Justin St. Vincent
I wasn’t sure of what to expect from The Spiritual Significance of Music
when I was asked to review it. I knew it was a collection of essays by a group of musicians and artists, and assumed that most of those essays would be by artists under the broad spectrum of the “new age” music genre. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the artists whose writings are included come from a wide range of musical genres and that they are based in places all over the world. Some of the essays come from the authors of books about music, so it’s an amazing collection! There are 102 essays, including editor Justin St. Vincent’s concluding comments, and most are about a half page in length - several are two or three pages. I have to admit that I didn’t recognize many of the names, but I read each essay with interest because there were so many different viewpoints, ranging from music being a direct gift from God to music having absolutely no spiritual significance at all, and everything in between. Several Christian rock and metal bands are included, but there are also Satanists and death metal bands whose contributions are every bit as passionate as the more traditional religious bands. There are a few pop, world, and new age artists as well, so the current music world has a strong representation.The jazz and classical genres don’t have much of a showing, but perhaps that will be another volume - or not! I commend St. Vincent for gathering the thoughts of such a variety of people with such a variety of opinions about the subject. The last 45 or so pages present short bios of the contributors, including discographies and websites, so readers can follow up on the artists they find interesting. I found the whole book to be excellent and inspiring to read. It is available from musicandspirituality.com
and Amazon.com. Recommended!