1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Is your Worship/Music creative, passionate, meaningful?

Discussion in 'Worship Service Players' started by CapnCrunch, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Dreadnut

    Dreadnut Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    2,084
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2019
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Wow, thanks for posting that mRtINY, you've expanded my musical horizons once again!
     
  2. nidgereedo

    nidgereedo TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    30
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2019
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    I found this very insightful and well articulated:

     
    black_doug, CapnCrunch and JuneauMike like this.
  3. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,180
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Newly Indiana
    Thanks, Nidgereedo, for posting this.

    Interesting points:
    Stereotypical chording and structure
    Lyrics don't impress him
    Suppress interaction between band and listeners
    "A false ecstatic experience"
    Some of the melodies are "quite nice"
    Recreating it as jazz sounds immensely repetitive.

    It's a pretty good evaluation and there's not a lot I disagree with.

    Sunday our worship leader offered us one of those pseudo-HeyJude moments, singing the same 2 lines over and over for what seemed like 12 times. I'm sure at Passion, recorded with 29,000 singers and a full band, it may have been great but one guy with a guitar in his living room was a real "OK, got it, move on" moment for me.
     
    GoldieLocks and nidgereedo like this.
  4. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,456
    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Location:
    Alaska
    This is really awesome and the guy makes such good arguments against it that I can't really find fault with what he says. His opinion is cogent and informative and I think he owns his own bias very well in the video. Interesting that he gives Gospel music a pass when it is every bit as derivative as any other form of music.

    Loved the "Bro Country" comment, I've never heard that before. I immediately thought of Kenny Chesney and about a handful of other artists when he said it.

    The concept of "musiking" is really great. That sorta goes along with the vocal vamping that we often see in worship music that @ravindave_3600 alluded to. But it's just a "show technique" that is used very effectively in concerts by rock musicians as well to corral and direct crowd energy. Whether they use a vocal vamp or a musical vamp doesn't make any difference, the timing and context are really the main things. The musician reads the room and that tells them what they can get away with. Obviously, a sensible musician isn't going to present the music the same in a church sanctuary with 40-50 octogenarians that he would in a room full of enthusiastic kids who paid to hear the band. Doesn't mean you can't connect to people in a church sanctuary in a meaningful way, you just have to find your own methods. I have felt "musiking" before, but didn't know there was a word for it. Ha!

    I think what he considers "false excitement" is probably very real excitement felt in the moment that may not translate in video form to the jaded viewer. (Sorta how I felt watching film of the Woodstock crowd go wild for Santana, who I don't really appreciate) I don't know, I wasn't at the Hillsong concert (or chose your band) when it was recorded. But I've definitely been in the same room when music created very real excitement. Whether music is passionate or meaningful or not is pretty much predicated on what the listener does with it. Our congregation gets the last word. IMO.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
    nidgereedo likes this.
  5. Dreadnut

    Dreadnut Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    2,084
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2019
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    I find it interesting that he only addresses the band, not the whole sphere of corporate worship.

    I don't have a problem with my church band exhibiting uninhibited joy in their musical offerings on Sunday. The question is: can the congregation sing along? I don't care if the song is contemporary or written 3,000 years ago, if it is Scripturally accurate and singable by a group of people.
     
    ravindave_3600 likes this.
  6. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,456
    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Location:
    Alaska
    Well in his defense, he's (I guess) an athiest with some history in the church who is really just consuming worship music in the way folks outside the church would consume it, mainstream CCM found on Spotify, Youtube, Apple Tunes. And he's cataloging the music that he encounters from the perspective of a musician and a fan of pop music. I get that.

    I don't think the context of corporate worship is being examined in anything more than a passing glance and even then he can only see it through the eyes of a performing musician and he interprets it as "stagecraft." He's really ill-equipped to take on the form and function of corporate worship, and he wisely stays out of that particular hot tub.

    If he truly is an atheist then I have to say he's about the most even-handed atheist I think I've ever watched. So many of them are just dripping with contempt and cynicism. So, respect.
     
    davidwhitson likes this.
  7. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,699
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, USA
    This guy is right on, at least in my opinion. He pegs the problem with the "dumb it down musically" school of thought so that you don't interfere with the lyrics or the vocalist. If we are trying to glorify our creator, is this really our best try? Really? If that's what we offer in order to Glorify the creator of the universe, then we've got some problems. The other thing I would say is this, a good, tight, talented band playing creatively, helps me worship. Not just vocals, but an actual band. When a band is cooking, I find it easy to worship. When they're plodding along trying not to offend anyone, I get so bored I couldn't care less what the vocalist is saying, because I'm not likely to be singing along with the band anyway. I don't sing along with a vocalist, I sing with a band. Maybe I'm in the distinct minority.

    As musicians, we should be inviting the congregation to join us, and become part of the band (at least that's how I see it). Who wants to join in with a really boring band?

    EDIT to Add:
    I went back and listened to the portion about the writer who birthed the term "musicked". I'm going to get that book and read it. The analysis that this guy goes through in a youtube video is light years beyond anything I've heard from any worship leader I've played with. I've used different terms, but have tried to stretch other worship leaders in the ways they think about the relationships between musicians(worship leaders) on stage and how those relationships influence the relationship that the band as a whole has, or should have, with the whole of the congregation. I think this is hugely important, and completely overlooked by most worship bands.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020
  8. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,456
    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Location:
    Alaska
    @CapnCrunch, you might like this one. He seems kinda young but I think the thrust of his criticism is that we should be giving our best artistic endeavors to God, rather than simple catchy pop songs.



    I think its harsh and kinda ignores the obvious subjective nature of what we individually and collectively find as artistically pleasing, but I like the point he makes. CCM ought to be a much bigger tent then it is right now. I'd forgotten how Gungor was chased off and I do note that bands seem to undergo pretty intensive scrutiny when they wander from the safe formula we often find on K-Love.
     
    CapnCrunch likes this.
  9. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,699
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, USA
    At the end of the video, he says he comes from a Christian upbringing or background but "not currently practicing". Don't know what that means, but I don't get the sense that he's an atheist. I agree, that he did a pretty darn good job at trying to avoid being obviously judgmental and caustic.

    I would also play Devil's advocate and argue that he did a better job of asking what the purpose of corporate worship music is, and discussing what the relationship between band and "audience" should be in that context than any worship leader I've talked with on the topic. If there is no musical relationship between the band members, there can't really be a close relationship between the band and the congregation. If that is the case, how can you truly have corporate worship with no relationship? This was thought provoking.
     
  10. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,699
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, USA
    Mike,

    I don't want to pretend that this is a simple topic, because it most certainly is not. A lot of thought and prayer need to go into what you present, and how you do it, to your specific congregation. A lot of reflection needs to happen also to avoid thinking that your whole congregation has the same taste as you (read that as me, not pointing fingers:))

    I really do believe that the band has a duty to be right with one another and be in fellowship with each other both spiritually and musically. Otherwise, there is no way you can have a meaningful relationship with the congregation.
     
    GoldieLocks and JuneauMike like this.
  11. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,456
    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
    Location:
    Alaska
    Yep, all good points. I think I got the "athiest" thing from a segment where the backstreet passenger asked him how it was to listen to the music as an athiest. But maybe I remembered it wrong. In any case, yep, he had some link to the church once upon a time and that link isn't there anymore.
     
  12. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,180
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Newly Indiana
    I've mentioned this before but it's been awhile: I learned more about leading worship from Bruce Springsteen than from anyone else. , Weird, I know, and some people can't accept it, but it relates directly to what you're saying Cap'n. The first time I saw Bruce I was about 18. The show was enthusiastic, exciting, fun, emotionally challenging, full of songs the man sang like he believed them. He loved the band and he invited everyone in the place to be part of the party. Of course there are some differences in church but 40 (ouch) years later I still try to approach worship with all those principles in place.
     
    mRtINY and CapnCrunch like this.
  13. mRtINY

    mRtINY Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,175
    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    Location:
    Orygun
    Why was Gungor chased off? I really liked their work.

    I even learned to play E-bow on a Baritone to play "Beautiful Things" for an offertory....
     
  14. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,699
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, USA
    I have to admit that I'm not a big Boss fan, but I can totally see how you would come away from his concerts with the feelings and conclusions that you did. There is no question that he is a gifted master at engaging people and drawing them into the musical reality he projects. I caught a show just before everything got locked down. It was Colin James and Coco Montoya (both phenomenal players and singers). They played for about 4 hours in a cool historic little theater locally and I left with the firm conviction that I should not give up my day job any time soon. ;) You'd be hard pressed to count the #of extended solos between the two. I thought numerous times during the show, "God, why is our worship not this ecstatic, energetic, and joyful, and why is our worship so repressed?" In the vocal rests, I was able to praise the Lord during several of the extended instrumentals. To me, there is nothing better than the interplay, tension, and release of vocals and instrumental parts. There is also nothing more musically tedious/boring than all vocals or all instrumentals (in my opinion anyway).
     
  15. lstdukestking

    lstdukestking Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    129
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Location:
    Gypsy Angel Row
    My wife is the worship leader at our church. We have had some issues because I'll be practicing my guitar part and she doesn't like it for whatever reason. Then when she hears it with the rest of the band she changes her mind. She now reserves judgment until then.

    She also likes to do the song the way the original artist does, exception: the key. If I were a better guitar player I'd prefer to write my own parts. Take the original melody, rhythm, beat, etc, but be able to improve parts based on how the Spirit moves you.

    I used to have my own personal worship time a few days a week at home. I'd play whatever song(s) was speaking to me at the time, however, I wanted. Slow and intimate, fast and upbeat. Repeat whatever parts I want as many times as I wanted. Musical interlude here. I miss doing that.
     
    GoldieLocks likes this.
  16. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,180
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Newly Indiana
    I'd go your way and do it as feels right for the band and congregation. It's often "properly" trained people who can't make that switch. Good for your wife about switching keys though - why ask a group of non musicians to try to hit notes written by a professional tenor and a full chorus of Nashville singers? The church will sing it better (and louder) in a key its comfortable with.

    PS Nice username.
     
  17. scooteraz

    scooteraz Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,397
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    Location:
    Peoria, AZ
    To the question in the title of the post
    Ours is always worshipful, in that we strive to make sure the music assists in worship.

    Is it creative? To be fair we are not generating many new songs. We do end up making any song “ours” because of how we are good a doing us, not necessarily good at doing anybody else. But that may not be the most creative thing. Sometimes we modify songs to match what we need.

    Are we passionate? How do I judge that. We are passionate in our beliefs, and those beliefs lead us to serve. Some of that service is us playing for worship. Is the playing in and of itself passionate? Sometimes, sometimes not. I don’t personally see my feelings about a service/song/specific playing being germane to the obedience and passion to, if you will, just being there. Passion to faith does not necessarily relate to passion to the task at hand. If I help by, say, doing dishes at a church event, am I passionate about doing the dishes? No. I am passionate about being of service. The same is sometimes true of playing.

    Is our music meaningful. Again, it is worshipful. I believe (and am told) that the congregation finds the music meaningful. Probably at times more than at others. With traditional music, I sometimes love what is in the service and sometimes question the judgement of the person who picked the songs. And being meaningful is different to different people. I have attended services where the praise band took a 1 verse 1 chorus song and drug it out for maybe 10-15 minutes. That was apparently meaningful to the musicians and some in the congregation; to me it turned tedious.

    When I am serving, how I perceive the music is somewhat immaterial. It is whether the music supports the worship. When I perceive that function slipping, I will pull away. Will I sometimes get frustrated when I think a song should be done differently or that we should be making other song choices? Sure. But, again, this is not about how I feel, it is about how I serve.

    That is my .02
     
  18. Dreadnut

    Dreadnut Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    2,084
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2019
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Does the music enhance the congregational singing? The singing is the main thing; we are the accompaniment.

    This is not to say the music can't be energetic. Getting the blend right is the challenge.
     
    ravindave_3600 likes this.
  19. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,699
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    Location:
    Washington, USA
    I really asked the question to start a conversation. I don't know that one way of doing things is "better" than another. I certainly would not say that my way is better than anyone else. Obviously we are engaged in worship which should focus us on something other than ourselves. We are serving God and our fellow congregants. It is mind stretching, but I think we need to evaluate, to the best of our human ability, how we are doing that. If it is just, meh, then maybe some changes need to be made. For me, I'm always yearning for more. When I say that, I mean that I'm always yearning to make music that brings me into closer relationship with my Creator and closer relationship with by brothers and sisters. That said, nothing human is perfect. All we can do is our best.
     
  20. Dreadnut

    Dreadnut Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    2,084
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2019
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    I love Psalm 150; the capstone at the end of all the Psalms: (songs.) The first verse tells us who to sing to. The second verse tells us why we sing to him. The next 3 verses are dedicated to the instrumentation, and dancing! Then the last verse identifies the singers, including the animal kingdom. The last 3 words in the Psalm are the same as the first 3 words, a common Psalmic poetic structure.

    Put it all together, and it's like "Here's how to do it."

    1 Praise the LORD.Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.
    2 Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.
    3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,
    4 praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe,
    5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.
    6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

    Sometimes it involves crashing cymbals; sometimes it is just the soothing sounds of strings and pipes. But it always involves the voices of the worshippers. Right now, the birds and the spring peepers are praising him in the woods and pond behind our house.

    I'm going to continue to work on putting some of the Psalms to new music. What a perfect source of lyrics: Scripture!
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
    dougstrum likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.