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Music And Morals: Dispelling the Myth that Music Is Amoral [Paperback]

By Kimberly Smith (Author)
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Item description for Music And Morals: Dispelling the Myth that Music Is Amoral by Kimberly Smith...

Cappella Books Publication Much of today's contemporary Christian music is musically immoral. Documented facts prove . . . * Music-not just lyrics-affects the mind, behavior, and emotions * Christian lyrics cannot make wrong music right * Early Christians did not use secular musical styles of their time For teens through adults, this easy-to-read book will equip every believer with the information they need to make musical choices that honor and please God. Includes CD with sample clips.

Publishers Description
Music and Morals examines the effects music has on the listener, putting to rest the myth that music is amoral. Chapter Summaries: Chapter One: Music and Morals--By showing how music is used successfully by the film industry to create moods and convey morality, the fact is established that music is a powerful entity and should not be considered amoral by the Church. Chapter Two: Nature: A Musical Creation?--Explores the possibility theorized by early mathematicians and astronomers, as well as some 20th century scientists, that all of creation is designed to fit into the musical law of harmonics. Chapter Three: How Music Affects the Mind--Drawing from recent scientific research, facts are given how music affects the mind in both positive and negative ways. Chapter Four: How Music Affects Behavior and Emotions--More scientific research shows how our emotions and behavior are controlled by music. Chapter Five: Christian Lyrics Cannot Change Immoral Music--Secular songwriters admit that lyrics don't always matter, that the music can convey a message apart from the lyrics. Also discussed: "text painting," which means that the music should match what the words are trying to say; that is, moral or Christian lyrics should be paired with moral music. Chapter Six: The Power of Rhythm--Secular sources affirm that certain rhythms can cause entrainment, trance, altered mind states, and demonic possession. Chapter Seven: Musical Intent and Manipulation--Shows how specific rock music techniques are purposely used to manipulate, and if we as Christians are imitating those same techniques, the intent of manipulation remains, no matter the lyrics. Chapter Eight: Consequences of Using Immoral Music--Testimonies and discussion about how CCM has caused moral failings in many people. Chapter Nine: The Decline of Music Through the Ages--An outline and discussion which traces music's history from heaven through Satanic music, by music evangelist Alan Ives. Shows shifts in philosophies about music throughout history: from music written for the glory of God and the spirit of man through music written to exploit the undisciplined and unrestrained sexual passions of man, evolution, and worship of self and the devil. Chapter Ten: How to Discern Moral and Immoral Music--Lists and discusses musical techniques and their moral and immoral connotations. For example, the musical term "swing it" has the immoral implication of a swinger, an immoral person committing adultery. Music that is played "straight" has the moral connotation of the straight path taught in the Bible. Chapter Eleven: Religion Externalized--The music we choose is an externalization of our religion: Are we musically influencing our culture for the glory of God, or are we being influenced, musically, by the world's idea of culture? Music and Morals also includes a mini-reference guide to different musical styles and their origins, as well as a listening CD with brief examples of moral and immoral musical techniques. Much of today's contemporary Christian music is musically immoral, regardless of the lyrics. Documented facts, examples, and much more, are included in this easy-to-read book for teens through adults.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: WinePress Publishing
Pages   176
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.32" Width: 5.66" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   0.49 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 7, 2005
ISBN  1579217656  
ISBN13  9781579217655  

Availability  0 units.

More About Kimberly Smith

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Kimberly Smith is an accomplished entrepreneur and businesswoman with more than 20 years experience in the real estate and corporate housing industries. In 1999 Kimberly and her husband and business partner, Eric, started AvenueWest Corporate Housing, Inc., that today is a multi-million dollar company providing furnished corporate housing and property management services to upscale business travelers. A recognized leader in the industry, they were awarded CHPA's 2010 Provider Company of the Year Award and listed for 3 consecutive years on Inc Magazine's Inc 5000 list featuring the countries fastest growing businesses. Inspired to help people find corporate housing and real estate solutions on a national basis, Kimberly and Eric came up with a business idea to create a national web directory dedicated to connecting furnished rental properties with corporate renters. In 2006 the couple launched (CHBO), the first-of-its-kind online portal that connects furnished rentals and the traveling public. In 2013 CHBO was recognized by CHPA as the Associate Company of the Year. In 2009, they founded AvenueWest Global Franchise, allowing them to expand the AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing product throughout the United States. They now have offices in Phoenix, Atlanta, Fort Collins, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Denver and Colorado Springs. Kimberly continues to lead in the corporate housing industry and served as the 2011 elected Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA), the primary trade organization for the corporate housing industry. Kimberly has been nationally recognized for her business success and her philanthropic endeavors and is frequently featured in media sources like the NYTimes, LA Times, Denver Post, US News & World Report,, CNBC and She was awarded the 2013 Denver Business Journal's Outstanding Women in Business award for real estate, small business finalist in 2010, and finalist in the prestigious Power Book special section of The Denver Business Journal, a feature in Denver Woman magazine as an outstanding business woman and mother, in 2009 she was selected to join The Denver Business Journal's elite class of 40 under 40 and in 2010 and was recognized by CoBiz Magazine as a top 5 GenXYZ leader.

Kimberly Smith currently resides in St. Charles, in the state of Missouri.

Kimberly Smith has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Idiot's Guides

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > General
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > History & Criticism
3Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Musical Genres > Religious & Sacred Music > Christian
4Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Musical Genres > Religious & Sacred Music > General
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Music

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Reviews - What do customers think about Music And Morals: Dispelling the Myth that Music Is Amoral?

Weak and not convincing  Jun 29, 2008
I was a little apprehensive about reading this book because I actually make a living in the area of contemporary Christian music. But I am not one to shy away from truth no matter where it takes me, and I am on a personal journey to eradicate the "traditions of men" from my own Christian walk. And as such, I can hold no pet doctrines, but I got the distinct feeling that the author does. She makes her thesis abundantly clear over and over again (essentially that the "backbeat" is inherently immoral, among other things), before the reader even has a chance to examine the evidence - it almost is reminiscent of the classic "church lady" from TV years long ago. Another reviewer was absolutely right when they said the author makes assertions that are "disturbingly weak if not laughable". I could not agree with D. Wallace more.

As much as I tried to be open-minded and scholarly about it, I still ended up rolling my eyes a few times, not just because it raked against my own predispositions, but because the author either stretched a concept to a ridiculous extreme, or was simply in error. To say, for example, that an opera musician uses vibrato to add interest to a note is not entirely accurate, if at all. Vibrato is the natural bodily response to a relaxed vocal technique, which the best singers should and do use. In fact, she actually criticized contemporary singers for doing the exact thing that she claims vibrato is for, that is, adding interest to a long note, but doing so in a more controlled manner (slowed down)... hmmm. Slowing down vibrato is actually taking greater control over your performance than letting it run wild, and, as you learn later in the book, self-control is purportedly a sign of "moral" music, not "immoral". Or claiming that an artistic delay in a note is "sensual", (and opera singers would apparently never do that). However, the best opera singers know how make very effective use of the "tantalizing" aspects of tenuto. This is just a start. I could go on and on, like the obvious assumption that all "swaying" is a "sensual" expression of a person's "lower self". Goodness. There is an emotional side to us after all, isn't there?

One footnote that should have been greatly expanded upon was her acknowledging David's dancing before the Lord. All the author does is refer the reader to another one of her books. Hmmm - that subject would be greatly relevant to this book, why not just restate the argument and use another page or so? Are we to assume that all the instruments used in Psalm 150 were played so according to the author's rules of "moral" music? No repetitive rhythms or backbeats in the cymbals and tambourines? This subjects begs analysis in this book.

The main problem I found with this book was the author's attempt to codify things in terms of an absolute black and white. There is no denying that rhythms have a physiological effect on the body and music in general communicates on a very emotional level. That in and of itself does not mean that every use of music to elicit emotional reactions is automatically wrong or sinful. Granted, much of popular music (not all, mind you) is base and void of anything positive. Also, much of Christian music lacks spiritual discernment as well - it can be shallow, overly ornamented, or done with wrong intentions - even "sensual" to use a favorite word of the author. The author's attempt to paint all music according to "moral" and "immoral" characteristics falls far short of being persuasive, and it borders on legalism (Pharisaism).

The book is probably worth the price in terms of giving you something to think about, and I had to laugh about the other reviewer's recommendation that it be used as an exercise in faulty logic, but I certainly don't see it as persuasive for anyone except those that already hold the author's opinion.
By whose standards of immorality?  Jul 4, 2007
As a professional performing CLASSICAL musician, I have to point out that this author's assertions about classical/art music in general are flawed. As the previous reviewers have stated, her premise is that 'immoral' music causes us to act in ways which are 'ungodly', either by making our bodies move, hypnotizing us with rhythm and repetition, or taking our focus off of the sacred text. Part of her argument is supported by examples of the great classical sacred works which she claims are the models of 'moral' music. I'm sure Verdi would be glad to hear it! Or Schubert, or Mozart, or even Schutz. In every age, when musical ideas were pushing listeners' boundaries, new musical devices were labeled as immoral and ungodly (the minor third, the tritone, the saxophone). Much of the music we now consider mainstream sacred music had its origins in something slightly less pristine and pure. I'm not arguing with some of her points (there is no question that I drive faster and more aggressively when listening to ZZTop than to Bach!), but the extremes to which she takes those ideas ('all music with a backbeat is sinful') are just beyond me. It reminded of reviews of some of the greatest works in Western Classical Music ('it has too many notes' about Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro").

So basically, I am just warning readers to take her scholarship with a grain of salt. I have found her bibliography and notes more interesting than the text. For instance, Joshua Leeds book, The Power of Sound: How to Manage Your Personal Soundscape for a Vital, Productive, and Healthy Life printed by Healing Arts Press, is quoted quite extensively. However this is what she writes in a footnote: "This is a very interesting book; however, because it delves into areas such as altering consciousness, and creating trance through music or other rhythmic sounds, caution is greatly advised." So she can read it, but the rest of us shouldn't? Hmmmm...

As a Christian musician, I am dismayed at the state of music in our modern worship services. This is why I read the book. I wanted to see what arguments were out there. I am now doubly dismayed - if this is the level of Christian scholarship on music and its function in worship, we are definitely climbing up a very slippery slope. Surely there is something better out there.
This book is for all parents, misicians and music lovers  Jan 9, 2007
This is a MUST reading for people who loves music, parents who have teenagers or at church - pastors, musicians, music leaders and elders.

Some years ago, I heard that music will hypnotize people - and I start to looking for an answer - how? I like to know what part or what he meant in actual music...I wanted to hear actual examples of music. Now, you can. I Thank this book very much.

Now I know rhythm you hear might hypnotize you - with or without you realizing it. Actually you can not avoid it. This is very scientific. Rhythm you hear will skip a frontal lobe which means your brain - decision making (right or wrong) function does not work during you hearing certain rhythm. Information you hear will go directory into your brain without filtering. I think this utilize as part of mind control technique.

After I listen to a CD comes with this book - I understand what kind of rhythm is bad. Finally, I got answer from this book with actual music - rhythm. This book's great thing is audio CD comes with it. I recommend to my friend - especially pastors at church or church's music leaders or music teachers or youth. This is must reading/listening. Should have a study group using this book.

Author DID NOT say "only classical music is good". Famous mega church's pastor in California, who is million seller book writer - who recently applying a membership of CFR is said Christian lyrics make a music Christian music - he is WRONG! very WRONG! Dangerous hypnotic rhythm make a music - bad music. Hypnotic rhythm is dangerous and we hear at Churches today. Be aware - very aware of what is going on today. Rock music and contemporary christian music is bad (only if rhythm is hypnotic - please don't misunderstand it).

Many said it long awhile - now you have answer. You are able to answer if someone ask you why Rock music is bad.
I love music and I have listen to all rock music - I grow up with it.
Again, it comes with audio CD and some example clips with is. I strongly recommend to everybody especially Christians and parents who have teenagers. Or if you learning about mind control - read it. (I am sure that book's auther like to tell you more. In case I missed author's points - I am sorry)
More Rant Than Reason  Jul 22, 2006
The author certainly is passionate in her position, but this book does little to provide a sound, logical argument to support it. Those already predisposed to thinking that "only classical music is good" will find it to be a reassuring restatement of their position, but a critical thinker will find it disturbingly weak if not laughable. Her essential premise is that certain musical styles and compositional elements are inherently immoral... and then goes on to cite anecdotes and irrelevant "research" to try to make her point. She fails to do so, however. For example, she asserts that "swaying to the music" is prima facie evidence for sensuality and immorality induced by the musical style, but fails to show how these are linked (except by her own assertion). I suppose that since I sway on the Metro as it moves down the track that the subway system in an "immoral" mode of transportation (wow, had I only known!).

The best use of this book is in a logical thinking class to demonstrate the fallacies of "slippery slope", "guilt by association", "glittering generalities", "bifurcation", "straw man", "red herring", "Ad Hominem", "non sequitur", and so on; they are all in there.

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