Friday, November 14, 2008

The slow death of congregational singing

My good friend Robin Fairbairn recently introduced me to The Briefing, a magazine from Matthias Media. The few editions I have read articles from have been magnificent. This one really made an impact on me, as it's a bit of a personal soapbox:

"...whether you travel across the urban areas of Asia, Africa, North America or Australia, everywhere you go, increasingly, the singing in the church—both the songs that are sung and the style of music—is the same. It's the McDonaldization of our world.

And in every church you visit across the world, the music is just the same. I'd describe it as the ‘Hillsongization’ of music except that it's such a clumsy word. Oh, the words of the songs might differ, but it's the same music team singing the same way.

There's the obligatory leader with the obligatory two or three singers accompanying her, the obligatory drummer, the obligatory keyboard player and the obligatory two guitarists. You're allowed some freedom in your choice of a sax or a flute, depending on the resources available, but it's all exactly the same for every song in every place..."

Full article is available here