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In Tune With Heaven Or Not

Women in Christian Liturgical Music

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June Boyce-Tillman

This book explores the alliance of theology and music in the Christian liturgical tradition, interrogating the challenges posed by the gendered nature of church leadership in many areas of its life. It examines the relationship between theology, spirituality and music, concentrating on women’s perceptions of these. The title draws on the Report of the Archbishop’s Commission on Church Music from 1992 which was entitled In Tune with Heaven. It questions the absence of women’s voices and experiences from the literature and attempts to redress this. It sets out the values that underpin Christian musical liturgical traditions primarily in Europe and the USA with a view to understanding where women are situated within or outside these traditions. It draws on material from many interviews with contemporary practitioners from a variety of contexts. It does not set out to be a definitive history of women in these traditions but simply to give some small vignettes that illustrate a variety of positions that they have occupied in various denominations – and thus make their often hidden contributions more visible.