Seminole County School Board Announces New Guidelines Which P
ermit High ...
EDarr1776 at AOL.COM
EDarr1776 at AOL.COM
Sun Dec 1 03:40:40 PST 2002
In a message dated 11/30/2002 11:32:39 PM Central Standard Time,
Peliasberg at AOL.COM writes:
> I recognize that analogies are imperfect, but it seems to me that Rick's
> attempt to analogize "teaching about Islam" to teaching about gospel music
> by performing it, fails.
I don't know of any Christian, Jewish or Moslem oboe player who thinks
circular breathing, the way the Buddhist monks developed it, is anything
other than a way to be a better oboe player. I don't know of any American
who thinks that she is promoting drinking of ale when singing that old
drinking tune at baseball games, to which the Star Spangled Banner is now
There is a significant difference between studying music to the point of
performing it, and using that music liturgically. No one accuses Aaron
Copeland of being a Shaker, nor does anyone give any rational pause about the
religious impact of playing Copeland's *Appalachian Spring*, when it is
performed. If we start from the musical study of religious melody and lyrics
in a clearly acceptable format for a government-sponsored school, the common
ground should be rather large, it seems to me.
I was a member of a rock and roll band when I was in high school, and we
played a lot of church and school dances. Way back then, school and church
officials worried about drug influences and communist influences in music.
In one town, a local woman listened to us one week and got the titles of
songs we played, and then spent some time researching the composers and bands
that had performed them to make them famous. The next time we played that
town she was there, armed with bits of information about composers and towing
the leader of the institution. The grilling stopped after she had announced
that some of our music was written by communists, like Pete Seeger, and
performed by psychedelic drug-influenced bands, both of which were accurate
statements. The institution head asked if any of our tunes fit that mold,
and I told him we did a four-part harmony, electric-twelve string-driven
version of Pete Seeger's "Turn! Turn! Turn!" The fellow said he thought such
music might be inappropriate for teenagers, and asked us to relate some of
the lyric, which we did. Not recognizing the lyrics, the fellow asked us if
we thought that was appropriate for a church dance. We asked him whether
Ecclesiastes was really off limits, and what other books of the Bible we
might want to avoid when playing his venue. He decided the song was
There are funny applications of music, such as the time President Nixon,
during the later Watergate days, was greeted by a band in Egypt playing a
rousing Sousa tune, "The Washington Post March." Generally, there is a lot
of intellectual grinding necessary to make the connection between a good
piece of music well arranged and unintended insult.
Aretha Franklin's last album was marked by recordings done in a church. You
can't tell it from the music or the lyrics, only from the liner notes and the
harmonies. Absent the rest of the religious service, the music is generally
just a piece of music. I hope we don't get to the point of banning "Frosty,
the Snowman," because of the occult powers of the hat.
Not needing a magic hat to keep warm today, in Dallas
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