Timothy H. Steele. Music. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, May 31st, 2016. 39 pp.
This is a booklet on a Christian worldview of the academic discipline of Chemistry that is part of the Faithful Learning Series published by Presbyterian and Reformed that provides an introductory look at various academic discipline from the perspective of the Christian worldview. This particular work looks at the subject of the study of music and it is the fourth book I have read in this series. Overall I am enjoying the series very much.
It is wonderful to see someone who is an expert on music write about music from a Christian point of view. The author’s own specialization is with historical musicology. At the beginning of the book the author Timothy Steele acknowledges that music can be used for evil but he also caution readers that music itself is a gift from God that can be used responsibly for good. Written largely for Christian majoring in music in mind, I found it helpful for a non-musical person such as myself. The author stated that his two main points is that the study of music can help one love and serve God better and also that the study of music can make one live more faithfully (7-8). Readers must be aware that the book discusses the study of music and not just enjoying or making music per se. Steele works towards a definition of musicology by defining and contrasting three ways music are practiced (performance, composition and musicology). For the bulk of the book the author discusses the theme of music which he identifies as order, meaning and function.
What follows is my commendation and constructive construction of the book:
- I thought the author made good observation of songs found in the Scriptures such as the first recorded word of Adam was a song celebrating marriage and how the structure of Lamech’s boast in Genesis 4:23-24 strongly suggests it is lyrical and therefore it is musical.
- It does give a brief survey to those not familiar with the technical aspect of musicology.
- I wished the book connected more with how music relate to faith. I felt what the author stated as the booklet’s purpose would leave the reader hungering for more of exploring that connection.
NOTE: This book was provided to me free by P&R Publishing and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.