I just spent tow days at a conference / workshop singing paperless music and I am wondering if any of you have had any experience with this. It seems to me to be about empowering our congregations to engage in worship through singing, really singing! These conferences are put on by a group known as All Saints Company out of San Francisco and if you go to Youtube search for Music That Makes Community here is a link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RI7qcqvcm6I
I was in the minority coming from a large evangelical church for most of the participants led choirs and played organs but I would love to see the mega church model try this on for size. Can you imagine a thousand + voices sing a layered song a cappella?
I've been at a couple of events where songs have been taught like that. You need a skilled and confident vocalist to lead it but you are right that it is awesome to participate in if, between the person at the front and those who are good at picking things up in the blocks of the congregation, you can keep the parts going.
As well as the lesson of being part of a harmony rather than an insignificant extra to the band, I think it is helpful to internalise some songs so that you can draw on them without relying on having the words around.
there is a school of thought that is very much against overheads, that we have turned our attention to too many screens in our lives. I am in half agreement but I think screens are better than holding a hymnal. It definitely had some choir overtones to it but I think the real hope of this was to teach us how to teach our congregations to REALLY sing. To let them hear themselves succeed. To give them the freedom to sign a harmony. Nothing too wordy but some beautiful stuff.
There was alot of chanting going on and it was very liturgical we had a mass everyday and ended with evening prayers that may have been the single most beautiful worship service I have ever attended in the 20+ yrs of following Christ.
Pretty interesting video there Bizzy. Not exactly my thing but nonetheless, a great teaching tool. I have to learn a harmony. It doesn't come natural to me. But if I learn it, I have no problem singing it afterwards.
There are a couple of churches I know that are against chord sheets on the stage. I can't play there. My medication would prevent that from happening. lol I for the most part just use chord sheets as a crutch 'in case I forget', at least I can look down real quick and prevent a mistake from happening. I have a hard time remembering all of the lines to the songs I wrote. You know I'm not going to remember somebody else's stuff.
Elman, I too lean on chord charts and can't remember squat!! I blame it on the brain surgery I had 3 years ago but the truth be told, it's probably due to being over 50!
I really can't adequately describe the sheer beauty of the worship I encountered at this workshop.
One presenter asked the question, "if the congregation walked out would the "worship" just go one without them?" If I answer honestly, I think the answer is yes, the music would be able to continue no problem. I can count the number of times I can actually hear the congregation sing every time I lead on one hand.
I would love to try this with the congregation I currently lead worship for and let them hear themselves sing!! maybe do a round or a layer song or at least a call and response.
I am not suggesting giving up on the tried and true things we know and have grown to love but rather adding this into the mix.
here is another example of the simplicity and beauty of this kind of music
just singing the line "open my heart" over and over with a group of people in wonderful harmony
Bizzy, I've just discovered this conversation, so come late, but loved what you've written.
To Stevo's question, my own limited experience of worship with overheads (five months filling in as pastor in a congregation that used screens for their two main services) is that screen projection does free people's hands and eyes from books, but fixes everyone's eyes on a point or points outside the gathering of people. It felt to me like trying to have important communion and fellowship with someone in a bar where the TV was on. Again, I'm speaking from limited experience.
My hunch is that we actually gain something significant in the 'how' of our worshiping where the worship /music leader's voice, face, and body invite people to mirror, where we use short-term memory as our aid to getting people the place we want all worship music to go - people knowing it by heart, and that there's something scripturally profound at work if we consider startling statements on imitation like Paul saying, 'imitate me as I imitate Christ.'
I opened this thinking it may be about the use of iPads or some such technology.
However back to the plot:
I assume that Charles Wesley's songs were sung a'cappella without hymn sheets at John's outdoor services.
I've been to a small meeting where the the song books were forgotten and we agreed on what most of us knew and sang those songs.
I was also on a Tube during Soul in the City London where well over 1000 Christians started singing that was amazing.
Great for people who know the songs, the regulars, but what about new christians! Can't worship until you are part of the in crowd?