Den tjänande funktionen. Kyrkomusikens konstnärliga gestaltning i estetiskt, samhälleligt och teologiskt hänseende

  • Johannes Landgren


The Serving Function. The Artistic Realization of Church Music from an aesthetic, social and theological point of view

Which is the position of sacred music in our society today? Is it possible to define a foundation for an aesthetic of sacred music in the middle of a society that neglects the values of this foundation? The article deals principally with three main areas: The aesthetics of music and the changing role of music in society, the positioning of sacred music and the serving function of sacred music.

The first part presents a brief survey of classical music and the changing paradigm of this music as well as its role in society. It discusses the position of the music and the musicians and it also deals with the question of the identity of music as such. The baroque definition of music as a language is described as well as the work concept and the view of autonomous art from the nineteenth century.

The second part discusses the role of sacred music, both in relation to the church as such and in a broader context within the art community as a whole. Here the identity of art is problematized through a discussion about definitions of art and artistic research.

The third part discusses the possibility to combine a modern view of art and art making with the concept of ”the serving function of music”. The discussion refers to quotations from contemporary composers and writers, who express views about the role of music in general and of sacred music in particular.

The conclusion focuses on the internal power of music and the possibilities of church music in society today. The conclusion finally delineates a possibility for sacred music as a vital force both within the church and within society at large. It concludes with a suggestion for a serving concept of music and states the importance of sacred music on the art scene today.