In May 2019, I wrote a post on Chinese worship music in which I introduced a project by theologian Scott Callaham to compose Chinese hymns. Scott had introduced his work in a paper published in Artistic Theologian, titled “Sing to the LORD a New Song (in Chinese)! An L2 Songwriting Experience at the Intersection of Faith and Scholarship.”
Scott has now compiled his compositions into a hymnbook titled 《心中音乐》(Xin Zhong Yinyue, Songs from the Heart). Songs from the Heart includes 41 hymns written in Chinese with Western music notation, Chinese-style numerical notation, and guitar chords for each hymn.
Here is the description from the publisher:
This collection of Songs from the Heart is a thank offering of worship songs that arises from the very core of the composer’s being. Scott’s prayer and hope is that these modern hymns would encourage Chinese churches the world over to believe the gospel, experience revival, proclaim the precious message of the Bible, and through the power of the Holy Spirit carry out the Great Commission, “that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve” (Daniel 7:14) our redeemer Jesus Christ, the world’s one and only hope.
I recently talked with Scott to find out more about how a former submariner from Texas ended up composing hymns in Chinese. I posed three questions:
- Can you briefly describe this hymnal?
- How did it come about?
- Who is it written for? Who will most benefit from it?
You can watch the interview here:
The songs (MP3) can be purchased and downloaded from GlossaHouse.
Scott wants to make the hymnbook widely available to churches in the mainland. If you have friends or partners in China you would like to share this resource with, please contact Scott directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Finally, Scott’s Vimeo channel is here.
I thank Scott for taking the time to talk with me and pray that God will use these songs to bless and encourage churches in China.
Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio
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