Easter 2024

27 August 2006
change - major

Some of you are expecting a major change to this website tomorrow, 28 August. (I made reference to this in "yo -wow", published after I returned from Anglo-Catholic military camp.) Prior to that change, a few remarks are in order.

I see as an outlet (or maybe an outgrowth?) of my personal self, not my professional self.

However, because of the nature of my professional self -- working in the Church, working for faith communities that share my personal faith -- my personal and professional selves overlap.

I mean, seriously. What would constitute a "professional faith?" Such a concept is dishonest.

It is my personal self that I offer in my professional services, and it is my professional activity that is injected with my personality. Making music is always a personal act, but I think this is especially apparent when a musician improvises. This is, in a very real, raw sense, that person made vulnerable to an audience.

Therefore, while covers a wide range of subject matter, it sometimes bears record to my professional acts.

I recently have come to understand this relationship as critical. If I am honest it my professional life, I must bring my full personal self. If I am faithful on -- and I intend to be -- then I must record those professional experiences which bring about change in my mind, my body and my soul.

I am pursuing a career as a church musician because I believe in God.

I believe in a God who calls us to worship and serve Him.

I believe that God has called me to worship and serve as a musician. I specifically remember coming to this understanding about 14 years ago at a Presbyterian camp in Texas.

I hold to be self-evident the Anglican tenets of scripture, tradition and reason.

And it is the scripturally sound, rich tradition of Anglican church music that I find the most reasonable.

Some quick thoughts on all this:

Scripture & Understanding (or musicians and their music)

If the traditional forms Anglican church music are going to continue to flourish, we need to understand them.

This starts with the "scripture": the music. What does the text say? How does the text inform the music, and vice versa?

Who wrote the text and the music? And how do new compositions join the "canon" of sacred music?

There's such richness in the "scripture" that musicians work with. Inheritors of church music have been gifted with considerable amount of material.

Tradition & Communicating (or An English Tradition in America)

The church can be a self-centered place. A lot of churches I have been a part of have been prone to acronym proliferation. What do all those letters mean? And how would a newcomer find out?

Well, what does all this church music mean, and how would a newcomer uncover that meaning?

A responsible tradition communicates itself effectively. Is the Episcopal church communicating it's musical traditions effectively? Or is music of the Anglican church just seen as being grandiose and snobby and kind of weird? (My grandmother thinks it's a little depressing.)

And isn't this tradition needed? We live in what Stephen Carter calls a "culture of disbelief." If the disestablished church is going to be counter-cultural, don't we, in fact, need our own culture? Don't we need to march to the beat of a different, counter-cultural, Christian drummer?

And what is an Anglican (English) tradition doing in America? Is it this Englishness that makes our church music "different"? Or is there some point at which the tradition stopped being English, and started becoming American? Or both?

Tracing the development of Anglican church music helps us understand how we inherit the tradition. Looking closely at the music (scripture) helps us appreciate how the liturgical employment of that music (tradition) changes, and looking at liturgical changes helps us understand innovations in the music.

Reason & Reacting (or we hear, sing, pray and worship)

At the end of the day, we're left with ourselves and the music.

As much as Thomas Tallis has left us in the score, we are not Tallis.

As much as the tradition has continued to sing Tallis, and as much as other composers are indebted to him and his work, they are not Tallis, nor do they write like him.

At the end of the day, we hear the music. Even if we're singing it -- we sometimes forget this -- we are hearing the music (or at least we should be).

Music is meant to be heard, and hearing it, especially the passionate, evangelical music of the Church, should elicit a response.

This response is singing. Either literally or metaphorically. I consider an engaged listening tantamount to singing. It is, in a sense, "joining the song."

And we all know that by singing, we pray (twice!).

And by praying we practice the presence of God.

The God who draws forth song.

The God we worship.

Another change: As this site becomes more timely, I'm experimenting with being all atwitter. You can see this on the right sidebar under my picture and where it says "I'm David Sinden." Which I am. That's not changing.

Dutch tangent: Ryan is in Holland!

Hey Sinden,
Thanks for the plug! By the way, good luck with your new non-school life. I'm sure you'll keep us up-to-date on

Miss seeing you around, bud.

PS: I'm sure you already know this, but Holland is partly known for its history of organ making and installations. So, if you ever find yourself over here on an organ pilgrimage, you've got a place to stay (we have an extra bed).

Post a Comment

The page you're reading is part of

©MMXVII a site for fun and prophet

Organ and church music, esoteric liturgics, and a site that changes color with the liturgical year.


Looking for Carol Spreadsheets?

Hungry? Try the Liturgical Guide to Altoids Consumption

Thirsty? Try the Tibia Liquida

The Eric Harding Thiman Fan Page: The greatest composer you've never even heard of.

Infrequently Asked Questions

picture of a chicken

Questions? Problems? email the sexton.


The author of this website is an organist whom the New York Times calls “repeatedly, insisting that he pay for his subscription”. He likes to read parking meters, music, Indianapolis Monthly, and weather forecasts in Celsius, particularly whilst wearing cassock and surplice. He serves lasagna, overhand, as an example to many, and on ecclesiastical juries. He mixes salads, drinks, and metaphors. He takes photos, lots of dinner mints, and a little bit of time to get to know.




Anglicans Online
Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise
Book of Common Prayer
Brain Pickings
The Daily Office
The Lectionary Page
Sed Angli
Ship of Fools
The Sub-Dean's Stall
Vested Interest - Trinity Church in the City of Boston


Andrew Kotylo - Concert Organist
Anne Timberlake
Bonnie Whiting, percussion
conjectural navel gazing: jesus in lint form
Friday Night Organ Pump
Halbert Gober Organs, Inc.
in time of daffodils
Joby Bell, organist
Musical Perceptions
Musings of a Synesthete
My Life as Style, Condition, Commodity.
Nathan Medley, Countertenor
Notes on Music & Liturgy
The Parker Quartet
Roof Crashers & Hem Grabbers
Steven Rickards
That Which We Have Heard & Known
This Side of Lost
Wayward Sisters
Zachary Wadsworth | composer

Archenemies Aviary



Advent (Medfield MA)
All Saints, Ashmont (Boston MA)
All Saints (Indianapolis IN)
Atonement (Bronx NY)
Broadway UMC (Indianapolis IN)
Cathedral of All Saints (Albany NY)
Christ Church (Bronxville NY)
Christ Church (Madison IN)
Christ Church (New Haven CT)
Christ Church Cathedral (Indianapolis IN)
Christ's Church (Rye NY)
Church of St. Stephen (Hamden CT)
Congregational (Belmont CA)
Coventry Cathedral (UK)
First UMC (Lancaster SC)
Gloria Dei ELCA (Iowa City IA)
Immanuel Lutheran (St Paul MN)
Immanuel Lutheran (Webster NY)
John Knox PCUSA (Houston TX)
St Andrew (Marblehead MA)
St Andrew's, Oregon Hill (Richmond VA)
St Bartholomew the Great, (London, England)
St James's (Lake Delaware NY)
St James's (Richmond VA)
St James Cathedral (Chicago IL)
St Mary's Cathedral (Memphis TN)
St Matthew and St Timothy (NYC)
St Paul's (Cleveland Heights OH)
St Paul's (Indianapolis IN)
St Paul's Cathedral (Buffalo NY)
St Paul's, K Street (Washington DC)
St Peter's (Lakewood OH)
St Peter's ELCA (NYC)
St Stephen's (Richmond VA
St Thomas (New Haven CT)
St Thomas ELCA (Bloomington IN)
Second PCUSA (Indianapolis IN)
Towson Presbyterian Church (MD)
Tremont Temple Baptist (Boston MA)
Trinity (Indianapolis IN)
Trinity on the Green (New Haven CT)


BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong
New College (Oxford, England)
St John's College (Cambridge, England)
St Thomas (New York NY)


Like the site? Buy the shirt.

Areyou . . .

selling diphthongs?
Yes, but they're not the kind you buy on Wheel of Fortune.

the owner of a bower at Bucklesfordberry?
Full daintily it is dight.

interested in touch lamps?
And fountain pens.

this site used to be better:

March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
December 2012
January 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017
June 2017
July 2017
August 2017
September 2017
October 2017
November 2017
December 2017
January 2018
February 2018
March 2018
April 2018
May 2018
June 2018
August 2018
September 2018
October 2018
December 2018
February 2019
March 2019
October 2019
December 2019
September 2020
December 2020
January 2021
September 2021
October 2021
December 2021
November 2022
December 2022
March 2023
July 2023
March 2024
April 2024