Since I recently received a good number of hits on my just posted reading list, found here:  http://www.maximummusic.us/Blog/book_list.pdf  and  also accessed from my Intro post, I thought it appropriate to give an update of the current pursuit of the worship and music topic.

I took a year to teach 2 online courses at an online University last year, and enjoyed it a lot. I love teaching music online because there’s great access to everything. YouTube has just about every band or artist you can think of, along with lots of web sites for examples and information. The courses taught were World Music and History of American Popular Music;  the latter course being an interest of mine since graduate school.

In any case, it had been a few years since teaching at the college level, and I was in for a surprise. The surprise entailed both  the students’ choice of music and their intense devotion to it. I often heard comments like “I love my music, couldn’t live without it, my music has made me who I am, etc.” Wow! That’s some significant influence. People really love their popular music. And if you challenge them about questionable content, even illegal things, most are unmoved. That’s real commitment – unquestioned loyalty –  considering the shock value utilized by some musicians these days. For an example of what’s out there, I recommend checking out Eric Holmberg’s work – try Hell’s Bells 2, an excerpt found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLmQwSfdf8w.

There’s a lot more I could say on this topic of American “popular music”, but I will reserve that for future posts. A very interesting book on people’s attachment to their music is Robin Sylvan’s Traces of the Spirit: the Religious Dimensions of Popular Music. In short, some people’s music and subculture become their “religion”. As I said, more on that later.

A few months ago, I discovered some songs from Integrity and I really like the idea. The songs about spiritual warfare were called Scripture Memory songs. You can check them out here: Amazon Link  and they’re also in iTunes store. However, I didn’t always like the particular music – in some cases, I thought it distracted from the rich Scriptural text.  So I thought I should try my own songs aimed at aiding Scripture memory. The result for my wife and I who use the songs has been fantastic, and we’d like to offer them to others who might want to try them. They are essentially Classical in style, since we thought that would be the least distracting from the sacred text. If you’re interested, please check them out, though, expect that the process of memorization and internalization is months and not instantaneous. However, this is a great way to memorize Scripture. I hope you’ll try it. The songs can be found here: http://www.maximummusic.us/Scrp_Song/page2.html

God bless!

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