Thursday, June 6, 2013

T. David Gordon on modern Praise Bands

Dr. Gordon hits the nail on the head in a recent post he authored about the modern "Praise Band" phenomenon.  Here's a snippet:

Functionally, the Praise Team has replaced the hymnal. When churches decided to sing contemporary music, they often could not find musical scores, and/or they could not reproduce them for the congregation for legal or financial reasons. So the Praise Team would rehearse ahead of time (at least they had the musical score) and sing the material. It was hoped that the congregation would “sing along with” the Praise Team; and it often did, picking up on the song as it went along. But the congregation—even if the members can sight-read music—cannot sing as vigorously or confidently as the Praise Team, for two reasons. First, the congregation does not have the musical score, and must learn the song by ear. Second, the Praise Team often varies its instrumental or harmonic parts (and worse, its instrumental bridges) between stanzas, so that the congregation is not entirely sure exactly how each stanza will be sung. And since the Praise Team alone has rehearsed beforehand, those who operate the microphones must be sure that the Praise Team is not drowned out by the congregation because, after all, only the Praise Team actually knows what is going on.

Another morsel:

I note that many defenders of the present liturgical model have coined the expression “contemporary worship music.” They did not call it “contemporary congregational praise,” and they really could not have done so, since it is evident that the current practice actually makes it difficult for the congregation to sing robustly since no musical score is provided and difficult even to hear them if they do. But the Scriptures do not command “worship music;” they command congregational praise. So even the label here is mildly misleading. If we required people to use the expression “contemporary congregational praise,” we would, in doing so, require them to do those things that enhance such congregational praise, and require them not to continue doing those things that worsen it or hide it.

You can read Dr. Gordon's entire post here. 

1 comment:

Woody Woodward said...

Mindless meaningless loud mumbo-jumbo made up as the praise teams drags along, same words repeated or chanted over and over.
No thanks! Almost, and I say almost with reservations, rather listed to Metallica. At least they won’t put you to sleep. For contemporary praise music that has real meaning, gives life to the Word and brings praise to Jesus, bring back "Andre Crouch and the Disciples."