Degree Name

Doctor of Creative Arts (PhD)


Faculty of Creative Arts


The church musician seeks to glorify his or her Creator rather than themselves with their work, whether it be as a performer or a composer. There are many writers who have stated that we must only perform music of the highest quality in the service of the church, but very few have tackled the issue of how this is to be achieved. This thesis will examine a number of different ways to look at quality in church music: by examining the musical standard and theological soundness of the work, by looking at the pastoral and liturgical appropriateness of the work, and at the intent of the author and composer. This thesis then seeks to create a methodology for examining quality in church music; mindful of the fact that our judgement is often clouded by our likes and dislikes, and that our opinions are often disguised in terms of appropriateness for worship. While there is some debate of the validity of doing so, composers are pushing the envelope as to style and technique in the composition of new works of church music. This thesis will look at the difference between music for congregation and that for specialist musicians, and how differences in expectations and use lead to differences in qualitative judgement. Finally, support is offered for the creation of new works, and there will be an examination of three new sets of works created to the greater glory of God.

02Whole.pdf (514 kB)