Tradition or History?

July 25th, 2013

Traditions don’t maintain themselves. They have to be passed down from person to person. If the ones who know a tradition are passive about transmitting the tradition to the next generation, then the tradition will pass into history.

Church music is in a dangerous position here. Traditional music is quickly becoming historical music. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s still a big deal for such a big part of American Protestant culture to slip away into the past.

I’m speaking to myself too here since I do know quite a bit about protestant musical heritage. We need to be teaching those around us about our music if it’s to last. We need to start Sunday school classes that teach people how to sing hymns. We need older folks taking initiative amongst their families to teach their children and grandchildren about the music that all of us should know. Maybe we should carol all year long instead of just at Christmas.

Teaching causes learning; not the other way around. So let’s take initiative, teachers! This tradition won’t maintain itself.

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