Modernized Hymns: Hymns, or Contemporary Songs with Old Words?

Modernized Hymns: Hymns, or Contemporary Songs with Old Words? July 5, 2016

Hillsong amazingness

If there is rubato or ad libbing on the rhythm and melody, you’re probably singing contemporary songs with old words. For a congregation to be empowered, there must be some known standard for the performance of any song. Otherwise, you have a real mushy mess on your hands. The congregation is forced to try to follow the perforer’s whim in all aspects of melody, rhythm, and tempo. That’s what happens here:

It’s quite possible for a congregation to sing this song successfully. But in this version, which is supposed to be in a live worship context, what do we do? Other than the words, we can forget most of what we know from the original setting. Active participation is practically impossible. The performer is what’s important here, not the congregation.

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