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4:15am

Tue October 15, 2013
Ecstatic Voices

Before Churches Had Songbooks, There Was 'Lined-Out' Gospel

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 8:12 am

Church elder Elwood Cornett preaches at a recent reunion of Old Regular Baptists. Brother Don Pratt is seated behind him in a blue shirt and tie.
Cindy Johnston NPR

Deep in the hills of Appalachia, there's a mournful, beautiful style of church music that hasn't changed since the 18th century.

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6:01pm

Wed September 18, 2013
Ecstatic Voices

Sacred Strings Guide Gospel Through Thunder And Steel

The Sacred Steel tradition is an integral part of worship. From the House of God Keith Dominion Church, Aubrey Ghent (pictured) helped revive the style in 1990s.
Brad Gregory Courtesy of the artist

Some say the purpose of church is to deliver the word of God. If so, what's the role of music in the service?

"The music has always been a part of God's way of getting people's attention," says Bishop Calvin Worthem, pastor at the Church of the Living God in Toccopola, Miss. "Sometimes he speaks through the thunder, the lightning, and sometimes he speaks in the music."

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10:03am

Sun August 25, 2013
Ecstatic Voices

Atheists Take Old Hymns Out Of The Chapel And Into The Streets

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 8:16 am

The Renaissance Street Singers give a performance at the Winterdale Arch, near the West 81st Street gate in Central Park.
Joel Rose NPR

On a recent Sunday afternoon, 15 members of the Renaissance Street Singers gathered under a bridge in New York's Central Park. With little fanfare, they launched into a free, two-hour concert of music by Palestrina, des Prez and other composers who lived more than 500 years ago.

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