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Home Worship Music Diocesan Certificate in Church Music Guide To Modules

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Guide To Modules

by Michael Ford last modified 25 Jan, 2012 10:48 AM

1. The Role of Music in Worship
A core module which asks the fundamental questions:

  • Why do we use music in worship?
  • When should music be used in worship?
  • What kind of music is there to use in worship?

2. The Liturgical Year and Repertoire 1: Holy Week - Easter
This first module of three points you to books that explore the origins and history behind liturgical forms associated with the season and explore the music that is available. The music covered in this module features mainly lesser-known contemporary works and forms. Every church will have a collection of traditional and well-known music for use during this season. The material mentioned here augments this, providing a range of possibilities to enable and inspire worshippers.

3. The Singing Voice in Worship
Questions asked in this module are:

  • Why do we sing?
  • Why do we sing in worship?
  • Who should sing?
  • What is the relationship between words and music?
  • What should we or could we sing?
  • Does quality matter?

4. Instruments in Worship 1
This first module of two considers how musical instruments may be used in worship with reference to:

  • Skills required in playing instruments; appropriate training
  • Skills required by those responsible for organising groups
  • Arranging for instruments
  • Transposing instruments
  • Use of bells – small and large
  • Keyboard instruments
  • Combining instruments with voices
  • Amplification and microphones
  • Technology and available equipment
  • Using recorded music
  • Publications for instrumental groups
  • Pastoral issues and parish policies
  • Opportunities for instrumental music in worship

5. Eucharistic Shape and Music
This module clarifies the shape of Eucharistic liturgy and examines the place of music within it, to see how music can help or hinder what liturgists of all denominations have been trying to do in their recent reforms. In all church traditions, liturgical reformers have based their work on the early historical identity of the Eucharist. In 1945, the Anglican scholar, Dom Gregory Dix published The Shape of the Liturgy, a ground-breaking piece of work that drew attention to the pattern or shape of events during the Last Supper, which has led to an emphasis on shape and structure in all subsequent work. This module deals with the latest ‘shapes’ and how music fits with these.

6. Using Psalms in Worship
An important module covering a wide range of material, examining the historical background of psalmody, the liturgical use and the huge musical repertoire associated with the Book of Psalms. Students are encouraged to explore the many ways of singing psalms and to think about opportunities in their own worship situations for using different styles of psalmody during services.

7. Worship Planning and Management
This module covers the following topics:

  • What are we aiming to achieve?
  • Who needs to be involved?
  • The range and diversity of worship
  • The shape of the worship
  • Using the sacred space of the church building – and beyond!

8. The Liturgical Year and Repertoire 2: Advent - Christmas 
The second of three modules dealing with seasonal matters. September is a good time to study this module, as you prepare for Advent. In a time when we are supposed to be watching and waiting, it’s difficult to be still and listen when there are Christmas sights and sounds everywhere. Our times of worship need to bring us back to a place of preparation and our choice of music can help us focus on events ahead. In this module you will look at ways of doing this and what music there is available.

9. Using Technology in Worship
There is no doubt that the use of technology enhances worship to the benefit of all taking part. Different situations require different solutions. If you are thinking of using sound equipment and projection, or are already using them, this module will help with good practice and will certainly help you to overcome any fears you may have!

This module considers the use of:

  • Power-point presentations of visual images and texts for singing
  • Projectors and screens
  • Mixing desks to control input from instruments and voices
  • Microphone and speaker systems
  • MIDI instruments and MIDI players

10. Morning and Evening Prayer
From earliest times, Christians gathered at regular hours each day and night to respond to God’s word with praise on behalf of all creation and to intercede for the salvation of the world. By the fourth century, if not earlier, morning and evening had emerged as the pre-eminent hours for the offering of this sacrifice of praise. They have remained so ever since, especially on Sundays when the Church commemorates both the first day of creation and the day of Christ’s resurrection. This module deals with origins, historical developments and repertoire for today.

11. Instruments in Worship 2
This module looks at the skills required for arranging music for instrumental groups, voices and organ, and for presentation of your own compositions using desk-top publishing software.

  • Practicalities of instruments, voices, and presentation of score and parts
  • Harmonisation
  • Descants and ‘last verse’ arrangements
  • Texture and colour
  • Arranging music for the organ

12. Hymns and Spiritual Songs
This module provides an opening into the fascinating subject of hymnody with useful links and recommended background reading, including the Early Church, the Reformation, the Oxford Movement, hymn writers, hymnals and contemporary hymnody. Brush up on your knowledge of early hymnody, through to the Wesleys, the Oxford Movement and contemporary published hymnals.

13. The Liturgical Year and Repertoire 3: Easter - Pentecost
This module looks at music for the period from Ascension Day which occurs after the sixth Sunday of Easter, through Pentecost, Trinity Sunday and into the period of Ordinary Time or Sundays after Trinity. There are twenty-two Sundays after Trinity taking us up to the Sunday in October called the Fourth Sunday before Advent.

14. Children and Parish Worship
Written by an experienced Head Teacher and Christian musician, this module addresses the challenges of bringing church and school together. It explores relationships between church and school communities and how each may interact and develop in partnership through styles, repertoire and all-age structures.

15. Alternative Forms of Worship
This module is written in the spirit of providing resources for alternative worship or ‘emerging church’ services, using the Internet. A large community of churches have grown by using the internet for contact and there is much sharing of resources and ideas via websites. The module looks at definitions and explores the web for sources of information, ideas and explanations.

16. Contemporary Hymnody
A survey of the development of contemporary hymnody from the 1960s through to the establishment of Christian conventions/conferences and the music that grows from these. Find out what is currently available; browse online and order sheet music and recordings. The emphasis upon young people within evangelicalism was fundamental to its rise in the post war period. As the culture of young people began to change, so the style, and eventually the nature of evangelical religion itself would have to change. The chief agent in this evolution was to be the spiritual song. This module charts the development of contemporary hymnody and the movement it grew from.

Modules will be updated and new modules will be provided. Users are asked to respect the copyright ownership of our module writers.

All the modules are ‘pdf files’. Download the free Adobe Reader programme required to download the modules if you do not already have this set up.

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