making decisions on church music, a nonmusical theologian will undoubtedly concern himself primarily with the content of the music, i.e., the words actually used by the congregation or the choir in the songs which they sing. A non-theological musician will, on the other hand, be more concerned with the beauty of musical […]

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The Problem of Form and Content

In our last article we discussed in a general way some of the problems which have arisen in the field of Church music with the transplanting of the Reformed Church from Europe to America. We mentioned something of the strength of the music which the Dutch churches have incorporated into their worship services, carrying on the great […]

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Reformed theologians and musicians alike are often placed in an embarrassing position when they are asked to describe the music of their church. Their embarrassment may, in some cases, be caused by the poor performance of the church music by mediocre talent in their local congregation. However, even in those churches which possess fine musical […]

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Secularism in Church Music

Several readers of my introductory article to this series on the problems of Calvinism and church music have questioned the need for reverting to the days of John Calvin in our discussion of music in the Calvinistic church. This writer is convinced that the very vague sense of direction which we Calvinists have regarding church music […]

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Calvin and Church Music

Although it should be obvious to all Christians that music is a normal avenue for praise and worship, we Calvinists have too often weakIy accepted the many false criticisms of John Calvin and his attitude toward the richest of all arts. Historians contemporary with Calvin started the lie, and succeeding writers to the present day […]

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John Calvin and Church Music

Dr. Henry Bruinsma was professor of music at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Many of his harmonizations of psalm tunes can be found in the Psalter Hymnal of the Christian Reformed Church. His wife, Grace Hekman Bruinsma, was Dean of Women at Calvin College. Both were early contributors to the Torch and Trumpet. Although it […]

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