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Changes in worship music

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  • Changes in worship music

    I've seen worship music's changes over the decades and have a couple of observations: the Hammond organ / Leslie combination, in the hands of someone who really understands it and has the chops to make it sing (not talking soloing here but having the knowledge necessary to emotionally inspire), is perhaps the most evocative, majestic instrument ever created. It is the mainstay of black gospel, which in my view is the closest thing to worship in Heaven there is. Seriously. Today, the Hammond has been replaced by the synth pad, which is unfocused & mushy except in the hands of a pro. A pad's ethereal quality, closely related to the same qualities in string ensemble (not solo string) patches, has brought worship music into the realm of New Age music, which to my ear is just layers of soundscape with little or no melody, like wallpaper. This is coming from someone who has programmed and played synthesizers since before the Prophet 5.

    Like secular rock and roll and country music, worship band instrument balance in the house system too often overemphasizes the bass guitar (my favorite instrument btw), snare, and kick. We're not playing concerts. The instruments should always be sublimated to the vocals, which, as in secular and dance secular music, are what the audience relates to.