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? […]

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?

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 […]

A Lovely Setting for a Lovely Rose

(Original posting 11/21/2017) Are you still looking for a special choral piece for this Christmas? Consider, Lo, a Rose, a fresh, intimate, and contemplative setting of the traditional German carol, ​es ist ein ros entsprungen​. Combining the English translations of Theodore Baker and Harriet Krauth, ​it mixes light piano accompaniment with a cappella sections for SATB chorus to create […]

Who Decides What is Beautiful?

(Original posting 10/26/2017) A) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. or B) Beauty has absolute standards.  Which, if either, of these statements is true? The first is subjective, dependent on the values of the observer. The second is objective, having a source of authority. Is appreciation of beauty up to the individual or […]

Inside-out or Outside-in?

(Original posting 10/25/2017) Does the way you look at the world affect how you think about music in worship? Do you see yourself as an individual on an island in time and space, or as a link in a line extending backward and forward to generations gone by and yet to come? Those two points […]

1 2