“Sarah” by Elizabeth Swados

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Oxyrhynchus Hymn

The Oxyrhynchus Hymn is the oldest piece of Christian music that has accompanying notation. Above is a setting of the words to new music by Johann Kim. Below is an attempt to reconstruct what it might have sounded like in a instrumental rendition on reconstructed ancient instruments. You can find a number of related resources – [Read More…]

Megillat Esther, A Rock Opera

One nice part of searching for all the Bible-related music I can find is coming across rare or neglected gems. I think you’ll get a kick out of this, which comes from Temple Beth Israel in Eugene, Oregon’s 2016 Purimspiel. [Read more…]

Comprehensive List of Musical Settings of Biblical Texts?

Even imagining what I am asking about here makes the request seem ridiculous. Every day, I imagine, someone somewhere sets a biblical text to music. And so surely no one would be so foolish as to try to publish a book which must inevitably be out of date before the manuscript is submitted to the [Read More…]

Carols from the Dark Side

I recently had the chance to hear a performance of David Lovrien’s piece “Minor Alterations 2: Carols from the Darkside.” I enjoyed it immensely, and wanted to share it with you. [Read more…]

The Bible and Music Written by Women

As a recent New York Times article highlighted, female composers have historically been neglected. I have no intention of allowing that to be the case in my course on the Bible and music. And so this post is not only intended to share some examples of settings of Biblical texts by women (and to be clear, [Read More…]

The Throne Room Suite for String Quartet

Helen Marple-Horvat has arranged the Throne Room Suite from Star Wars for string quartet. I hope you enjoy it! [Read more…]

R. Nathaniel Dett, The Ordering of Moses

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Setting Amos’ Hymn Fragments to Music

As I’m gearing up to teach a course about the Bible and music for the first time next semester, one thing that I’ve been giving much thought to is the fact that students are expected to participate in the creation of a creative work in these core curriculum courses. I don’t like to ask students [Read More…]

Plagiarism in Commentaries and Commentaries on Plagiarism

Given that I’ve now had my first plagiarism case of the semester, the time seems right to comment on this topic. Let me begin with an infographic that explains different kinds of plagiarism and evaluates them in terms of their severity, since it seems that many people are still unclear on precisely what plagiarism is. [Read More…]