Philosophy for Songwriting
Our goal is to write and produce songs drawing heavily from the Word of God.
We pray that these songs are
faithful to the truth of Scripture and that they will help others to trust in
God and grow in Him. Our hope is that they would be used to draw
others into the Word and to dwell richly in Christ.
There is so much music available to us today. A lot of Christian
music is not written to be sung congregationally. There is
nothing wrong with that. In addition, Christian songwriters have
write lyrics that are not detectably Christian or biblical. As
long as they are not presenting unbiblical or immoral content, they are free to use their gifts
in whatever manner God leads them.
Regarding styles and complexity of music, songwriters should be
able to write and express their creativity with their God-given
However, when it comes to songs that we use in our churches for
the purpose of singing together as a congregation, there should
be a different approach to songwriting. Singing
together as a large group brings many variables that are not
present when performing music solo or with a music group. We do
not claim to be experts on songwriting, but we think this
is where some groups and writers could do better in
serving the church.
Some of the music that is supposedly written and produced for
worship today is very difficult to sing well congregationally.
It has very irregular tempos, beats, and phrasings. If there is
more than one verse, the verses do not have matching meter or
rhythm. While this is not always necessary, great variances
between verses can make songs very hard to learn, remember,
follow, or sing together as group. On the other hand, this is where many of
the old hymns excel and why people remember them. It is
because they are consistent in rhythm and meter and easier to recall.
In addition, the melody range of many "worship" songs is so
great that it is difficult to make it "singable" for a large group. If
it is too high and you lower the key, then it gets pushed too
low in the other direction. Most people cannot sing really high
and really low. If you want songs that everyone in the congregation can sing
and will want to sing for a long time, write them within an
range. Most of the recommendations that we have heard say that you should try
to stay within the range of middle C to the top D or E on the
treble clef. Some even say that you should not go above C. Again, think of many of the great hymns that people
have held onto through the years. Look at how they are written.
Most of them stay right in that range. Not always, but as a
general rule, songs written in this range will be much easier
for congregations to sing together.
The most important aspect is the content of the song. It is
crucial to make sure that congregational songs are biblically sound
and grounded in the Word of God. We need to sing the truth. We
need to sing it together and sing it to each other. We need to use good
theology and clearly reflect the truth that God has revealed to
us in His Word. If phrases are fuzzy or unclear, they
should not be used. Our corporate singing times are not the
times for singing about the obscure or abstract musings of a
songwriter. Those songs have their purpose and place, if they
are not unbiblical, but that place is not in our congregational singing
time. The message needs to be clear and doctrinally sound. We believe
that we will be held accountable for what is taught
through the songs we write and bring to the church to sing.
Let's make sure that we are diligent to use songs with
content that is biblical and will enrich the congregation as they worship
with their minds and emotions - worship that is in Spirit and in
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