Ebay Classic organs

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

New Methodist hymnal to straddle the fence?

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Several comments rolled together...

    a la cart (sic?) hymnals - The idea scares me. I think it would be a race to the lowest common denominator in most congregations. I like the idea of an accomplished music committee vetting hymns for liturgical and theological correctness as well as introducing new hymns. I grew up in a rural area and attended the local Methodist church just a couple of miles down the road. The congregation had dwindled so that it never had more than 15 people in attendance. The "pianist" knew how to play only two hymns, "I have a mansion over the hilltop" and one other that I fortunately cannot remember, and she played those miserably slowly. By the time I was in 6th grade I could play anything in the Methodist hymnal by sight, but the congregation would not even consider singing anything else. About that time I started organ lessons and started going to the Lutheran church in town where I took lessons. That congregation is no longer there.

    New hymns - I really dislike praise songs, but I think too many people conflate praise song with "any hymn that I didn't grow up with." There are a lot of undeserving older hymns that people cling to, and there is no reason to carry those forward into new hymnals. There are also a lot of newer hymns that are well written both musically and lyrically and deserve a chance to speak to the congregation. Older hymns don't deserve any special reverence just because they are old, or even because they are liked. Even the currently old hymns were newly adopted once, and probably had to go through the same complaints about being new, in a new style ("can't stand anything not plain-song..."), not in the approved language, etc..

    Comment


    • #17
      Can't disagree with you much on that, CW. Every hymn we sing was once "new" and possibly "controversial." And indeed some great hymns are being written today, along with some amazing choral music. Much of it seems likely to stand the test of time and be passed down to other generations. Such music springs from dedicated, knowledgeable, seriously prepared musicians. There are still folks like that in the world of church music, though it's the "rock stars" who get the most attention (and the most cash, I suppose).

      But the praise song that David and I both referred to above is certainly not one that will stand the test of time, nor will it likely be in use 10 years hence, if indeed it's even still being sung in this era of throw-away "worship" music. Hackneyed and trite, silly rhyme scheme and all, which can also be said of a number of songs of this type that have had their "day" in church. Funny how churches will go gaga over some song like that and sing it every Sunday for six months because "it's so deep" or "it speaks the truth" or "it just connects me to God." And then just as quickly it's gone, replaced by another equally catchy and ephemeral tune.

      So, the approach apparently being taken in this new hymnal seems to make some sense -- a core of well-chosen hymns of undoubted usefulness and theological integrity, supplemented by a chooseable set of "new" songs that may appeal to a particular congregation but which would not find use in other congregations. Sounds like a good selling point for churches considering a hymnal upgrade.

      But in reality, hymnals seem to get replaced every 20 years or so, and for good reasons. Tastes do change, new music gets written, some hymns or gospel songs go out of fashion or outlive their usefulness. The covers come off, the pages get torn or dog-eared. A new generation of musical leadership within a denomination re-studies the theological and social implications of the hymnic heritage they are handed and may feel the need to re-shuffle things a little. And that's OK. Still, published and definitive hymnals serve a great purpose in each denomination. They offer up a statement of where the church is and what it stands for at given points in history. A loosely defined hymnal such as the one being proposed may not do that so well.

      But that's the trend. Just like printed books giving way to e-books, nothing is quite as permanent as we once thought. How long before churches start putting e-readers into the pews (as a sop to those who dislike screens and want to hold something in their hands). All the readers can be wirelessly networked, so the worship leaders can "install" the hymns of the week, edited as needed, with or without musical notes. Leave out the stanzas they don't want to use that week.

      And then nothing need be permanent. If a new pastor comes along who wants to neuter every hymn, it's a snap to download fresh words for everybody to sing. The next guy wants to return to traditional texts, no problem. But something about all this makes me slightly queasy.
      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


      • #18
        John,

        Nicely written and stated. I was partially sounding off on other threads which tend to go down the "I did not grow up with it and therefore I don't like it" road. What I grew up with was so limited that that road is not even an option. It also comes from a belief that the more musically adept should be more open at least to trying new music, not rejecting it "just because." In honesty though, for me praise music is far enough outside my taste that I really don't want even to sample it - it really leaves me cold.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by davidecasteel View Post
          I despise the trend to just project the words of hymns and worship songs onto screens, because as yet there is no viable way to include the music portion along with the words. Without the music presentation, the tendency is to sing only "songs" with simple tunes and no harmony.

          David
          I'm not Methodist, but can the average congregant read music? If not, why clutter their view?

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Soapm View Post
            I'm not Methodist, but can the average congregant read music? If not, why clutter their view?
            Well, for one thing, general music instruction is disappearing from our schools. The hymnals they find in the church pews may be some kids' first exposure to printed music. It may help them to realize that tunes don't just rain down from the clouds or just be something that adults in the church just happen to mysteriously KNOW. They may learn that music has a language, a shape, and a form. The strength of convention makes it portable. It can sound pretty much the same in Pretoria and in Pasadena. If we want them interested in hymns, we need to expose them to them. The schools may only teach them "Go dogs" and how to march and toot in support of the almighty money-making Friday evening concussion activity.
            -- I'm Lamar -- Allen TC-4 Classic project, 1899 Kimball project
            -- Rodgers W5000, Juno DS-61/88, FA-06 - Conn 643 - Hammond M3, E112, L-102
            -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Silken Path View Post
              Well, for one thing, general music instruction is disappearing from our schools. The hymnals they find in the church pews may be some kids' first exposure to printed music. It may help them to realize that tunes don't just rain down from the clouds or just be something that adults in the church just happen to mysteriously KNOW. They may learn that music has a language, a shape, and a form. The strength of convention makes it portable. It can sound pretty much the same in Pretoria and in Pasadena. If we want them interested in hymns, we need to expose them to them. The schools may only teach them "Go dogs" and how to march and toot in support of the almighty money-making Friday evening concussion activity.
              What world are you living in? I was born in 62 and we were not taught to read music unless we took band. I took drums, not sure if that's bass or treble cleft... Certainly looking in a Hymnal won't teach anyone anything about printed music. Most of us look in the Hymnal for the words and think that other stuff is for the musicians. I never in 53 years felt obligated to try and read the music???

              But then again, I'm not Methodist. As for four part harmony, it was always taught by our musicians. They hit a note and say, "Soprano's, this is your note..." We'd then get more than four part harmony just from the Soprano's... Then you have people like me who sing filler, that's where you have a few people who can actually carry a tune, the rest of the choir is just singing filler... Music only the Heavenly father can be proud of... Now that's praise...

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Soapm View Post
                I was born in 62 and we were not taught to read music unless we took band.
                Right. That's the only type of music instruction that was available in my high school, too. But in my mom's era, piano instruction was offered during and after school hours... in that same high school. More folks had pianos at home and kids were exposed to music that way. Some band rooms even had a Hammond or other organ.

                I heard that one Hammond salesman used to keep a stack of hymnals and made it a practice to demonstrate that any organ, including a tricked-up spinet, could do an admirable job playing hymns. (I took a 1956 Baptist Hymnal with me to my piano lessons.)

                I still think that one reason to have hymnals in the pews is to expose kids to printed music. I didn't say they'd be taught to READ music, but something might rub off on them while they're singing their little hearts out.
                -- I'm Lamar -- Allen TC-4 Classic project, 1899 Kimball project
                -- Rodgers W5000, Juno DS-61/88, FA-06 - Conn 643 - Hammond M3, E112, L-102
                -- Public domain hymn search: https://songselect.ccli.com/search/r...t=publicdomain

                Comment


                • #23
                  I'd say that a combination of factors has led to the decline of music education and music reading. The removal of hymnals from our pews is in some ways part of the cause, but it's also just another symptom of the decline of our civilization. It has been true for several decades that few people actually know how to read the notes on the staff, but the projection of just words on the wall represents a final caving in to the dumbing down of church music that has been going on for a long time. Surrender to the know-nothing attitude we have been sold by the for-profit worship mills.

                  Once upon a time, a great many Baptist (and surely Methodist and other) churches had "graded choirs" that actually taught children, from an early age, how to decode the music on the pages of the hymnal. Pre-schoolers were shown how the notes "go up and down" on the five lines and how you make your voice go up and down to match. A little older and they began to sing scales, guess at intervals and get better at it over time. By 3rd grade they were singing two-part music, and by junior high they were singing three or four parts, reading the music quite skillfully.

                  Adults were often given refresher courses in reading the staff and decoding the hymnal. I can remember teaching a few classes like that back in the 70's and 80's -- having a four-week Sunday night study on the hymnal and how to use it. Once I remember my church having a week-long "music school" taught by a young lady from one of our denominational colleges. In four nights she introduced basic note-reading skills and had a group of adults singing (even if a little poorly) four-part harmony out of the hymnal!

                  Does anything like this happen in any of our churches these days? I doubt it, not very many of them at least. We do have summer "camps" for young musicians, but it seems to me, from what I see reported on Facebook about these things, they are at least to some extent about "drama" and such, letting kids go hog wild and have a blast learning to "worship" in ways that would probably not fly back home in real church. Yes, there will be end-of-week concerts and recitals, and kids can sing amazingly well with just a little instruction, but how many churches are going to keep kids interested in singing the other 51 weeks of the year?

                  So we have an utter failure within local churches, and we have a terrible attitude expressed toward music and the arts in general by the folks who hold the purse strings of the public schools. It's all about math-science-technology, with a smattering of interest in "literacy" which means learning to read and write acceptably. Where is the emphasis on our literary heritage? Do kids even study history?

                  Those who drive educational policy today are all too often completely uninterested in musical training as a meaningful mental and psychological discipline that in fact helps kids grow up to be whole and wholesome human beings. It's as if they are only interested in stuffing the kids heads with something to help them "make a living" when they get out of school, but not "make a life."

                  Don't have a ready solution for all this either.
                  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


                  • #24
                    Hi all,

                    Since we have drifted a little from the original topic to young people (children, teenagers, young adults) and music, I will add a small contribution to the discussion regarding young people and music.

                    I think that many young people's working definition of music is not the same as that of previous generations. I'm not referring to "the textbook" definition of music, rather what a young person thinks of when hearing the word "music." Let me illustrate with an example. Once at church I was helping to teach some children a song. To help them hear the melody, I was playing just the melody on the piano. One child said, "That's not music." So, I added some accompaniment, he still insisted that it was not music. I think, to him, music was a professional recording with various instruments, parts, etc, most likely country or pop music. This child might not consider Beethoven's Fifth Symphony "music."

                    While some of the blame for young people's misunderstanding of the definition of music can be placed on the educational system, I think that another factor that contributes greatly to this misunderstanding is the availability of and easy access to recorded music. Many in the younger generation are virtually always listening to music on an iPod, smart phone, etc. To many of them music may just be a massed-produced "product" to be consumed. Many may not have a concept that they can "make" music. Since they cannot make a pen, for example, they conclude they cannot make music, especially since they cannot sound like the recordings they have heard.

                    The working definition of words changes over time which makes younger generations have a different perception than older generations. For example, when "phone" is mentioned to a young person, he/she immediately thinks of a cell phone (most likely a smart phone). However, to someone in an older generation, he/she will think of a hard-wired phone with a cord perhaps hanging on a wall or sitting on a table. At some point, many of these working definitions will become "the textbook" definitions.

                    Just some food for thought.

                    Later,
                    Allen
                    Currently own: Roland Atelier AT-90, Yamaha 115D, Roland DP-90SE, Yamaha PSR-S910

                    YouTube Channel

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Another point about "dumbing" down. Schools no longer teach cursive writing. How kids will sign their names isn't considered.
                      But back to the thread. As a Methodist I guess I can make some comments. Our diversity makes a single hymnal a very elusive thing. My church has a traditional service and a contemporary service. Those who go to one, typically aren't interested in the other. Yes and I find most contemporary church music lacking. One Sunday after the service I spoke to our organist. I told him that while he did an excellent job with the hymn based on Finlandia, but he did have something to work with. Now the other hymn was a contemporary one (an earlier pastor was trying to introduce more contemporary music) and I told the organist he did a great job with little to work with. His reply was "I went to Kindergarten".
                      My congregation is unusual and has more than a few of us singing in four parts. A couple of years ago at Easter the organist played the Hallelujah Chorus for a postlude. He was planning to do it as a solo. Once he started the congregation picked it up on their own and sang. And yes you could hear all four parts. But we are the exception, for example, our senior pastor can and has performed excellently things like the Widor Toccata. Anyway it does prove at least some Methodist congregations can and do sing well.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I don't mind *new hymns* - lest anyone think I criticize them when I bash praise anthems. I can say that Brian Wren, Fred Pratt Green and Fred Kaan are/were more-than-competent hymnists of the last 50 years.

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X