Thursday, March 19, 2009

Qualifying the Contemporary

As much as we must always seek to embrace the contemporary in our worship services, this is no excuse for apathy in the writing or the hearing. This requires a cordial and firm rejection of, however effective, mindless Scripture songs or repetitive and shallow ditties in Sabbath worship. (Which isn't to say all Scripture songs are mindless, but why them when you have Goudimel?)

This is not to say that simple music has no place, or that complex music is alone suitable. As the Episcopalian Music for the Church Year: A Handbook for Clergymen, Organists, and Choir Directors admirably says, "A great deal of the best church music is simple and easy and can be performed acceptably on very small organs or by beginning organists. When there is so much good church organ music available, it is nothing short of sacrilege to offer less than the best to God. It is just as easy to learn good organ music as bad, so an organist should not waste his own time, detract from the service, and offend the musically sensitive by presenting that which is not up to the reasonable Church standards."

1 comment:

M. Z. Ahern said...

Some people's musical sensitivities are offended by Goudimel?