Saturday, July 26, 2008

The “Hillsongization” of church music?

First came a wonderful essay called “The Slow Death of Congregational Singing” by Australian blogger Michael Raiter in April 2008 over at a blog called The Briefing. Then Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk (albeit a Baptist one), published what he called a “riff” on the article on his own blog, Each article sparked many intriguing, even provocative, comments that are also worth reading. Now Michael has singled out one comment by Tom Schwegel and posted it separately under the title “Why Contemporary Music Makes Congregational Singing So Difficult”, and it has spawned its own set of comments.

As a pianist and organist for many years, I find the subject fascinating, and I have my own opinions, of course. I’m not going to force you to read these articles and comments by posting them here, but I have included links to them so that if you are the least bit interested to know what others are thinking on the subject you can spend an entire afternoon reading lo, their many thoughts, if you like. And if you’re not the least bit interested, wait a little while and another post, God willing, will come along soon.

You're welcome.


  1. Oh, I like to be somewhat progressively-minded, but I've not been impressed with the music in contemporary-style church services. I grew up on good old four-part harmony hymns and cannot shake my love for them. I almost cried when I visited my daughter's contemporary church and had to try and sing along with the praise band up front, and with no hymnal in my hands. It was awful, I tell you.


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  2. I thought I was pretty contemporary, and so is my husband (he writes music, which I actually think is pretty good), until we visiting the contemporary worship service of another church of our denomination when we were on vacation. Huge huge church with a lot of services and things to do; nobody sang with the praise band as far as I could tell.

    Made me feel like an old fuddy duddy.

    The MOST important thing to me is that people sing; oh, and that the music and lyrics are pretty good, too.