What are Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs?

In both Colossians 3 and Ephesians 5, Paul uses the phrase “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” when commanding the church to use music in its discipleship. Are these terms three different kinds of music? Synonyms meaning pretty much the same thing? Generic terms embracing all kinds of music? Well, analyzing Paul’s use of Greek is […]

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges

Well, I’ll leave you to look up the Blazing Saddles reference yourself if it’s not familiar to you, but, while you’re here, I do have some questions for you to consider: Where do music ministers, often called worship leaders, come from? How do they become caretakers of your church’s music? What training should they have? […]

NotePerformer & Finale

I finally jumped off the bridge and installed NotePerformer 3.2 this week as my virtual instrument library on my 25.4 version of Finale. Here is my initial, and highly premature, reaction to this shiny new toy. First off, what is NotePerformer? It is a software library, produced by Wallander Instruments,  of most orchestral and band […]

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory

In 1861, the sight of Northern troops assembling in Washington, D.C., inspired Julia Ward Howe to pen the words to The Battle Hymn of the Republic, which begins, “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” Although originally intended to stimulate patriotic fervor, the text’s potent depiction of biblical themes – […]

Summer Solutions?

Holy Week is behind us with a mixture of relief and fulfillment as we bask in the afterglow of remembering the resurrection. But the music minister has no time to relax with summer rapidly approaching. Putting together the summer program is perhaps less intense than the Easter and Christmas seasons but has its own set […]

Music’s Role in Ephesians and Colossians

It is merely a recognition, hopefully correct, of a principle Paul took for granted that can be inferred from the structure and context of Eph 5:18-21 and Col 3:16: namely, our use of music, and especially music in worship, is essential to the proper development of Christian character.

Storms, and Anchors, and Veils, Oh My!

In yesterday’s services one of our hymns was The Solid Rock (My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less) with text written by Edward Mote (1834). It’s a wonderful hymn of the believer’s eternal assurance in Christ containing allusions to the parable of the wise and foolish builder (Matt 7:24-27), and Jesus calming the storm (Mark […]

Is Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder?

A brief article on the nature of beauty from my former philosophy professor (he’s still a professor, it’s just I’m no longer his student!). Is Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder? This addresses a topic I explored earlier in Who Decides What Is Beautiful?

Real World Church Composition

All composers would love to have a full professional orchestra/ensemble/choir standing in anticipation of our latest work, and a very precious few have that luxury, but most of us have to either hunt for a group willing to play our music or, as for most church music, write for the group the Lord has placed […]

There are not many tuba solos out there!

Tuba players get no respect. Relegated to oom-pah-pah’s and whole notes by most composers, a melodic line for a tuba is less common than a blue moon. And don’t even think about tuba solos! er, . . . unless you have to, that is. That’s just the situation I found myself in a few days […]

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