Church music is in a crisis! The current debate in the Dutch Reformed Church concerning Church Music is not a case of reformed against charismatic. The different kinds of church music as well as the different approaches to church music, is part of the essence and history of the church and church music. Throughout history there has always been a need for a more free and often lighter kind of music (hymn) complimentary to formal church music. This need has often lead to conflict in the church. Often the conflict was caused by the power of the association of a certain kind of music, rather than the music itself. On the positive side, it has not only lead to conflict, but it has also lead to the creation of some of the most beautiful songs of praise and worship throughout history. This need for other and new kinds of music is emphasized by the differences in culture between various churches and congregations. Because of the close relation between music and culture, different cultures and meta-cultures often lead to different kinds of music in the church. Culture, and especially post modern culture, stresses the need for the congregation’s owns song and music alongside the song and music of the broader church. The influence of culture in church music can’t be denied. No music is per se reformed. Reformed spirituality, as an umbrella term, makes provision for differentiation in church music due to the fact that the faces of reformed spirituality differ from place to place and time to time. Because of the latter, reformed spirituality finds expression in different kinds of music. In the light of the above mentioned, the free song could be of great value alongside the formal church music in the reformed churches, especially the Dutch Reformed Church. The hypothesis of this study is not only that there is room for the free song alongside the formal church song, but that it is essentially part of Church song and music. A new approach, based on objective study, and stripped of subjectivism, is needed in this regard. Only the can the conversation of the ages really make benefit the church as a whole.
Dissertation (MA (Practical Theology))--University of Pretoria, 2007.