Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's time for the hymnal to make a comeback

In my opinion, one of the worst things ever to happen in the church was the abandonment of hymnals. Jonathan Aigner gives some good reasons why we should still be using them:
  1. Hymnals actually teach music. We're making less music than ever before. Oh, to be sure, there's lots of music going on around us, but very few people are actually making it. We're just consuming it, or at the very most, singing along with music someone else made first. But even an untrained musician can look at the words and music in the hymnal and learn to follow melodic direction and rhythmic value.

  2. Hymnals set a performance standard. Contemporary worship music is based on recording instead of notation. This is endlessly confusing, and it opens each song up to individual interpretation. Without notation, it is exceedingly hard to sing well as a congregation. Hymnals fix that. Everybody has the same notation, so we all know how the song is supposed to go.

  3. Hymnals integrate the music and text. Words on a screen give no musical information. Hymnals fix that. Singers aren't dependent upon learning the song by rote.
He lists 12 more reasons, and I think he makes some good points.

Isn't it about time for the hymnal to make a comeback?

2 comments:

Stan said...

I am so pleased that they are still in regular use in our church.

David Brainerd said...

I second Stan on that. But my church ain't no Calvinist/atheist heresy church that accepts the false claims of atheist neuroscientists either. We never got on board with the Calvinist homo-erotic "Jesus is my boyfriend" music because we actually believe the Bible rather than just following every fad of Calvinist/atheist stupidity.

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