Thursday, February 28, 2008

Singing & Marmite

I've just offered the title of my next research seminar for next month and titled it..."
Congregational singing and marmite, you either love it or hate it: Anthropology, sociology and spirituality".

So, is congregational singing like marmite? Do we have polar opinions on this practise? Or, do some of us not really care either way? I'd love some opinions!

I'm just reviewing Steven Mithen's "The Singing Neanderthals". It's an excellent text on the development of music and language from an evolutionary, archaeological and anthropological perspective. Very interesting, and offers some lovely insights into the way our brain works with regard to these two topics. It also offers some intrigue as to the congregational nature of our music-making. Maybe I'll write a little more about that sometime in the future!

R x


Sally said...

I am sure there is a marmite element to congregational singing; but equally sure that there is a default I simply don't like it card played by many who refuse to try it!

Different cultures still engage in congregational singing as a way of sharing wisdom and story, I wonder if we have lost that, and just how many people are truly aware of what they sing, and equally how much story telling/ wisdom is in many newer hymns/ songs?

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

A friend only goes to said Eucharists, and this avoids for him the tedium of all the singing. I have some sympathy, but then I also like the use of music. Carols I find tedious and so I avoid carol services.

benclapton said...

An interesting comparison. In Australia, we don't use Marmite, we have Vegemite. Apparently, every Australian loves it, and unfortunately, I can't stand the stuff. I often get told (jokingly) that I'm not Australian for not liking Vegemite. Do we tell/imply that people aren't Christians if they don't like singing? Just a thought.