A Song to Sing, A Life to Live: Reflections on Music as Spiritual Practice (The Practices of Faith Series)

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9780787967178: A Song to Sing, A Life to Live: Reflections on Music as Spiritual Practice (The Practices of Faith Series)

In this rich exploration of music, authors Don and Emily Saliers interweave their own stories as well as those of others to reflect on the what, the how, and the why of music as a key aspect of spirituality in our lives. As an Indigo Girl, folk-rock singer-songwriter, Emily performs in primarily secular settings, while her father, Don - composer, cantor, and church musician - writes and arranges for church congregations. Their audiences may differ but both father and daughter understand the profound spirituality of music and have personally witnessed how their music brings healing to people no matter what the setting or circumstance. A Song to Sing, A Life to Live bridges two generations, two approaches to spirituality, and two genres of music - the music of Saturday night and Sunday morning. Don and Emily Saliers reflect on such topics as music and justice, music and grief, music and delight, and music and hope. They open the way for those who seek to embrace new spiritual practices by creating music, sharing music, and developing their musical skills as a spiritual practice.

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From the Inside Flap:

"What do gospel choirs, praise choruses, jazz quintets, and Elvis Presley have in common? In a remarkable and deliciously provocative book, the Saliers dad-and-daughter duo blur the distinctions between ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’ music, exposing the transcendent, luminous quality of all music. If you’ve ever suspected that your spiritual story is best expressed in song–whether rock ‘n’ roll or Gregorian chant–this book is for you."
–Lauren F. Winner, author, Girl Meets God and Mudhouse Sabbath

Music is a central practice in most expressions of spirituality and faith–whether it’s the Christian music of seeker services, traditional hymnody, liturgical chant and singing, or popular music ballads about the meaning of life.

In this rich exploration of music, authors Don and Emily Saliers interweave their own stories as well as those of others to reflect on the what, the how, and the why of music as a key aspect of spirituality in our lives. As an Indigo Girl, folk-rock singer-songwriter Emily performs in primarily secular settings, while her father, Don–composer, cantor, and church musician–writes and arranges for church congregations. Their audiences may differ but both father and daughter understand the profound spirituality of music and have personally witnessed how their music brings healing to people no matter what the setting or circumstance.

A Song to Sing, A Life to Live bridges two generations, two approaches to spirituality, and two genres of music–the music of Saturday night and Sunday morning. Don and Emily Saliers reflect on such topics as music and justice, music and grief, music and delight, and music and hope. They open the way for those who seek to embrace new spiritual practices by creating music, sharing music, and developing their musical skills as a spiritual practice.

From the Back Cover:

Indigo Girl Emily Saliers and Her Father, Don Saliers, Explore the Many Dimensions of Music in Our Spiritual Lives

"I found warmth, wisdom, and love to be present on every page of this book. Emily and her father, Don, have found a way to have a deeply meaningful conversation about their life experiences and share it with the reader. The result is this beautiful expression of music as many things–healer, gift, symbol of freedom and community, and agent of change."
–Mary Chapin Carpenter

"Don and Emily Saliers trace the songlines of two very different lives through this thought-provoking book. It is full of stories, quotations from songs old and new, and even their personal discussions as they explore the boundaries between their worlds. Their words plumb the depths of human and musical differences: the way song can divide as well as bring us together and its power to bring us ‘back to life’ from grief or pain or spiritual anguish. May we all be able to find songlines as rich as those uniting this intelligent, affectionate, and musical father and daughter."
–Alice Parker, author, Yes, We’ll Gather!, Creative Hymn Singing, and Melodious Accord

"Emily and her dad have created a beautiful celebration of how music and spirit connect us all."
–Bonnie Raitt

"In this sweetheart of a book, Don and Emily Saliers do far more than write convincingly about the healing power of music. They show us how it works by letting their own love of ‘deep song’ lead them across generational, aesthetic, and religious differences into a place of such holy listening to one another that even the angels lay down their tambourines."
–Barbara Brown Taylor, author, Bread of Angels, Home by Another Way, Gospel Medicine, The Preaching Life, God in Pain, and Speaking of Sin

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