Applied Project Report

The applied portion of my capstone class will consist of a project that does something previously not possible without my interdisciplinary studies education. In the past I chose to do a printed book of my research article, with better formatting and simpler language. This would allow my research to be more easily accessible to a far wider audience than just theomusicologists. I still plan on doing this, however I cannot order the books until my research article is finished. I still intend on ordering my books from Lulu xPress and printing it around 4×7 inches (similar to the Very Short Introduction series by Oxford in size, if you are familiar with those). I anticipate having my books anywhere from April 29th to May 6th. I will post a later update when my books actually arrive, and where you can find me to get one for free.

To add some more dialogue concerning my applied project, I would like to talk about what I’ve learned thus far. On my way to completing my research article I have discovered that Microsoft Word can do many things you wouldn’t normally think of, but that sometimes requires a lot of googling. Furthermore, music analysis is a lot more free going than I once thought. In my music theory classes there was a clear set of answers that could be correct, and all others most likely wrong. While this still holds true for harmonic, and to a certain extent formal, analysis, when I started delving into deeper philotheological meanings behind the music and lyrics of songs, I found that it was a lot of speculation based off of observations, but nothing super concrete like math, where 2+2 always equates to 4 (unless your Joseph Stalin).

I think the other big thing I learned is that disciplines can vary VASTLY in how they write. I recently read a peer’s research article on women in the sports journalism industry, and it was an easy read (which is a good thing, not everything must scream KNOWLEDGE IS POWER). Her article is worlds apart from the my research article, which isn’t concerned with intelligibility to a wide audience (you can read an excerpt from my intro at the end). Yet, when I convert my research article into my applied project, I hope that it can be as easily readable as my peer’s article, for it is my belief that research becomes even greater when all people can partake in learning from it.

When this phenomenon, communal singing of songs, occurs within the walls of a church, the activity is more synonymously known as worship. Yet over the course of Christendom’s entire history, the appearance of worship has changed vastly over two millennia, yet while certain periods of Christian worship music also concurrently sharing certain characteristics. Two of the most apparent changes between the music of now and yonder are the development of instrumentation and harmonic language: from unaccompanied monophonic chant to quasi-rock homophony; and from the church modes of diatonicism to the intentional use of non-chord tones, and the infrequent chromaticism.[5] Yet when the similarities are considered of historic evangelical hymns against contemporary worship music (1989 – present), it is found that the theological content of their texts/lyrics, which is a somewhat specific topic, are staggeringly alike in their focus and exclusion of major canonical theological doctrines.[6] Thus, we are left to reconcile how the advent of contemporary worship came to be, if its greatest differences are merely of musical concern.

[5] For those who wish to see an excessive example of these differences, please listen to the Gregorian Chant Mass for Christmas Day’s“Puer natus” and Rend Collective’s Boldly I Approach (Verse 1 ends with a suspension).
[6] Ruth, Lester. “Some Similarities and Differences between Historic Evangelical Hymns and Contemporary Worship Songs.” Artistic Theologian 3 (2015): 76-77.


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