Acoustical Design for Congregational Singing

Congregational singing can be effectively stymied or greatly encouraged by the acoustical properties of the worship space. Recent trends in church architecture have unfortunately led to the use of more acoustically absorbent materials, which is harmful to this important aspect of worship. The following article provides helpful advice to remedy this problem.

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Designing the Organ for Leading Congregational Song

The primary purpose of the church organ is to lead and accompany congregational singing. This article argues that the highest priority in organ design and construction in churches should not be to produce an impressive organ for recitals, but rather to construct an organ to meet the unique needs of congregational singing.

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The History of the Organ in the Christian Church

The honor accorded the pipe organ in Christian worship represents a curious paradox. On the one hand, the Christian church through most of its history has had an abiding antipathy toward instruments; on the other, the organ (together with bells) has, since the late Middle Ages, become so identified with the church that it embodies the very essence of “churchliness.” How could this have happened?

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Instrumental Music in Service to the Text

A wide variety of musical instruments can be used effectively in accompanying hymns and anthems. Creativity in the use of instruments should always seek to reflect and illuminate the text that is sung. The following article gives suggestions for how a variety of instruments can be used to proclaim the text.

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Philosophy of Music in Lutheran Worship

Among Protestant churches, the Lutheran tradition has the richest heritage of music for worship. It is based on the assumption that music is a profound means by which we enter God’s presence and render our liturgy of thanksgiving to God. Bringing together insights first developed by Martin Luther and practices that have grown out of almost 500 years of Lutheran worship, this article describes why and how music is used in Lutheran worship.

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