Wim Kloppenburg

The report of the Commission 'HBO-Kerkmuziek'
Het ORGEL 93 (1997), nr. 10, 39-42 [summary]


The report of the Commission 'HBO-Kerkmuziek' (College level professional training in Church Music) describes the ideal church musician: capable of conducting, arranging, playing etc. The report encourages the assimilation of aspects of the popular music culture.

Any style is acceptable in church, as long as quality is provided, the report suggests. There is, however, a distinction between liturgy and life itself. Not allowing the church musician to refuse to perform in certain music styles is therefore unwise. The argument that church music always assimilated with profane music is historically not correct.

Nor are all instruments acceptable in church. The acceptance of electronic devices, which is approached in the report as something being self-evident, is based on the misconception that music is something that comes out of speakers. In services, however, instruments have to be acoustic, as is the voice, with which we praise God and pray.

The weakness of the report is its lack of a theological basis. Musical-sociological arguments can lead to false conclusions about the liturgy.