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  • #31
    Could you imagine what some regular mega church goers would think of people like us: For many years after a flood damaged our church and hymnals we quit singing (I think the habit was simply broken somehow, I don't think it was because the flood made us feel bad or anything). We happily went to various other places that would hold us: a hotel event room, and a long term location being a club house at an apartment complex. After the church was fixed we still rarely sang, we must have forgotten about it. We would go to church, sit inside silently praying, waiting, reading until mass started. Then we would do what we came to do, and then go outside to talk and have some breakfast.

    Eventually we remembered that we used to sing, so we started occasionally singing some songs we still remembered while we saved up to buy hymnals. I was taught singing is like praying twice, probably because of the extra effort involved, and how it sounds pleasing to us, which in the bible there are cases where worldly pleasure of certain kinds was encouraged to be part of religious celebrations. It's likely to help us associate good things with God, because singing probably doesn't exactly sound good or bad to Him, nor does he need it. I do like certain music in church though, some of the prayers we sing, and I do like my peace and quiet too. The organ certainly can make the music sound better by adding extra voices other than human voices. It also acts as a good tool for intos to help everyone start at the same time, and it acts as an extra cue to help us know what note and word comes when. We only recently got ours a couple years ago. Occasionally we might use a little keyboard or something to help the singing, but I think someone who got bit by the organ bug went and bought the Allen 430 we have now. But, now the people huddled around the organ play stuff out of the hymnal we are not familiar with, so 90% of the time they are the only ones singing. I don't see anyone particularly bothered by what we do. Our attendance numbers come and go as people move and travel and convert and such. They seem to come for the substance of what happens, not the singing and music. And, rarely do we get any sermon of consolation, usually it's bout nitty gritty down to earth substance that could make us feel either good or bad.
    Allen 530A

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    • #32
      http://www.theimaginativeconservativ...asniewski.html
      John
      ----------
      *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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      • #33
        I have not given much thought yet on why such music doesn't belong in a church, but nothing is good or evil of itself. Sound is just sound. I often don't like the words in rock or pop music, but some of them are pretty good sounding when you don't pay attention to the words. One hit wonders are pretty good, not perfect. Such music is far from what is traditionally used in churches, and maybe it doesn't really belong there, but it isn't necessarily bad. Most rock music though is just a bunch of noise and nonsense lyrics, usually involving evil or anti Christian themes.
        Allen 530A

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        • #34
          Somewhat Off Topic:

          Several years back, I almost had a laughing fit in a medium-priced restaurant in a fashionable area of Pasadena, California.

          I was in the middle of my meal when I suddenly realized that the "musak" (sp?) was playing the punk-rock song entitled "Teenage Enema Nurses in Bondage."

          I assume that this was an innocent programming error(?).

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
            A few quotes:

            "The history of modern music, whether atonal or jazz or rock or pop, is a history of deliberate rebellion and revolt against the great tradition of Western music, against its high art forms, its slowly-developed musical language, its explicitly or implicitly Christian message."
            Artists, of all kinds, rebel against the status quo. That's how art evolves and reflects contemporary needs and concerns. Polyphony replaced chant, baroque replaced high renaissance, chordal harmony replaced counterpoint. Classical structures replaced the baroque. Beethoven pushed the classical form into the Romantic era. Wagner pushed the Romantic idiom to its limit making room for the impressionists, like Debussy and Ravel, and so on.

            While one can certainly say that lyrics do or do not reflect church values, concluding that a certain styles of music are antithetical to those values is not supported by history or logic. If we take the author's position, Gregorian chant is the only acceptable church music.

            I don't think there's any basis for, and disagree with, the premise of the first sentence. This is just an expression of the author's musical preference and prejudice - a prejudice, by the way that favors the musical tradition in White churches and dismisses the tradition of Gospel Music in Black churches with the same broad brush.

            Whether the music is spiritual and resonates with the soul is entirely based on one's perception, environment, culture and personal history. Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman resonated with my parents, the Beatles and the Stones with me and my brothers, Rhianna and Jay-Z with today's generation.

            I find the opening chorus of Bach's St. Matthew Passion intensely moving and spiritual, while wanting to run the other way whenever I hear Amazing Grace. Is the contrast between today's contemporary Christian music and Amazing Grace any greater? I'd argue that it is far less so.

            "In sum: Due to its origins in a repudiation of the Christian cultural inheritance, its continual appeal to the appetites of the flesh, its negation of the dimension of mystery, and its consequent poverty of artistic expression, contemporary popular music cannot be suitable matter for the process of inculturation; rather, it is a formidable obstacle to the conversion of souls and the creation of a true Christian culture."
            Ragtime - It's the devil's music.
            Jazz - It's the devils music.
            Swing - It's the devils music.
            Rock 'n Roll - It's the devils music.
            Disco - It's the devils music
            Hip Hop - It's the devils music
            EDM - It's the devils music.
            Contemporary Christian - It's the devils music.

            No, they're not. They're music, and it means to you what it means to you. Cultural origins are irrelevant because cultural meanings change.

            I've stated in the past, and most recently in this thread, that I don't care for contemporary church music, but in all honestly, I believe that's due to the religious tradition in which I was raised and my musical preferences. I think there's an importance in tradition and ritual, but that's what resonates with me. I think it would be presumptuous of me to expect the path to spirituality to be the same for a kid who began interaction with computers at three years old compared to me who remembers that our first phone didn't have a dial no less a touch screen.

            Whether contemporary musical forms in church are going to win souls and congregants is open to debate, but I think it's nonsense, and probably ineffectual, to attempt stigmatize it in the author's terms.
            Last edited by Admin; 07-29-2017, 11:26 AM.
            -Admin

            Allen 965
            Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
            Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
            Hauptwerk 4.2

            Comment


            • #36
              First, let me share a quote from someone past--Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. I wonder if this isn't what's happening here?

              Originally posted by Nutball View Post
              We want music, so we'll just bang on some drums cuz they make a lot of noise you can hear and feel, and strum guitars since those are pretty modern, but we don't have a logical mind to compose and play masterpieces.
              When the first cathedrals began using a clerestory and later stained glass windows, it was a marvel of "modern" technology that alchemists could mix certain chemicals in glass to create the colors, and thereby create works of sacred art in the stained glass of churches. It was a means of letting the light of God from the heavens into the church for some, while I'm sure some of the parishioners of the time thought it "sinful" and refused to worship in such places.

              Similarly, in some Medieval cathedrals where the first church organs were placed, they could be heard outside the building, often far away. Because the organ was a "modern" mechanical marvel of the time, I wonder how many chose to worship in those cathedrals specifically because of the organ, and how many refused because it was an overbearing sound in their otherwise quiet lives?

              Originally posted by Organfella View Post
              The personal question I always ask myself when confronted with issues concerning these "expressions" of faith is: Does this activity really glorify God or does it glorify the "performers"?
              Nico,

              My sentiments exactly! My standard for use of music (of any style) in the church is: If a person were to walk in the back door of the church, hear that one piece and then walk out, would (s)he know why they were there? The music in church needs to have a message, clearly communicate that message, edify (lift up) the listener, and not obfuscate that message for a potential first-time visitor. Just Sunday, we had a fellow from another town who come into the church at the beginning of the sermon, sat in the back pew, and left after speaking to the pastor. He was just driving around, and thought he'd stop in and see what was going on. He related to the pastor he would probably be back. We'll find out tomorrow. Did the music clearly communicate and/or reinforce the pastor's sermon, or did it contradict what was said? I hope it was the former rather than the latter.

              Originally posted by Nutball View Post
              Could you imagine what some regular mega church goers would think of people like us: For many years after a flood damaged our church and hymnals we quit singing (I think the habit was simply broken somehow, I don't think it was because the flood made us feel bad or anything).
              [snip]
              After the church was fixed we still rarely sang, we must have forgotten about it.
              [snip again]
              Eventually we remembered that we used to sing, so we started occasionally singing some songs we still remembered while we saved up to buy hymnals.
              Nutball, your (heavily edited) statement reinforces my first question. In fact, that's why I thought about the application of that time-worn quote I started with, and its applicability here.

              Originally posted by Nutball View Post
              I have not given much thought yet on why such music doesn't belong in a church, but nothing is good or evil of itself.
              Is that true or false? I used to agree it was true until I worked with a prison for a period of time. I have seen music transform the listener in both directions. I guess the inherent "goodness" or "evilness" of man is reflected in one's philosophical viewpoint of the origins of man.
              • Is a child born in sin and taught to be good (as indicated in 1 Corinthians 15:22--as in Adam, all have sinned--doctrine of original sin),
              • Is a child born good and taught to be evil (all are made in the image of God--Genesis & Romans), or
              • Is a child born as a blank slate (tabula rasa--Darwin & Psychological theorists) and becomes a product of his/her environment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabula_rasa--Locke's theory)?
              • Extrapolated, is the music (a product) created by man inherently good, evil, or to be determined?
              Take the argument away from music and apply it to, let's say, guns, knives, cars, cell phones, etc. Are these tangible products inherently good, evil, or blank? Rather, is it the person using them or the person on the receiving end of those products that determines the inherent goodness, evilness, or blankness of the product?

              Interesting philosophical discussions. These discussions have been had for years. I know what I believe, but am absolutely certain I won't be able to sway a person who believes otherwise. Further, it's probably a waste of my time trying to continue in that endeavor. Meanwhile, I continue to believe what I believe, use my music to the best of my ability to the glory of God (I certainly don't enjoy music), and hope it edifies someone else in the process. Personally, I get very little enjoyment from music and can take it or leave it. On the other hand, I've seen too many instances where music has positive/negative effects of people to deny that certain music has a certain power over a vast number of people. I've seen it as a tool (like the guns, etc. I referenced before), and have resolved (chosen) to use it for good rather than evil.

              Bottom line, can anything be sinful--including "good" music? Yes, if it takes the place of God in your life, or becomes a god to you. Just my opinion.

              Michael

              P.S. This is General Chat or the Grease Pit, isn't it?
              Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
              • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
              • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
              • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Admin View Post
                ... Beethoven pushed the classical form into the Romantic error. ...
                Beautiful! LOL

                (though I DO enjoy Romantic music, too.)

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by regeron View Post
                  Beautiful! LOL

                  (though I DO enjoy Romantic music, too.)
                  Ha! Corrected the typo.
                  -Admin

                  Allen 965
                  Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
                  Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
                  Hauptwerk 4.2

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    I we are currently living in one of those "errors"!
                    John
                    ----------
                    *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
                      I we are currently living in one of those "errors"!
                      "I we" agree.

                      Maybe "I we" should create a Typos & Spell Check Forum for this thread.
                      Last edited by Admin; 07-29-2017, 03:43 PM.
                      -Admin

                      Allen 965
                      Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
                      Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
                      Hauptwerk 4.2

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
                        I just have to wonder what "church" is going to look like in 10 or 15 years, whether there will be a place within driving distance to hear authentic music and worship with the time-honored acts of worship. If not, I don't know what I will be doing on Sunday mornings.
                        Going back to the original thought, church (and a lot of society) WILL look very different in 10 or 15 years, in various ways and for various reasons. Here's some of what I think will cause changes in the church:

                        - Current problems/differences of understanding:
                        --- What the church thinks the unchurched need VS. what the unchurched think they need.
                        --- What the church thinks they're offering VS. what the unchurched think the church is offering.
                        --- In an effort to NOT be like another demonination or even non-christian faith group, christians focus on the things that separate them from everyone else, and assume that christianity is unique in areas where it is not. False boasting like this and failing to give other faith groups even a bit of credit for their thoughts and actions is often a sign of either ignorance or insecurity. Even when christians share spiritual practices with other non-christian religions, they will refuse to say that the non-christians engage in spiritual practice. For example, my minister would never say "whether you are christian, jewish, muslim, hindu, or anything else, here is what prayer is like and this is what you can do to improve it." Instead of finding a way to improve the spiritual life of everyone in the room, no matter their religious background, he would either avoid the topic, or present it as if ONLY WE have the answer, and even if other groups might do it the same way, they are still wrong. The spirituality of christian leaders is so limited that they are unable or unwilling to offer spiritual guidance that can go beyond the bounds of their own limited faith.
                        --- Related to this - Christian spirituality is often not mature enough or broad enough to be spiritual beyond the bounds of christian thought. This actually limits the potential of their spiritual lives.
                        --- In today's society, no one kills their best calf when they think they've commited a big no-no, so our idea of sacrifice is not the bible's idea of sacrifice. Why would we need Jesus to substitute for an animal when we wouldn't have sacrificed an animal in the first place?
                        --- Too many christians don't think that non-christians can do anything good. I once saw an act of kindness, done by someone whom I assumed to not be a christian, judging by clothing and attitude, yet he helped a little old lady get on the bus in the kindest of ways. I told a minister about this and said that "christians could sometimes learn from non-christians about how to behave." He nearly had a heart-attack. In his mind, there was no way that a non-christian could do anything good, or that a christian could learn from a non-christian.

                        As well, the church has been caught in a trap, defending the bible in ways that it shouldn't:
                        --- The bible is supposed to be divinely inspired, but it's contradictions are too obvious.
                        --- It has been used to try to refute science in ways that don't make sense. The bible was never intended to be a science textbook. To treat it as such is simply wrong. Young people see this. And when they see believers continuing to treat it scientifically, many young people will avoid people who can't separate truth from fiction.
                        [The flip side of this problem is - Christians will refute scientific thought and advancement as being opposed to the will of God, and though they promote prayer as the REAL solution to all our problems, the minute one of them gets sick, they're in the hospital demanding the most up-to-date medical treatments. Then, if they recover from whatever malady they had, they credit the prayer part and give no credit to the scientific and medical advances as such. They would also never try to be healed according to scripture. Read Leviticus 14: 1-32]
                        --- The bible is supposed to present models of moral living, but includes God-initiated genocide, sexism, racism, incest, etc, but christians refuse to acknowledge this. It is said that an "elephant in the room" represents an obvious problem that no one wants to challenge. The church has more than one elephant in its room.
                        --- Christians will demand that libraries not carry books that contain the things listed in the previous line, yet these same thoughts are acceptable when the book cover reads "holy bible".
                        --- Too many christians don't know half of what the bible really says about anything. Most have never read it through from cover to cover.
                        --- Many christians will also not allow spiritual teachings to be learned from anything but the bible.

                        - Changes in societal activity:
                        --- Young people are not learning to sing or play musical instruments as they have in the past. Technology has replaced the time and desire needed to learn and master any skill. The same applies to handwork, eg. needlework, woodwork, mechanics, cooking, gardening. The future will see a shortage of skilled labor in certain fields.
                        --- Technology also allows for 'chance success' and doesn't necessarily encourage success based on skill. For example, we used to have to learn how to compose a good photograph because you only had a certain amount of film. Now, you can take 1,000 photos, then go through to pick the one that happens to be the best. The success is almost accidental rather than intentional. Some will say the same is true of writing music or words, that the use of pen and paper will get better results than using computer programs. Because I try not to judge "the tool", I will allow that for some people, use of the computer makes the exploration of imagination possible in a way that pen and paper can't. I also understand that digital photography offers creative options that hadn't been available before.
                        --- A reduced interest in classical music and classical literature, in part because what's most easily available to people on their electronic devices does not represent these fields. They also require you to develop a broader vocabulary and understanding; a lot of us are simply too lazy to learn and expand our understanding.
                        --- Art in general is being ignored.
                        --- Surroundings are also being ignored. In my community, I see so many people outside on a beautiful day and their full attention is on the technology in their hands. They are unaware (some are COMPLETELY unaware) of the people and things around them.
                        --- FOMO - the Fear Of Missing Out - People are afraid of not being there to answer that phone call, of not reading the latest about whoever/whatever interests them, of not having friends. They are not learning to be content with what they have. Not that we shouldn't strive, but there has to be a balance and the striving should be for something of value, not to appease an insecurity.
                        --- Religious holidays have been hijacked by commercialism and materialism. And they often don't reflect what the bible says about the events that initiated the celebration.
                        --- In some places, the church's alignment with certain political and economic ideologies has simply made them look bad.
                        Last edited by regeron; 07-29-2017, 12:58 PM.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Admin View Post
                          ...

                          Ragtime - It's the devil's music.
                          Jazz - It's the devils music.
                          Swing - It's the devils music.
                          Rock 'n Roll - It's the devils music.
                          Disco - It's the devils music
                          Hip Hop - It's the devils music
                          EDM - It's the devils music.
                          Contemporary Christian - It's the devils music.

                          ...
                          Holy cow, that Devil sure is musical!

                          Admin - I thoroughly enjoyed your post (perhaps because I heartily agree). - OneWatt

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            So modern artists are rebelling? I feel like I'm rebelling against the modern rebels, and tending toward tradition.

                            There have been times when I'm inspired to see God when listening to rock or pop. I rarely pay attention to the words. Most of the time I couldn't understand what they were saying, it's just the general sounds I'd listen to. Anyway, I'd be inspired toward good thoughts by how such pleasuring sounds can exist, and if God is existance, then what great music I just heard was only an infinitely small piece of God, and so then how much better could music and other things be than what I know to exist so far.

                            I have found almost everybody seems to put the lyrics in highest importance, then you get a lot of lyric based music with potentially good words, but plain and lacking music quality. I put priority on music, words just add an extra characteristic with the different voices and vowels and syllables
                            Allen 530A

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by myorgan View Post
                              First, let me share a quote from someone past--Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. I wonder if this isn't what's happening here?

                              When the first cathedrals began using a clerestory and later stained glass windows, it was a marvel of "modern" technology that alchemists could mix certain chemicals in glass to create the colors, and thereby create works of sacred art in the stained glass of churches. It was a means of letting the light of God from the heavens into the church for some, while I'm sure some of the parishioners of the time thought it "sinful" and refused to worship in such places.

                              Similarly, in some Medieval cathedrals where the first church organs were placed, they could be heard outside the building, often far away. Because the organ was a "modern" mechanical marvel of the time, I wonder how many chose to worship in those cathedrals specifically because of the organ, and how many refused because it was an overbearing sound in their otherwise quiet lives?

                              Nico,

                              My sentiments exactly! My standard for use of music (of any style) in the church is: If a person were to walk in the back door of the church, hear that one piece and then walk out, would (s)he know why they were there? The music in church needs to have a message, clearly communicate that message, edify (lift up) the listener, and not obfuscate that message for a potential first-time visitor. Just Sunday, we had a fellow from another town who come into the church at the beginning of the sermon, sat in the back pew, and left after speaking to the pastor. He was just driving around, and thought he'd stop in and see what was going on. He related to the pastor he would probably be back. We'll find out tomorrow. Did the music clearly communicate and/or reinforce the pastor's sermon, or did it contradict what was said? I hope it was the former rather than the latter.

                              Nutball, your (heavily edited) statement reinforces my first question. In fact, that's why I thought about the application of that time-worn quote I started with, and its applicability here.

                              Is that true or false? I used to agree it was true until I worked with a prison for a period of time. I have seen music transform the listener in both directions. I guess the inherent "goodness" or "evilness" of man is reflected in one's philosophical viewpoint of the origins of man.
                              • Is a child born in sin and taught to be good (as indicated in 1 Corinthians 15:22--as in Adam, all have sinned--doctrine of original sin),
                              • Is a child born good and taught to be evil (all are made in the image of God--Genesis & Romans), or
                              • Is a child born as a blank slate (tabula rasa--Darwin & Psychological theorists) and becomes a product of his/her environment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabula_rasa--Locke's theory)?
                              • Extrapolated, is the music (a product) created by man inherently good, evil, or to be determined?

                              Take the argument away from music and apply it to, let's say, guns, knives, cars, cell phones, etc. Are these tangible products inherently good, evil, or blank? Rather, is it the person using them or the person on the receiving end of those products that determines the inherent goodness, evilness, or blankness of the product?

                              Interesting philosophical discussions. These discussions have been had for years. I know what I believe, but am absolutely certain I won't be able to sway a person who believes otherwise. Further, it's probably a waste of my time trying to continue in that endeavor. Meanwhile, I continue to believe what I believe, use my music to the best of my ability to the glory of God (I certainly don't enjoy music), and hope it edifies someone else in the process. Personally, I get very little enjoyment from music and can take it or leave it. On the other hand, I've seen too many instances where music has positive/negative effects of people to deny that certain music has a certain power over a vast number of people. I've seen it as a tool (like the guns, etc. I referenced before), and have resolved (chosen) to use it for good rather than evil.

                              Bottom line, can anything be sinful--including "good" music? Yes, if it takes the place of God in your life, or becomes a god to you. Just my opinion.

                              Michael

                              P.S. This is General Chat or the Grease Pit, isn't it?
                              Michael,

                              Fascinating that you don't get much enjoyment out of music...and you are an organist! What is that like? I guess I just naturally assume that anyone who is serious about an instrument (serious enough to be part of an organist forum) would enjoy music to some degree. Regardless, I appreciated your comments.
                              Craig

                              Hammond L143 with Leslie 760

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by musikfan View Post
                                Fascinating that you don't get much enjoyment out of music...and you are an organist! What is that like? I guess I just naturally assume that anyone who is serious about an instrument (serious enough to be part of an organist forum) would enjoy music to some degree.
                                Indeed. When saw your post I was sure you were being deliberately obtuse until I read Michael's post again. Yikes. He really left no doubt there. I hope he doesn't keep us waiting long for clarification.

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