Church Music and the Arts

  • STH TA 710: Music in World Religions I: The Abrahamic Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)
    Music is an integral part of the liturgies of almost every major religion. It is a traditional element of many rituals connected with the life cycle, and is often used as a way of mediating one's relationship to God. This course seeks to put both religion and its music in cultural and historical context. It will use interdisciplinary methodologies including theological studies and musical analysis. It aims to provide a basic framework for understanding the issues surrounding the duties and practices, rituals, scriptures, articles of faith, holy days, prayers, and denominational differences for each religion in a way that is comprehensible to the non-musician.
  • STH TA 711: Music of the World's Religions II: The Asian Traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikkhism)
    Music is an integral part of the liturgies of almost every major religion. It is a traditional element of many rituals connected with the life cycle, and is often used as a way of mediating ones relationship to God. This course seeks to put both the religion and its music in cultural and historical context. It will be using interdisciplinary methodologies including theological studies and musical analysis. It aims to provide a basic framework for understanding the issues surrounding the duties and practices, rituals, scriptures, articles of faith, holy days, prayers and denominational differences for each religion in a way that is comprehensible to the non-musician. Musical training is preferred but not essential.
  • STH TA 715: Organ Seminar
    Intended for organ majors, but open to others, this course covers repertoire, organ building and maintenance, technique, performance practice, and keyboard skills (sight-reading, score-reading, transposition, harmonization, improvisation and continuo). This is a two semester course. MSM organ majors must enroll in both semesters.
  • STH TA 721: Seminary Singers
    Open to all students who are interested in singing. Participation in one weekly chapel service, all concerts, and tours. Credit given only on completion of the second consecutive semester's work.
  • STH TA 722: Seminary Singers
    Open to all students who are interested in singing. Participation in one weekly chapel service, all concerts, and tours. Credit given only on completion of the second consecutive semester's work.
  • STH TA 801: Methods and Materials in Sacred Music (online)
    Students will critically engage with materials and approaches in the principal areas of present-day church musicians including: choral and vocal techniques, conducting, the organ and other instruments, alternative and contemporary worship, and professional concerns. This course will enable students to gain greater competencies needed to function at optimal levels as a music minister or director in worship, religious, pastoral and educational settings. This will be accomplished through engagement with the methods and materials of church/synagogue (sacred) music and worship.
  • STH TA 804: Seminar: Anthems for the Church Choir
    Historical survey of music repertory for American church choirs: study of performance of various periods and genres of music. Consent of instructor with special consideration given to MSM and SFA students.
  • STH TA 805: Music Ministry for Church Leaders
    Music ministry is an essential part of a healthy church, providing beauty in worship, means of community and avenues for evangelism. This course offers methods and materials to help you integrate, develop, support and sustain a good music program and your music leaders by helping with practical and technical matters as well as larger issues of theological integration and the quality of the music used in the service of the church. 2CR [Meets only for the first half of the semester]
  • STH TA 808: Marsh Chapel Choir
    Audition required. Schedule includes Sunday worship in Marsh Chapel and several major concerts.
  • STH TA 810: Hymns and Their Music
    Study of the history of congregational song from biblical practice to the present day. Emphasis will be given to the development of theological, textual, and musical patterns, with special attention to incorporating both historic and emerging materials in worship. Strongly recommended for all MSM students; valuable for MDiv and doctoral students with special interest in worship.
  • STH TA 815: World Religions in Boston
    In an increasingly pluralistic society it is essential to have some understanding of the beliefs and worship patterns of other religions and to be able to engage in dialogue with them. This course utilizes the Pluralism Project at Harvard to explore new forms of interfaith engagement. Seven weekly lectures introduce the issues surrounding interfaith work and a basic understanding of the tenets and practices of five major religions. Site visits (to Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist and Jewish worship services) offer first- hand experiences and the opportunity for discussion and interaction with religious leaders and lay people.
  • STH TA 820: The Church and the Arts
    Aims to facilitate understanding of sacred art for its intrinsic worth and to assess how it may be used to enhance worship in the future. It will deal systematically with the theology of architectural space, church furnishing, vestments, stained glass, and decorative work. Students will be taught to look, interpret, and use the technical vocabulary of art and architecture and will develop skills for making value judgments about quality and content of art. Includes field trips to area churches and to the Museum of Fine Arts.
  • STH TA 826: Seminar in Music of the 20th Century
    Graduate Prerequisites: Persons enrolled must be serving as choir directors or assistant directors of a church choir or have access to conducting a church choir inone or two anthems.
    Course not being offered in 2014-2015 School Year.
  • STH TA 830: Passions & Requiems
    An examination of the legacy of music written for liturgical and non-liturgical use, using longer text, tracing the origins, formulary, and development of the texts (including discussion of the authors). Case studies will form the basis of further inquiry. Cultural, social and historical context of the first performance will be discussed, along with an examination of the theology behind the text setting. There will be comparative analysis of other examples of the same genre, discussion of post-Reformation changes in text and approach, and national differences in style and technique.