A newborn atheist just can't get the church's music out of her head
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28-08-2012, 01:49 PM
RE: A newborn atheist just can't get the church's music out of her head
(28-08-2012 01:33 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  I never realized how religious this song sounds until I heard this version




Interesting, but they took all the menace out of it. A little blah.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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28-08-2012, 02:11 PM (This post was last modified: 30-08-2012 06:48 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: A newborn atheist just can't get the church's music out of her head
The absolute best chant in the world, is known to be done at Solesmes, (the Abbey, in France). It sounds better to me accompanied, (organ), because of the added overtones and harmonics are richer, and fuller. I know some think that's bastardizing it. So what.
Also add a cello, some birdies, and a piano, and ya got yerself some music.

Jeff, send me a PM. I have a contact in the Clergy Project. They can ask her what she wants them to work on, to "secularize" whatever are her favorites.
They take requests. Smile




Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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28-08-2012, 09:43 PM
RE: A newborn atheist just can't get the church's music out of her head
I think that secularizing music is a waste of time to be honest, and quite a shameful thing to do to an artist. The composer wrote it from his perspective to convey a specific set of emotions or ideas. Even if they are crazy ideas, the emotions are still very powerful as most of you very well know from encountering the religious.

Take for example Verdi's Requiem. It is an incredibly powerful piece of music, inspired by religious ideas that I personally believe are nonsense. It does not however mean that as a listener I can't appreciate the powerful ideas the composer was grappling with, and trying to "secularize" it is akin to taking a piss on the Mona Lisa because you don't like her smile.

Frankly as well, it's the composer's work. They wrote it, not you. If you don't like it, don't listen to it. Otherwise who the hell are you to take something that an artist took time to create and manipulate it to be more palatable to your own beliefs?
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28-08-2012, 10:24 PM (This post was last modified: 30-08-2012 06:49 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: A newborn atheist just can't get the church's music out of her head
(28-08-2012 09:43 PM)Superluminal Wrote:  I think that secularizing music is a waste of time to be honest, and quite a shameful thing to do to an artist. The composer wrote it from his perspective to convey a specific set of emotions or ideas. Even if they are crazy ideas, the emotions are still very powerful as most of you very well know from encountering the religious.

Take for example Verdi's Requiem. It is an incredibly powerful piece of music, inspired by religious ideas that I personally believe are nonsense. It does not however mean that as a listener I can't appreciate the powerful ideas the composer was grappling with, and trying to "secularize" it is akin to taking a piss on the Mona Lisa because you don't like her smile.

Frankly as well, it's the composer's work. They wrote it, not you. If you don't like it, don't listen to it. Otherwise who the hell are you to take something that an artist took time to create and manipulate it to be more palatable to your own beliefs?

You don't understand hymnology, obviously AT ALL. They all borrowed, and changed, and used lots of extant tunes. No one would change the Verdi Requiem. That's not what's being talked about. We're talking about long dead, composers who wrote the tunes, most of the time for other reasons, and the tune was used for a hymn. For example the Hayden hymn/tune, O Esca Viatorum, was originally, "O Vienna I hate to leave thee"...originally a SECUALR tune/work. The theme from the 9th Symphony of Bethoven, (Joyful Joyful we adore thee), is used all the time, for all sorts of reasons. The hymn, is not the original use. No one is talking about changing the great classical works. Look in any hymn book. There is a long list for almost every tune, and where they got it, and who wrote the original tune. Almost EVERY hymn is not an original hymn. So thanks for the advice. I think I won't use it. Obviously you're not a musician.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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30-08-2012, 03:59 AM
RE: A newborn atheist just can't get the church's music out of her head
it took me a while to come to terms with my love of choral music and hymns after I came to accept my atheism. But, I was able to.

One thing that helped me was to realize that I had loved music I disagreed with as a Christian. I was protestant, Southern Baptist and later Presbyterian, but I still loved some of the beautiful Requiem masses, though I thought the idea of praying for the souls of those already dead was foreign to me, and seemed to be blasphemous. But I came to appreciate the beautiful music, and that most of the time the sentiment wasn't so much praying for the souls of the dead as it was mourning the loss of a loved one.

Another thing was realizing that some of the sacred music I loved was written by unbelievers. Benjamin Britten is one of my favorite composers, and probably my single favorite 20th century composer of choral music. He was an agnostic, though he did follow the teaching of Jesus which led him to pacifism during the war, and yet, included in his most famous works are a Requiem (the War Requiem, though admittedly a far less religious Requiem than those of Mozart, or even Verdi's non-liturgical masterpiece of a Requiem) and his Symphony of Psalms.

I view my love of hymns, now, in light of a love of history. The hymns I love are early American, English, and German, have wonderful lyrical poetry as text, even though the subject matter is no longer something I love, and beautiful tunes and harmonies.

The classical choral music I love so much is a testament to the artistic mind, some of the greatest minds we have had in the past 600 years created those works. Many of them are in Latin or German and it is easy to ignore the religious message in them, but even the ones in English, I can appreciate as fine art, just as I can appreciate the statue of David or the frescos in the Sistine Chapel.
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30-08-2012, 05:04 AM
RE: A newborn atheist just can't get the church's music out of her head
I've been a Genesis fan since the 70s but not so much after the Angel Gabriel left them.

Oh! That's not what you meant?

I find myself humming Jerusalem occasionally and also I Vow to Thee My Country (nicked from Holtz's Jupiter)

Extra points for naming the TV series wot nicked the last 6 notes for their theme tune...




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30-08-2012, 06:29 AM
RE: A newborn atheist just can't get the church's music out of her head
Bucky Ball, I apologize but my post was not actually directed at you, in fact I hadn't even read yours.

You're right nobody has started trying to secularize the great classics, YET. Although there is an undercurrent in the
atheist community that runs in that direction. There are those that have a general holding of their nose toward
things such as Bach cantatas because of their sacred content.

Also I realize that hymnology is a different matter. I would point out that many hymns did have an original sacred purpose,
but the tradition of re-using hymn tunes over and over again with new text is so wide-spread that I would say it would be hard to
call foul in that particular genre.
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30-08-2012, 06:47 AM
RE: A newborn atheist just can't get the church's music out of her head
(30-08-2012 03:59 AM)TheSecretAtheist Wrote:  it took me a while to come to terms with my love of choral music and hymns after I came to accept my atheism. But, I was able to.

One thing that helped me was to realize that I had loved music I disagreed with as a Christian. I was protestant, Southern Baptist and later Presbyterian, but I still loved some of the beautiful Requiem masses, though I thought the idea of praying for the souls of those already dead was foreign to me, and seemed to be blasphemous. But I came to appreciate the beautiful music, and that most of the time the sentiment wasn't so much praying for the souls of the dead as it was mourning the loss of a loved one.

Another thing was realizing that some of the sacred music I loved was written by unbelievers. Benjamin Britten is one of my favorite composers, and probably my single favorite 20th century composer of choral music. He was an agnostic, though he did follow the teaching of Jesus which led him to pacifism during the war, and yet, included in his most famous works are a Requiem (the War Requiem, though admittedly a far less religious Requiem than those of Mozart, or even Verdi's non-liturgical masterpiece of a Requiem) and his Symphony of Psalms.

I view my love of hymns, now, in light of a love of history. The hymns I love are early American, English, and German, have wonderful lyrical poetry as text, even though the subject matter is no longer something I love, and beautiful tunes and harmonies.

The classical choral music I love so much is a testament to the artistic mind, some of the greatest minds we have had in the past 600 years created those works. Many of them are in Latin or German and it is easy to ignore the religious message in them, but even the ones in English, I can appreciate as fine art, just as I can appreciate the statue of David or the frescos in the Sistine Chapel.

I can still remember sitting in the War Requiem, when I was about in 5th or 6th grade. The hair on the back of my neck stood up when Abraham actually kills Isaac. OMG. I still get chills just thinking about it. !

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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30-08-2012, 05:58 PM
RE: A newborn atheist just can't get the church's music out of her head
(30-08-2012 03:59 AM)TheSecretAtheist Wrote:  Another thing was realizing that some of the sacred music I loved was written by unbelievers. Benjamin Britten is one of my favorite composers, and probably my single favorite 20th century composer of choral music. He was an agnostic, though he did follow the teaching of Jesus which led him to pacifism during the war, and yet, included in his most famous works are a Requiem (the War Requiem, though admittedly a far less religious Requiem than those of Mozart, or even Verdi's non-liturgical masterpiece of a Requiem) and his Symphony of Psalms., but even the ones in English, I can appreciate as fine art, just as I can appreciate the statue of David or the frescos in the Sistine Chapel.

Agree completely. Words can't describe the War Requiem; you have to experience it. Once you do, you'll never be the same. Britten's combining the traditional Latin text with the tragic Wilfred Owen poems was a stroke of genius. I was lucky enough to attend one of the very first performances, in the early '60s--I've never forgotten it. Nowadays when I hear it in a concert I have to make sure I have my dark glasses with me. Grown men aren't supposed to cry.

Small correction: The Symphony of Psalms is Stravinsky. I wonder if you were thinking of the Ceremony of Carols, an indispensable part of Christmas? Smile

For better or worse, the greatest choral music on the planet is based on religious texts: Handel's Messiah, Bach's B Minor Mass, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, the Requiems of Mozart and Berlioz and Verdi and Brahms and Britten. Verdi's Stabat Mater is almost enough to make me turn Catholic. Almost. Not to revel in the wonder of that music because you don't believe what the words say is ridiculous.

Long ago, when I was living in New York, I would attend a Messiah Sing-along every Christmas. You were given a copy of the score (you needed to know how to read music) and you joined your appropriate section--soprano, alto, tenor, or bass. There was a professional conductor and soloists, plus a pianist playing the orchestra part. And we'd go through the entire score, start to finish. Sometimes the conductor would "rehearse" us, asking us to repeat certain passages to get them right. It was great fun, and you really got to learn the ins and outs of the piece. I had no problem singing "For Unto Us a Child is Born" at the top of my lungs, even though I was already a confirmed atheist.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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30-08-2012, 07:09 PM (This post was last modified: 30-08-2012 09:50 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: A newborn atheist just can't get the church's music out of her head
Music may have developed, historically in church environments, but it belongs to humanity, as a part of human history, not just religion's possession. The Messiah was first presented in a concert format, in London, in a "secular" environment.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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