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November 18 Monday. No Sleep November. If you play it directly from most hymnals, it will sound more like a traditional Germanic hymn. When we simplify the harmonies and change chords primarily only once a measure, the mood changes drastically. The tempo can be lively. Adding a triangle, tambourine, and hand drum will enhance the Irish flavor.
To make the hymn tune sound like a Hebrew melody, rather than the traditional European sound we are used to, simplifying the harmony and changing chords mainly at the bar line will speed up the tempo so the dancelike nature of the song becomes evident. African American Spiritual : African American spirituals include the stylistic traits of call and response, improvisation, flexible rhythm, covered voice quality, vocal freedom, sense of timelessness, and unaccompanied singing.
Taking time to teach a hymn to the assembly will make congregants feel more comfortable singing without a hymnbook and free them up to clap in order to experience the emotion, freedom, and joy that are so prevalent in jubilation songs. Gospel : The gospel song comes out of the African American tradition and is characterized by a free, improvisatory nature. The style of the piano or organ accompaniment best sets the mood for this type of singing. While most gospel pianists learn by living in the tradition, those who have not grown up playing keyboard in the gospel style find that improvisation can be learned by understanding a few basic principles and acquiring the tools to gain confidence in this style.
Global : African —The African style of singing today is a mixture of two elements: part singing brought in by nineteenth-century missionaries and the indigenous rhythms and tunes from Africa.
The music was passed orally from generation to generation. The songs are generally easy to learn and will help your congregation better understand and relate to the life and culture of our brothers and sisters in Africa.
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Latino —The background and influences of Latino music are broad and diverse. Mexico, the Caribbean, Andean countries, Brazil and Argentina, Central America, and Spain each have their own unique stylistic traits but do share some general characteristics. In addition to the variety of harmonic instruments used—guitar, accordion, keyboard, xylophone, and mandolin—many other instruments enrich the tonal palette of Latino music, including the rain stick, pan flutes, maracas, claves, congas, bongos, timbales, guiros, and tambourine.
Asian —Churches in North America have much to learn from the Eastern approach to music and worship. The sonorous quality of Eastern music is conducive to prayer, meditation, and stillness.
The ancient Eastern practice of meditation encourages an environment in which worshipers can free their minds from clutter, worry, and anxiety and deeply experience the holy. Contemporary : The popular and familiar sound may be a source of welcome to visitors or to those who do not have a history within the Christian church.
Those folks may feel at home with a less structured approach to liturgy, an informal style of dress, and the contemporary language of the songs. To assess how eclectic your repertoire is, have your worship team take an inventory of the songs styles you used in worship over the past year. Put each song you used under one of these headings, or under other headings you devise.
As your team explores the styles of songs you used over the past year, think about how your church has sung each style. What techniques can be used to enhance the singing? Are there new areas of worship you would like to explore? Study the context in which the song was written, determine the basic stylistic traits, and establish how to bring the song to life.
Finally, develop a plan for the coming year to enliven the styles you already use and to expand your repertoire. A congregation that uses diverse styles of singing has great potential to connect its own worship and music with the worship of Christians throughout the world.