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God and Grace of BodySacrament in Ordinary$
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David Brown

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231829

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231829.001.0001

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Classical Music

Classical Music

(p.223) 5 Classical Music
God and Grace of Body

David Brown (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the religious experience through the power of music, in particular classical music. It begins with a detailed discussion of the sort of reservations that generated Christian resistance to instrumental music. It then considers the neglected features of the biblical witness that, in fact, strongly support a more positive approach, not least in the book of Chronicles. It is argued that as in the Temple's worship envisaged in Chronicles, so elsewhere music can help break down the barriers between the invisible world of the divine and our own. In other words, certain features of music help an already present God to be perceived. The works of some key composers in the classical tradition are examined, including Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler, and Bruckner.

Keywords:   music, Christianity, religious experience, classical tradition, Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler, Bruckner

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