The Music of Methodist Worship
Singing and meditating upon hymns has been a characteristic of Methodism since its beginning. Hymnals functioned both as prayer books and as theological primers; changing patterns and emphases in the organization of the official hymnals testify to shifts in perspectives, piety, and practices. The evolution of the hymn books, tune books, and music practices also reveal a tendency to adapt to the broader culture, though these changes did not come without controversy. Prohibitions against the use of choirs (in favor of congregational singing) and musical instruments were soon relaxed, and various popular musical styles were adopted.
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