"To Be or Not to Be, That Is the Question"

No, I'm not contemplating suicide like Hamlet did in Shakespeare's famous play.  I've only been at this doctorate for three weeks, and I have still to get into the real work.  Rather, I'm contemplating the QUESTION. What is my question?  Specifically, what question will my research answer?

We have been warned that we will go through many drafts of our research question before we settle on the final one.  In three weeks I have already gone through 10 drafts.  Another professor warned us that getting the question right is crucial to your success in getting the degree.  He said he believes getting the question right is one-third of your degree.  Wow, that puts it in a very important light.

So, I've been wrestling with the question.  Before I came to Research Induction School at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, my question was something like," Why is there such a lack of indigenous worship music in Songhai churches?"  After I arrived, that quickly morphed into, "Is there a culturally-appropriate, Biblically-based form of worship music (for church) that is distinctly Songhai?  If so, what is it?"  After nine revisions, the question now sounds more like this: "How can the discipline of ethnomusicology inform and speak to the issue of a lack of indigenous worship music amongst the Songhai?"  The latter question may include the two previous questions and several of the in-between revisions.  

And so the question goes on.  This one or that one.  That wording or this one.  To be or not...to be continued.....

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