Articles by this author:
Isn’t it self-evident that we worship God with who we are? Not really. In the medieval period priests and singers performed before silent spectators. And at the Reformation Ulrich Zwingli “conducted a monologue in the presence of a completely silent congregation” (Howard Hageman, Pulpit and Table, p. 120). There’s not much difference between those two practices. The people could watch or listen, but who they were was omitted.
I have trouble with some of the terms that are used to describe church musicians. They can be very misleading in a culture that views musicians as entertainers—people who provide the extra, ornamental frills. Even though the nature of the entertainment may vary widelyófrom dance band to lounge piano to symphony orchestra to ballpark organ to solo recital—the general perception remains the same: music is regarded as an extra, an ornament.