Modern worship songs are good

HugalHugal Shipmate
I do get frustrated with people on here who go on about modern worship songs being bad. They are not. Many have as much depth as a hymn if not more than some.
Things change. There was worship music before the great hymns. Many songs don’t last. There are thousands of hymns that nobody sings any more.
Not all hymns are good. Some are trite and stereotypical.
Give modern worship songs a break. They are for now. Like hymns some will last some will not.
BTW the choruses from the 80s are not modern. Shine Jesus Shine is old, and was written to be sung on the street. So is easy to understand both lyrically an musically
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Comments

  • Sounds like you are on the wrong board if you're wanting people to agree with you, Hugal.

    By the way, what 'worship songs' do you have in mind that predate hymns?

    The modern worship song or chorus has its roots in the 1800s. I'm not aware of any that go back further, unless we are talking about some 'ranter' style religio-political songs from the time of the Civil Wars of the 17th century.

    Given that some hymns are modernisations of 8th and 9th century Latin chants, it can't be claimed that worship songs predate those.

    Get your facts straight and your musical tastes sorted ... ;)

  • It's also true that many hymns/songs - of whatever period - are to some people Spiritual Sustenance, whilst to others they are Toxic Tosh.
  • *fetches popcorn*
  • Good idea - I'll see if I've got any sossidge-inna-bun for sale...
  • Although not a great devotee of worship songs, I largely agree with what you say. After all, Wesley wrote thousands of hymns, the vast majority of which are long forgotten; equally, the Moody and Sankey Gospel music was of its time and, in many cases, pretty dire and heavily criticised by the musical establishment. But that has always been the case when it comes to "music of the people".

    I do tend to feel that - quite apart from commercial considerations which constantly require new music to be produced - there is a novelty-led demand for new stuff which I'm not sure is healthy. I also wonder if the "aim" of the music has changed, in that it sometimes seems more aimed at "creating atmosphere" than articulating theology. This of course would fit well with both charismatic Christianity and contemporary culture.

    There is a good book - now a few years old - which humorously but actively critiques worship music from the "inside" - here is a review: https://tinyurl.com/2d9c889w
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited July 25
    By the way, what 'worship songs' do you have in mind that predate hymns?

    . . . .

    Get your facts straight and your musical tastes sorted ... ;)
    Or read more carefully before challenging something that wasn’t said. :wink:

    He said “There was worship music before the great hymns.” (Emphasis mine.) Plainsong would be but one example. The much-discussed-on-another-thread Palestrina would be another, as would Lutheran chorales or Reformed metrical psalms.

    I have little time for blanket condemnation of entire genres of church music. There is good and bad in all genres. The more recent the music, the less time there has been to weed out the bad.

    The relevant question to my mind is whether any particular piece of music enables or enhances the worship of those singing or hearing it, or whether it hinders their worship. One size will not fit all.

  • Fair challenge, Nick but I rather suspect plainchant isn't what Hugal had in mind.

    I was teasing him, hence the smiley.

    On a serious note, I agree with Baptist Trainfan on this one.

    I would be interested in hearing which contemporary worship songs he has in mind which have 'depth'. I'm sure se do.

    I've found most worship songs and choruses pretty much unsingable for the last 20 years.

    That doesn't mean that there aren't good ones out there.

    Let's see and hear some examples.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Fair challenge, Nick but I rather suspect plainchant isn't what Hugal had in mind.

    I was teasing him, hence the smiley.

    On a serious note, I agree with Baptist Trainfan on this one.

    I would be interested in hearing which contemporary worship songs he has in mind which have 'depth'. I'm sure se do.

    I've found most worship songs and choruses pretty much unsingable for the last 20 years.

    That doesn't mean that there aren't good ones out there.

    Let's see and hear some examples.

    That was the sort of things I had in mind. It is difficult to define what a hymn is. Many people I know would call contemporary worship songs modern hymns. Styles change. Why would they not. My church in London has mainly worship songs with some hymns.
    The style of music fits the block of worship as opposed to the hymn prayer sandwich of a traditional service. Why should modern worship be stuck in the 19 century. Yes keep the best of the old but let’s not get stuck back there.
    I am working in a video at the moment so will post some songs soon.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited July 25
    Hugal wrote: »
    It is difficult to define what a hymn is. Many people I know would call contemporary worship songs modern hymns.
    Although there is inevitably some overlap, the two are different. There are contemporary hymns (largely, I suspect, unknown to churches and Christians who focus on worship music) and worship songs (largely unknown to the churches and Christians who use hymns, both old and new).

    And, of course, there are some arrangements of hymns which have been made for worship bands - not always, in my view, successful.

    What I don't like about many worship songs are the constant use of cliches, the paucity of more reflective material and lament, their emphasis on personal relationship with God and failure to address the needs of "the real world". Not always true, of course: Townend for instance has done some marvellous stuff. And some modern hymnody is so concerned with social issues that it can end up burdening the congregation rather than leading them to God

  • Although not a great devotee of worship songs, I largely agree with what you say. After all, Wesley wrote thousands of hymns, the vast majority of which are long forgotten; equally, the Moody and Sankey Gospel music was of its time and, in many cases, pretty dire and heavily criticised by the musical establishment. But that has always been the case when it comes to "music of the people".

    I do tend to feel that - quite apart from commercial considerations which constantly require new music to be produced - there is a novelty-led demand for new stuff which I'm not sure is healthy. I also wonder if the "aim" of the music has changed, in that it sometimes seems more aimed at "creating atmosphere" than articulating theology. This of course would fit well with both charismatic Christianity and contemporary culture.

    Yes. Wesley's hymns came to my mind as being largely unsung these days, another prolific writer being Fanny Crosby (1820-1915). Of her 8000+ hymns/songs, I can only think of 3 or 4 still sung (at least in the UK) today, though there may be a few more. As for Moody & Sankey, we used to belt out some of their Stuff at the Tin Tabernacle Of My Yoof, and a few of them are still singable today.

    Some of the Stuff in (say) the English Hymnal (leaving aside the translations of much older hymns) is also now well past its sell-by date. I doubt if many churches have *Who is this with garments gory, triumphing from Bozrah's way?* as part of their current repertoire...

    As @Nick Tamen rightly points out, one size does not fit all. That said, @Hugal has a fair point - it is Not A Good Thing to condemn a *modern* or *contemporary* hymn/song to Hades, simply because it is modern or contemporary.

  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    The style of music fits the block of worship as opposed to the hymn prayer sandwich of a traditional service.
    Now this is what I do have trouble with: “the block of worship” or “the time of worship,” as though the other things that happen in the service—prayers, sermon, etc—aren’t worship. The whole service is worship, and I very much resist language that suggests otherwise.

    (I also have problem with all the “worship” in a block at the start of things, as though we’re getting it out of the way. I can’t discern any logical flow to things in that. But that’s probably a different thread.)

    By the way, no need to consign hymns to the 19th Century. There are lots of good hymns being written now. There are a lot of not-so-good hymns being written now too; again, we haven’t had time to weed out the worth-keeping from the rest. But worship songs are not the only contemporary option.

  • Yes. I wasn't sure what to make of the contemporary arrangements of 'Will your anchor hold?' and Timothy Dudley Smith's 'Tell out my soul' on BBC Radio 4's broadcast from the Keswick Convention this morning.

    I don't think they were unsuccessful, but I'm not sure they entirely 'worked' either.

    Whether services should be like 19th century ones is purely an academic point for me now I've finally become Orthodox. Why would anyone want services that aren't like 10th century ones? ;)

    More seriously, I'm told that most Russian Orthodox tones and melodies don't go back much further than the 1800s. Nobody knows what their music sounded like back at the conversion of Rus.

    But as Nick Tamen says, there is a difference between music and the content itself.

    I agree with Baptist Trainfan that hymns and worship songs are different and they do different 'jobs'.

    For some reason, which is beyond my ken, modern hymns and modern worship songs rarely seem to mix. Some churches go for the former, some the latter.

    I daresay some modern hymns are too 'liberal' for many charismatic evangelical churches. So what happens there is that you have a handful of 'acceptable' and favourite traditional hymns woven in amongst the more ephemeral choruses.

  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    To be fair a lot of modern hymns aren't much good either.
  • Hugal wrote: »
    My church in London has mainly worship songs with some hymns.
    The style of music fits the block of worship as opposed to the hymn prayer sandwich of a traditional service. Why should modern worship be stuck in the 19 century.

    Who says it's "stuck"?

    I have no interest at all in what I think you're describing as "block of worship", by which I think you mean a series of songs one after the other. It's not even slightly interesting to me.

    I'll be interested to hear some of the songs you post. I'm not in general a fan of the kind of music one hears on Christian radio - some of it's OK, some of it I find theologically objectionable, and some of it is just trite, and a bit annoying. So if that's the kind of music you're proposing, then I suspect it will not be to my taste.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    I've found most worship songs and choruses pretty much unsingable for the last 20 years.

    That doesn't mean that there aren't good ones out there.

    Let's see and hear some examples.

    While it goes back a bit farther than 20 years(probably about 50 or so), I've always liked They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love. It really captures what I imagine(*) to be the atmosphere of the early church as a minority, underground faith, before a time when everyone could just be assumed to be Christian because it was the mandated religion.

    (*) I use the word "imagine" deliberately because my impressions of the early church are probably not much more accurate than those of Renaissance painters trying to portray Pentecost.

  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited July 25
    I doubt if many churches have *Who is this with garments gory, triumphing from Bozrah's way?* as part of their current repertoire...
    I shall make sure I choose it next Sunday.

  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Now this is what I do have trouble with: “the block of worship” or “the time of worship,” as though the other things that happen in the service—prayers, sermon, etc—aren’t worship. The whole service is worship, and I very much resist language that suggests otherwise.

    (I also have problem with all the “worship” in a block at the start of things, as though we’re getting it out of the way. I can’t discern any logical flow to things in that. But that’s probably a different thread.)

    By the way, no need to consign hymns to the 19th Century. There are lots of good hymns being written now. There are a lot of not-so-good hymns being written now too; again, we haven’t had time to weed out the worth-keeping from the rest. But worship songs are not the only contemporary option.
    I entirely agree. Apart from the sermon and the readings which have a slightly different role, and I can - just about - see the argument for classifying them as slightly different from worship, if there's a part of the service that isn't worship, why is anyone including it at all? And as for using the term 'worship leader' to mean the person in charge of the band, no, no ten thousand times no. If you must use the phrase the 'worship leader', the person it describes is the celebrant.


    I suspect that in every age when any new church music is produced, there will be a few gems, some mediocre/serviceable stuff and quite a lot of dross. It's just that if you compare the productions of the last forty years with the previous five hundred, that's not comparing like with like. Time has already thinned out past ages' dross and quite a lot of its mediocre/serviceable stuff as well. Getting rid of what they didn't like of the existing repertoire was a major and driving impulse for both the first producers of Hymns Ancient and Modern in 1861 and English Hymnal in 1906.

    Not every era does produce that many new hymns etc. I get the impression that 1914-1964 was not very fruitful. That meant that two generations had grown up with an assumption that they knew what 'the canon' was. So some of them were shocked when in the sixties new hymns, songs etc suddenly started to appear, that didn't always sound like what hymns were supposed to sound like, and, worse, weren't written to be played on the organ.


  • Dafyd wrote: »
    To be fair a lot of modern hymns aren't much good either.

    Yes. Ask my Methodist in-laws.

    On the 'block' thing - the worship song medley - that's not very new now either. I first encountered it in the early 80s and I'd imagine it goes back to the early 70s, if not earlier.

    I'm no fan of the 'hymn sandwich' but skilled practitioners can deploy it to good effect to develop a theme and reinforce a pedagogical point.

    Time was when there was something apparently spontaneous about the worship song medley but by and large it has become as predictable as the forms of worship its advocates believe it has replaced.

    Anything that is apparently spontaneous formalises over time. Let's accept that and not kid ourselves otherwise.

    Is an icon any less effective as a form of religious art / visual devotion because it is painted according to struct and formulaic rules?

  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited July 25
    I think Enoch makes some good points, although we must remember that a lot of new hymns, songs and (yes!) 'choruses' were produced in the period he mentions, at least in the evangelical Mission Halls, the Salvation Army, Pentecostal churches and also for Sunday Schools. There are many Christians of that era who wouldn't know what the English Hymnal or A&M were if even they hit them in the face!

    As far as "Orders of Service" go, ISTM that the idea of having a block of singing towards the start of a service came in with the charismatic movement in the late 1960s/early 70s. It was partly, I think, a response to "hymn sandwiches" in which there seemed to be no real form or 'progress' to the service (or where the music seemed almost to have been chosen at random); I think also there was, perhaps unsaid, a desire to create the right worship "atmosphere". Hence one had a block of worship which perhaps began with a hymn of praise, segued seamlessly into a couple of upbeat songs, then down into something intensely reflective, subsiding into a sea of prayer (often in tongues) - Gamma Gamaliel will know what I mean. Done well that format can - like all worship formats - be intensely satisfying and spiritual; done badly - ditto - it can be mechanistic and even manipulative.

    BTW the Principal of my theological college ticked off a student for referring to "a time of worship" as long ago as the late 1980s!

    [Edit: crossed with Gamaliel's post!]
  • My rule of thumb is, if it's less than a hundred years old, it's likely to be terrible (either musically or theologically or both). If it's older than a hundred years and we're still regularly singing it, then it's likely to be decent.

    Also, whatever key you think you're singing it in, you'll need to go down at least two so that the congregation can actually join in. We haven't all been huffing helium before the service.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    edited July 25
    OK those of you complaining about using the term a block of worship probably don’t go to the type of church that uses it. It is made very clear that it is just a phrase and the whole service is worship.
    A block of worship allows for worship dance more. Before anyone goes off on one about worship dance, I have been a member of the Christian Dance Fellowship of Britain (I was National Coordinator for 5 years) and the International Christian Dance fellowship. Just like you get good and bad singers singing hymns then you get good and bad dancers. Good can mean good enough. Not everyone on local church choir is a great singer but is passable. The same with dance. And just to add this covers lots of styles of dance. I have danced ballroom since the age of six and competed at a the highest amateur level and then taught for several years locally in London
  • Merry VoleMerry Vole Shipmate
    My beef with most contemporary worship music in church is the amplification.
    Admittedly a long time ago, but I've been in church services in Uganda and Rwanda and wow how they can sing -with no musical instruments necessary. No-one up the front caressing a microphone. Spontaneous singing used to erupt in the middle of the sermon. Spontaneous harmonisation of breath-taking beauty. And if it was about creating 'atmosphere' then the communal connection that you felt was fine by me -a foretaste of heaven.
  • Hugal wrote: »
    A block of worship allows for worship dance more.
    Good point - though I get the feeling that there's less worship dance around than there used to be. Is that the case?
    Just like you get good and bad singers singing hymns then you get good and bad dancers. Good can mean good enough. Not everyone on local church choir is a great singer but is passable. The same with dance.
    Absolutely; though my wife (who loves dance and has participated in worship dance in the past) has to grit her teeth when the dancers and/or choreography are poor. Mind you, we both grit our teeth when the choir is poor!

  • Merry Vole wrote: »
    My beef with most contemporary worship music in church is the amplification.
    I tend to agree ... though I think there is something of a generational/cultural context here. Goodness gracious, I find cinemas too loud!

  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Hugal wrote: »
    A block of worship allows for worship dance more.
    Good point - though I get the feeling that there's less worship dance around than there used to be. Is that the case?
    Just like you get good and bad singers singing hymns then you get good and bad dancers. Good can mean good enough. Not everyone on local church choir is a great singer but is passable. The same with dance.
    Absolutely; though my wife (who loves dance and has participated in worship dance in the past) has to grit her teeth when the dancers and/or choreography are poor. Mind you, we both grit our teeth when the choir is poor!

    I agree on the choreography.
  • Merry VoleMerry Vole Shipmate
    I had to walk out of a cinema before the film even began because the volume was hurting my ears. But I have a theory they put the volume during the ads to make it more difficult to chat through them.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited July 25
    Worship songs were instrumental (see what I did there?) in divorcing me from charismatic evangelicalism. Neither necessary nor sufficent for that divorce, but certainly a big element.

    I grew tired of expressing emotions I did not feel. One of the first to give me severe disquiet was the one with the lines:

    Refiner's fire
    My heart's one desire
    Is to be holy


    It just isn't. I don't think it even should be.

    People said I should sing them aspirationally. My mind is too literal for that. If I want something I say I want it. I don't say I already have it. I call the latter "a lie".

    I started singing my own subtly different versions to get around the theological nonsense. But this just highlighted the widening gulf between me and the congregation, who were apparently able to sing this stuff and mean it.

    So there you have it. A man whose record collection is all folk, rock and metal (almost everything I like is on a spectrum from Fairport to Metallica via Tull). A man who doesn't listen to classical music by choice. And yet who gets the willies on walking into a church with a guitarist at the front, and relaxes on hearing an organ and SATB choir.

    It's all context and baggage in the end. I know Greenbelt and Garth Hewitt (remember him?) tried to provide contemporary material that wasn't wedded to charismatic evangicalism back in the late 80s/early 90s, but it went no-where, alas.

    My feelings about dance are largely inexpressible even in Hell but that's just a personal thing that extends beyond, above and below the whole religious sphere so it's probably not relevant here and I know it means a lot to @Hugal so I'll leave that be.
  • CactusCactus Shipmate Posts: 12
    Just putting my head above the parapet, I like some modern worship songs (not all, I am not so keen on the "Jesus is my boyfriend" worship genre) I became a christian, as a result of being invited to a "happy chappy" church as a student & I liked the music... I realise that quite a few of the songs I learnt then were based on psalms. So I know a number of psalms by heart, which is surely a GOOD THING.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Cactus wrote: »
    Just putting my head above the parapet, I like some modern worship songs (not all, I am not so keen on the "Jesus is my boyfriend" worship genre) I became a christian, as a result of being invited to a "happy chappy" church as a student & I liked the music... I realise that quite a few of the songs I learnt then were based on psalms. So I know a number of psalms by heart, which is surely a GOOD THING.

    Well, some of them, others - not so much.

  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 25
    It is indeed a Good Thing. Welcome aboard @Cactus!

    There are various ways of singing the Psalms - here's a short video from the Netherlands, with the original 16thC Genevan version of Psalm 42 contrasted with the more contemporary version (As the deer pants for the water) popular at Our Place.

    The two versions are sung in Dutch, but are worth listening to...
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=dxNaq0P-WO8

    Which one is the hymn, and which one is the worship song?
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    @Cactus This was a favourite on Ye Olde Shippe.
  • The point I made on another thread was not that "modern" songs are all bad, but that I have no time for vacuous tripe from any century. Some of the hymns I grew up with still make me shudder. Good, memorable hymns and good music are being written all the time, and I think we need to learn how to keep the best and discard the trash, and stop assuming that anything more than a few years old is irrelevant. If I go to church and only hear familiar hymns, then I feel I've missed something. As with the sermon, I like to leave church feeling that I learned something new and/or stimulating that day; preferably something I'll want pack in my baggage to use later on the journey. But it doesn't always have to be relentlessly trendy.
  • ... contrasted with the more contemporary version (As the deer pants for the water) popular at Our Place.
    You do realise, though, that it's nearly 40 years old now? That's basically two generations of worshippers, or nearly so. I like it, and the organist at My Last Place would have thought of it as modern - but it ain't.

  • CactusCactus Shipmate Posts: 12
    Interesting, difficult to tell the difference( if you didn't know). I have heard GothMetal worship songs, which admittedly are difficult to sing along to. Perhaps a matter of taste...
  • @TheOrganist - speak for yourself!
    🤢🤮

    This, surely, is the Best Version Ever of Shine, Jesus, shine...
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=nA1jb6cbGzk
    😂
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    I grew tired of expressing emotions I did not feel.
    Yes, indeed. But also true of some older hymns although expressed in a different way: "I surrender all", for instance; or "Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold". Even "O for a thousand tongues to sing" could be placed into that category.

  • This, surely, is the Best Version Ever of Shine, Jesus, shine...
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=nA1jb6cbGzk
    😂
    Is that the choir of St Agatha's-by-the-Gasworks, perchance?

  • CactusCactus Shipmate Posts: 12
    :smiley:
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited July 25
    KarlLB wrote: »
    I grew tired of expressing emotions I did not feel.
    Yes, indeed. But also true of some older hymns although expressed in a different way: "I surrender all", for instance; or "Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold". Even "O for a thousand tongues to sing" could be placed into that category.

    Yes. And I'm not so keen on those either. But there's something about the intensity, intimacy and immediacy of Charismatic pratice that somehow makes the disconnect matter more.
  • And it's possibly more of a "groupthink" (or should that be "groupsing"?) atmosphere, whereas in a traditional church you are perhaps still thinking in a more individualistic way.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 25
    ... contrasted with the more contemporary version (As the deer pants for the water) popular at Our Place.
    You do realise, though, that it's nearly 40 years old now? That's basically two generations of worshippers, or nearly so. I like it, and the organist at My Last Place would have thought of it as modern - but it ain't.

    O dear - I think I must be showing my age! You're quite right, of course, and I have to confess to being largely unfamiliar with what is being written and sung right now in 2021...

    However, the contemporary-language version of Psalm 42 contrasts nicely with the 16thC metrical version, and both IMHO are of equal worth in today's church.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    And it's possibly more of a "groupthink" (or should that be "groupsing"?) atmosphere, whereas in a traditional church you are perhaps still thinking in a more individualistic way.

    Groupthink and yet terribly individualistic ("you must sign up to what we all believe") at the same time.

    But I think it's the expectation of an emotional response. You're not singing "my heart's one desire" because it's the lyric, but because it's what you really, really feel

    Or should that be "just really feel, Lord"?
  • Just really, really, wanna feel, Lord...
  • No, that's the point exactly. It's not an aspiration of how you might want to feel (which would be OK), it's saying what you are actually feeling at this very moment.

    Except that it isn't. In fact you want to crawl under the chair and between peoples' legs so you can get to the door.
  • Yes, the *really, really, wanna* Stuff comes in prayer meetings, IIRC.

    I'm a bit out of practice...
  • Merry VoleMerry Vole Shipmate
    No, that's the point exactly. It's not an aspiration of how you might want to feel (which would be OK), it's saying what you are actually feeling at this very moment.

    Except that it isn't. In fact you want to crawl under the chair and between peoples' legs so you can get to the door.

    Totally.
    For me one of the benefits of lockdown was our church producing pre-prepared services using YouTube etc. A smorgasbord of Introduction, Prayers led by a member of the church, a Sermon and maybe some singing or drama produced by members, but the 'Worship' bit was mainly just links to 'Hillsong-type' stuff straight from YouTube that I didn't have to click on. Bliss!
  • ThunderBunkThunderBunk Shipmate
    edited July 25
    They are, for the most part, heave-worthy, tedious bullshit. So is about 90% of Wesley's output (for any given Wesley). Some of them are fabulous, as is "Love Divine". I prefer my hymnody filtered, and find the cheap emotional manipulation of 15 minute "worship time" (there are not enough scare quotes in the entire universe) equally emetic.

    I'm out.

    Any fan can take comfort from the fact that my opinion is not stopping the epidemic of cheap, sententious bullshit in the church, but then that covers a very much wider range of things than just the music, though that matters ot me enormously.

    ETA: modern arrangements of hymn tunes, which turn proper well constructed harmony to cheap mush, get the hottest part of hell from me.
  • ETA: modern arrangements of hymn tunes, which turn proper well constructed harmony to cheap mush, get the hottest part of hell from me.
    Usually, but not always: some traditional harmonies are unimaginative and dull. What gets me is the driving rhythm which often doesn't work well.

  • Marvin the MartianMarvin the Martian Admin Emeritus
    I also wonder if the "aim" of the music has changed, in that it sometimes seems more aimed at "creating atmosphere" than articulating theology.

    Because the choir taking ten minutes to sing a beautiful choral interlude in Latin is all about articulating theology for the masses :smirk:
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Dafyd wrote: »
    To be fair a lot of modern hymns aren't much good either.
    Agreed. I acknowledged that. But there’s quite a bit that’s very good.

    Doc Tor wrote: »
    My rule of thumb is, if it's less than a hundred years old, it's likely to be terrible (either musically or theologically or both). If it's older than a hundred years and we're still regularly singing it, then it's likely to be decent.
    I guess, in the interests of full disclosure I should acknowledge that I am a hymn writer. I know other hymn writers, and am familiar with many recently-written hymns. Of course not everything written is worth singing, much less preserving. But I really have a hard time seeing the difference between this rule of thumb and a rule of thumb that if a novel is less than 100 years old, it’s likely to be terrible.

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