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Is this singing?

Tootler 23 May 10 - 06:43 PM
Richard Bridge 23 May 10 - 06:51 PM
dick greenhaus 23 May 10 - 06:51 PM
Georgiansilver 23 May 10 - 07:02 PM
katlaughing 23 May 10 - 07:08 PM
Ref 23 May 10 - 07:49 PM
Joe_F 23 May 10 - 08:48 PM
mousethief 23 May 10 - 08:56 PM
Soldier boy 23 May 10 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,Russ 23 May 10 - 10:18 PM
GUEST,andrew 23 May 10 - 10:49 PM
GUEST,leeneia 24 May 10 - 12:12 AM
Tootler 24 May 10 - 02:29 PM
DonMeixner 25 May 10 - 12:11 PM
DonMeixner 25 May 10 - 12:43 PM
katlaughing 25 May 10 - 01:48 PM
Alan Day 25 May 10 - 02:19 PM
Georgiansilver 25 May 10 - 04:21 PM
Tootler 25 May 10 - 07:10 PM
Herga Kitty 25 May 10 - 07:13 PM
Tootler 25 May 10 - 07:36 PM
ClaireBear 25 May 10 - 07:38 PM
Alan Day 26 May 10 - 04:24 AM
bubblyrat 26 May 10 - 05:00 AM
Herga Kitty 26 May 10 - 06:15 PM
Janie 26 May 10 - 08:05 PM
Tootler 27 May 10 - 08:18 PM
Stringsinger 27 May 10 - 08:51 PM
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Subject: Is this singing?
From: Tootler
Date: 23 May 10 - 06:43 PM

We were watching "Songs of Praise" this evening which came from a Pentecostal church in Wales.

The last hymn was this one (Click). My wife does not really like this kind of hymn and she argued that

  • There was no real tune that you could sing to

  • They were not singing, they were shouting.


I did not entirely agree, though I am not particularly keen on this kind of religious song (probably a better term than hymn) myself and while I did not think the singing was particularly good, it was enthusiastic and there is a melodic element, though, again not a particularly strong one and it was definitely rhythmic. Overall, I would say they were singing.

I am interested in others viewpoints on the musicality.

For those who do not know, Songs of Praise is a programme of hymns with interviews of participants in the programme which goes out on the BBC in the UK early Sunday Evening.


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 May 10 - 06:51 PM

I don't really like any sort of religious song, but apart from the subject matter it seems a fair example of the type.


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 May 10 - 06:51 PM

The difference between noise and music is that music has organization. If you can recognize that organization, it's music.


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 23 May 10 - 07:02 PM

To a Pentecostal Christian, whether the song is of great musical quality or not is irrelevant. It is the act of worship that presents as important. Why does the singing have to be good anyway?... the people concerned are from all walks of life and sing to worship God not to sound good for other people. I attend a Pentecostal Church and I have personal likes and dislikes of the songs we sing (We do sing the old hymns occasionally). Whatever the genre of the music, there will always be some who like and some who dislike individual songs, whether it be Pentecostal Church or Folk Club.


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 May 10 - 07:08 PM

I heard a tune I could follow and it seemed a large group with good volume, not shouting. I don't have much interest in the type of music, nor am I religious, but I do have an excellent ear from my upbringing by parents/musicians and playing piano and violin from childhood as well as singing, so that should be a fairly unbiased take. In fact, I found the tune engaging.

Thanks for asking.

kat


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Ref
Date: 23 May 10 - 07:49 PM

It's being done in a CHURCH, not on a concert stage. No real tune? maybe not one you're familiar with, but those singing it seemed to get on all right. Not being a Christian, I probably wouldn't sing it myself, but I heard a nice tune and some good harmonies in there, so I might have a go at adapting it.

Is the standard "If I don't like it, it's not music?" I don't mean to pick, as Mrs. Tootler has a right to her opinions. Perhaps your question could have been better phrased?


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Joe_F
Date: 23 May 10 - 08:48 PM

It seemed to me to have recognizable melody & harmony based on a conventional major scale.


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: mousethief
Date: 23 May 10 - 08:56 PM

I thought this was going to be a thread about Bob Dylan.

I'll get me coat...


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Soldier boy
Date: 23 May 10 - 09:12 PM

Sounds perfectly OK to me. A nice kind of gospel rhythm you can clap along to. So what's the problem?


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 23 May 10 - 10:18 PM

Sounded fine to me. They were keeping the beat and the tune. Since when is the singing of a congregation supposed to be "good"? That's the choir's job.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: GUEST,andrew
Date: 23 May 10 - 10:49 PM

It's definitely singing as we know it.
The tune is easy to follow.

Tootler. Maybe your wife has her own idea of what "singing" means to her.

Andrew   Community Choir Director


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 May 10 - 12:12 AM

Sounds fine to me - a typical modern piece, inspired by gospel and popular music. And yes, it's definitely singing.


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Tootler
Date: 24 May 10 - 02:29 PM

In retrospect, I should not have made a value judgment on the quality of the singing. It was not important. The main point was is it singing? My own view was at the time and remains, that it is singing. There is melody, rhythm and harmony there - all the three main elements of music.

As leeneia says, it is a typical modern gospel music influenced Christian song.

I have had this argument with my wife several times before and it never gets resolved - and probably never will. She simply does not think that the modern gospel style songs have a singable melody. The fact that there are several hundred people singing along does not seem to convince her and argues that this style of loud, enthusiastic singing constitutes shouting. My daughter tended to agree with her describing the singing as chanting. Well surely chanting is a form of singing?

I wanted to test my thoughts out in a forum comprised of people who were interested/involved in music to see what the reaction is.

Interestingly, separating the sound from its associated video made the melodic aspect stand out more clearly for me. I was not distracted by all the people's actions on the film.


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 25 May 10 - 12:11 PM

Tootler

I listened to this a few times through and I am puzzled as why she would think it isn't. Or why there is even a question. It has chord structure behind a repeating melody line. That everyone seems to be singing the melody adds a bit of joyful and simple charm to it.

I am a person of faith altho' I am not a person who trusts or believes in any church. But I'd go to a service here now and then if I could skip the guilt and get to the singing.

Don


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 25 May 10 - 12:43 PM

I think the problem is we have accepted a formal style to what we expect of Church music. We have a style of singing that is so tied to the space it is sung in that anything outside the revernt nature of the song and the place is looked oddly at.

What better place that a Church for people to celebrate their joy and faith with an unbridled exhultation of the same. And yet most people because of their training would never think of having a good time at worship.

I will never go into a Church again that insists on telling how bad I am when they don't know me at all.

At my late mothers church which is a Congregational Bapsist I heard a particularily fine rendition of "Oh Holy Night" which I consider the Gold Standard in Christmas Hymns. I was thrilled by the song and the singer. Every one else knew I was by the way I was applauding. I realized too that I was the only one applauding.

Church is the only place we let someone get away with doing a good job without giving them immediate recognition.

Don


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 May 10 - 01:48 PM

There are churches which encourage enthusiastic singing and expressions AND do not tell you what a bad person you are, Don.:-) Any Unity church is based on a positive outlook based on a metaphysical translation of the Bible, etc. They also allow applause depending on what the occasion is, i.e. guest performer, etc.

Also, from what I have experienced, a lot of churches which are predominately attended by Americans of African descent have very joyous "church" music.


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Alan Day
Date: 25 May 10 - 02:19 PM

A very happy sound to me.
Al


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 25 May 10 - 04:21 PM

A true Christian Church should be a welcoming, non judgemental place. However, all Institutions, workplaces, Clubs etc etc have a set of rules... and Bible Christians are no different inasmuch Gods word and the pattern of life set by Jesus in words and the way He lived need to be heeded.


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Tootler
Date: 25 May 10 - 07:10 PM

I think the problem is we have accepted a formal style to what we expect of Church music. We have a style of singing that is so tied to the space it is sung in that anything outside the revernt nature of the song and the place is looked oddly at.

I think you have put your finger on some of the problem, Don. My wife has a set of expectations as to what constitutes a "proper" style of singing for churches and if they stray outside of that she is not comfortable about it. I quite often jokingly ask her "Are they singing 'proper' hymns tonight?" Interestingly she accepts black gospel choirs quite happily and enjoys their music. I think that maybe because she accepts that that is their style of worship. I don't know, but there are some interesting questions about what we accept as music in this.


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 25 May 10 - 07:13 PM

I'm with Mousethief...

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Tootler
Date: 25 May 10 - 07:36 PM

Sorry to disappoint you both :-)


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: ClaireBear
Date: 25 May 10 - 07:38 PM

Singing, most definitely -- I'd classify it as a typical modern praise song, sounding like something a modern solo singer with a fairly large vocal range might have written fpr solo performance. It does not really seem to be written with harmony (even though there were bots of harmony here and there) or choral singing in mind.

I think that's the issue -- it's just not ideal material for a large group to sing. Given the song's range of more than an octave and a half, some of a mixed-voice audience are bound have to shout (overextend) to reach the high notes, or bottom out to hit the low ones. And then there's that relentless aerobics-type accompaniment that makes one feel one must plunge recklessly into the exercise of singing. The volume of the accompaniment and its frenetic pace would I think encourage both immoderate volume and poor vocal control.

My armchair analysis. Now, must hunt up some lovely old Welsh hymnody for recovery purposes...

C


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Alan Day
Date: 26 May 10 - 04:24 AM

In the mid fifties an expansion of the West Indian communities saw a different style of church meetings in and around the area of Clapham where I used to live. The Church Hall where our Boys Brigade used to meet was very run down and near to the point of requiring massive renovation work.
All the Church services in the area were exactly what your Wife ,Tootler would have expected,the very large Church on Clapham Common itself was Church of England and of course all the Hymns were from their standard Hymn book, another in Battersea (Wandsworth Road)was Baptist and once again very similar style of Hymns.
So when our Boys Brigade Hall was renovated a completely different style of service was introduced and music, a dull and dismal place was turned into a joyful place whether you followed religion or not.
Another interesting area is the Jehovah Witness meetings who I understand conduct their Hymn singing to American CDs some of which I purchased (A donation) from someone with the Watchtower Magazines.
The music is very interesting but to me sounded very much like American Movie background music.In amongst them however are some very nice tunes.


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 26 May 10 - 05:00 AM

I am an "Onward, Christian Soldiers " sort of chap myself,; "traditional" hymns and thundering organs ,etc,possibly with brass ensembles and swinging censers ;- I can't say that I care much ,if at all, for "happy-clappy" stuff, or American Black Gospel, but......it is still music !! (just not to my ears, that's all).


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 26 May 10 - 06:15 PM

My previous post was before I listened. It is, literally, happy and clappy, but it is singing!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Janie
Date: 26 May 10 - 08:05 PM

Sure, it's singing.


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Tootler
Date: 27 May 10 - 08:18 PM

Bubblyrat, it seems you have similar tastes in church music to my wife, though she is not too keen on the censers, having been brought up Chapel. As she puts it, she likes "proper" hymns, preferably from the Methodist hymn book.

The reference to swinging censers reminded me of my wife's niece's second wedding. That was in a RC church and I don't think the priest was too happy having all those protestants on one side of his church as he kept giving us really mucky looks throughout the service.


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Subject: RE: Is this singing?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 May 10 - 08:51 PM

Well, it was obviously a tune, a kind of rock tune or pop tune like Abba or what I would
call bubble gum. This kind of tune attempts to be relevant to the church-going congregation. Sure, it's singing but not something I would want to hear twice.

"It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"..........................................


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