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Te Deum the Church and Music
A concise introductory text, Te Deum provides a basic framework for understanding within history the development of the vast treasury of psalms, hymns, canticles, spiritual songs, and other sacred music within the Christian tradition. This is the first text which addresses the nature of church music from both a historical and theological context.
Published June 3rd 1998 by Augsburg Fortress Publishing
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May 18, 2012 Luke rated it really liked it
Recommended to Luke by: Worship Cohort
A good standard work on a vast subject. Westermeyer stays focused throughout and weaves the themes of church music over the centuries. His analysis of current trends is most helpful, as he shows how they are in line with both the arc of church history and the present cultural trends of the church and world at large. A survey beyond the music of the Western church would have enriched the discussion, but that would have made the work unwieldy. Much to praise here.
I wanted to like this book, but it was just too dry. I kept comparing it to Hughes Oliphant Old's Worship: Reformed According to Scripture and found it lacking. Old's book is clear, concise and alive. Westermeyer's felt like I was reading a textbook. There was a lot of good information, but the delivery was not very good and there was not enough clear analysis of what was good and bad within the musical movements and time periods.
This book is a survey of music through the Old Testament, New Testament, and 2000 years of Christian history. It is strong in pointing towards some of the main themes of Christian music, and points the reader towards many more specific studies of various topics. But like most surveys, it is a mile wide and an inch deep.