How, as a worship leader, do you deal with pedantry?

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Ffo etsip? Seems pretty innocent to me. ;-)

(sorry - my pedant seems to be alive and well))

To use a U.S. expression, 'you're a good man, Charlie Brown.' (that's a compliment).

Notes and recordings serve the same purpose:  they freeze-dry the living music, to make it portable.  The only difference between a pedant who reads notes and a real musician who reads notes is that the musician plays, as someone said, "what is in between the notes."  The musician senses what is meant by the notes, in terms of both standard musical practice and en enigmatic something that makes music musical.  The pedant is interested in making the music correct and then musical; the musician, musical and then correct enough.  

Notes also make a handy reference to the living music.  They enable you to go back and see if you are drifting off the original intent.  The CD enables a musician to do something we didn't do with 33's -- you can examine a small section of the music to discern details (we would have destroyed our vinyl records to go over a section very many times, and tapes, well.... forget it.  You had to go back and play the whole song. 

As a pianist I play a lot of musical theatre scores, and I affirm that they have this wonderful middle role -- notes to give sharp definition where it is needed, and lots of generalized chords where all you need is fluff and fill.  That style of writing lets me know I can be creative, and if Tessie still hasn't got her clothes changed, I can make up something appropriate until she makes her entry in Scene III.

A little secret - I am playing with a very good symphony orchestra, "The Pines of Rome" by Otto Respighi, which has some exceedingly fast, brilliant, tough places.  It has nothing but notes, no chords, no generalizations -- but when we're loud and can barely hear ourselves, let alone the other players, the director doesn't give a rip if I play the scales like a scale or just a blur of miscellaneous notes -- as long as the accent, dynamic and character of the music is in the best place at the best time.  exactly the same is true for a worship band, in my opinion.

I do concur - life is too short for metronomes.

with regards to worship music, my opinion is a song should be able to be broken down to a basic instrument.

Often we can become too caught up in trying to replicate a CD production & with limited instrumentation, often in church music teams, can become discouraged.

The measure of a song for me is whether it stands up on its own, without the choir, without the brass or string ensemble, guitars, drums etc.

If you can strip a song to 1 instrument & then layer it with what your church music team has available, then you can experience the true intent for the song.

If a song only stands up according to a specific arrangement or production, then best not to attempt it.

I'm not suggesting to change chords or notes in a song, if your team can't play it. Get the song down, but not bogged down on arrangement or production.

My experience has been some music teams don't try songs because of the production, instrumentation or arrangement, but then they potentially miss out.

Strip the song back to its bones, then layer according to what you have available.

Very sensible.  The song was a song before it was an arrangement.  The song (and the Word that was written to convey) was what captured the heart of the musician who penned it.

I like to try to hear the song within the song, if possible (and sometimes it isn't, or the commonly used arrangement is already optimal). Some songs also lend themselves to a wide variety of arrangements, while others seem to fit one, and one only. Sometimes arrangements added to bring 'flavour' to a bland song just sit like the covers on a book, trying to make something musically exciting when you know the story in between is actually boring. It's not that the author's intent was bad, but sometimes there's a gulf between thoughts and feelings and the ability to express.

Very sensible indeed Des : )  

'Strip the song back to its bones, then layer according to what you have available'. The 'layering' of a song often evolves naturally without thinking too much about what is available if musicians are tuned in to each other.  I reckon a singer with one guitar, even with limitations, can make a song sound good if they use their energy and talents wisely,


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