MY OWN LOVE OF 'JOYFUL NOISE'

I've had a hunger for "world music" for more than a decade, and sacred music has a special place in my heart. I eagerly seek it out, and often find in it common threads of love, respect, humility, and gratitude that unite people from different faiths. The musicians often explicitly acknowledge that they are guided by the Divine more than by their own skill or understanding. Whether subdued Buddhist chanting or emotionally wrenching Sufi qawwali singing, sacred music is a way of describing God, and this variety of descriptions enriches my own understanding of the Divine.

Music is a crucial language for human expression. Mary Baker Eddy believed this, and her writings include frequent literal and metaphorical references to music. "Mental melodies and strains of sweetest music supersede conscious sound," she wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. "Music is the rhythm of head and heart. Mortal mind is the harp of many strings, discoursing either discord or harmony according as the hand, which sweeps over it, is human or divine" (p. 213).

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