Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hymns shouldn't be allowed in church!

So...I'm going to give you a heads up right up front. I WILL be posting twice today.

I imagine you are wondering why I am stating Hymns shouldn't be allowed in church. Here is the deal. Like I mentioned a couple posts today, I have been to a lot of churches. In that time, I have met people with a lot of various opinions about music and what should and shouldn't be allowed in church. I am sure you have probably heard the arguments about whether contemporary music is acceptable, whether "rock" music acceptable, and whether guitars or heaven forbid drums be allowed in church? I find them all humorous as not even an organ or piano was ever listed in the bible yet for many churches they are the only accepted instruments. I have even heard the argument that our music sounds too much like worldly music and we need to be separate from that. I have to say, anyone that agrees with most of these arguments would have been heavily against most hymns we sing today.

You see, "back in the day," when someone wrote a song often times they just wrote words. When they wanted to write songs for church, they would typically write in one of several formats based on commonly used rhythms. I know most of you don't, but if you have access to a hymnal, pull it out and look at the bottom left of each song. There will be 4 numbers (typically) with a "." in between each one. This is basically the meter for the song.

In efforts to connect with people outside the church, churches began assembling song books of nothing but music (no words) with various tunes that where set to these various meters. Many of which where BAR tunes....that is that were being played in BARS! Can you imagine what people would think if they found out that "How Great is Our God" was actually a song that was being played in bars across America only the words had been changed. (No that is no true, but you understand my point)

When both books were assembled, members of the congregation would get these hymnals...yes...they carried TWO hymnals. One had music the other had words. You would match up the meters at the bottom of the two different books and as long as they were the same, they could be sung perfectly together. Now, that made things kinda difficult so eventually they put the two in the same book only the top half of the book and the bottom half of the book opened separately so that you at least have them in the same hand. That was still too challenging for some and people began to routinely sing the sang words with the same tunes, so they developed what we have today. If you have been around hymns at all you might recall two songs sounding very similar...well...that's because there are several of them that have the same tunes just set to different words.

I say all of this in somewhat of a response to thoughts and opinions I have heard, but also to give people a better understanding of those hymns they so love. I love many of the redone Hymns and love the fact that people are actually realizing what the hymns were and feeling free to change the music as they used to.

So back to the title...I don't actually believe Hymns shouldn't be allowed in church, but rather based on one's own opinions, many people think they are arguing for Hymns when in fact they are arguing against them.

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