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A Song to Sing, A Life to Live: Reflections on Music as Spiritual Practice (The Practices of Faith Series) Hardcover – October 20, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Two respected musicians from wildly different venues add a new volume to the Practices of Faith Series on Christian spirituality, this one on the spirituality of music. Don Saliers, a church musician and professor of theology and worship at Candler School of Theology, teams up with daughter Emily, one-half of the popular group the Indigo Girls, to write a warmly personal book about the healing power of music as it "encodes life, most especially shared life." Although Emily's music is labeled "Saturday night" and Don's "Sunday morning," they want readers to have "crossover experiences" in which we find the sacred in all authentic and truth-revealing music, regardless of genre. The authors address the "worship wars" taking place in churches over which type of music is the most welcoming to newcomers, warning churches not to dismiss either traditional or new music, but to look for music from many styles and cultures that challenges us to encounter mystery. Pull up a chair and sit in the family room as these two share the places where their views on music connect and diverge, demonstrating how to "make musical judgments, but not in a judgmental manner." Musicians, music-lovers and indeed all those devoted to the "spirituality of daily life" will be inspired.
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Musicians often acknowledge the Saturday night-Sunday morning dichotomy in their lives: the decadence of the one contradicting the piety of the other. Not the Saliers, a father and daughter who are, respectively, a professor of theology and one-half of the folk-rock duo the Indigo Girls. For them, music and life are forever linked, and music has transformed their lives. They write of their experiences--their songlines, as they say--in different generations, discussing the universal language of music and recalling their family singing together on long car trips. They consider how the basics of music--rhythm, melody, harmony, tempo--conjure sounds that move us so profoundly, and ponder music's inherent spirituality, and the ineffability of the creative process. While it's fun reading about father's and daughter's musical differences and similarities, their distinctive musical moments prove more memorable. Emily recalls the morning when, hearing an orchestral piece on the radio, she had to stop the car and listen. A lovely meditation on the power of music. June Sawyers
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved