Do you have time for a cappella?

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by rlvaughn, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    The thread "Does the New Testament teach us that we can use instrumental music in worship" got me to thinking, which brings about this thread.

    Those who believe that singing should be a cappella, always sing a cappella. There is never any instrumental accompaniment. Those who did not agree with this believed, I think, "to the man" that instruments were not necessary, but that they are allowed. IOW, you can sing either way -- with or without accompaniment. Now my questions are to those who believe that instruments are allowed but not required.

    1. How often do you sing a cappella in your church? Never? Seldom? Half and half? Often?

    2. If you sometimes sing a cappella, under what circumstances? Because the musicians didn't show up? Because you give that style a portion of the worship time? Do you do it for congregational songs, or only on solos or special numbers?

    3. If you seldom if ever sing a cappella, how would your church respond if a significant portion of time was given to a cappella singing?

    4. Any other comments you have about this that I didn't think to ask.

    Thanks.
     
  2. LeBuick

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    Some of us, including myself, sound a lot better when drowned out by music. I still think we need to do as the heavenly Choir;

    And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

    If it's good enough for heaven then it should be good enough for the earth.
     
  3. Gib

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    1. How often do you sing a cappella in your church? Never? Seldom? Half and half? Often?

    Often

    2. If you sometimes sing a cappella, under what circumstances? Because the musicians didn't show up? Because you give that style a portion of the worship time? Do you do it for congregational songs, or only on solos or special numbers?

    Because the musicians weren't there. We've never had anyone not just show up.

    Because we have given that style a portion of the worship time.

    We do it for congregational songs. I do it several times a year during solos. Last a cappella solo was Lord, I Want To Be A Christian.
     
  4. TaterTot

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    I love good close a cappella harmony. At the end of a hymn, sometimes I will have the congregation sing the chorus again without any instruments. And sometimes the choir does spirituals a cappella.
     
  5. rlvaughn

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    LeBuick, are you still trying to debate a cappella versus instrumental? Or that everyone in the congregations needs harps??

    I'd be interested in hearing about the practice of your church. As to being drowned out, I suppose I've heard some I'd rather have been drowned out! On the other hand, I've been a few places where the instrumentalist was bad enough that the singing would have been better without it. Thankfully God looks on the heart.

    Gib, to clarify on that "the musicians didn't show up" -- that probably isn't an issue in larger churches, but can be in smaller ones that have only one or two folks who can play the piano/organ/whatever. Should one of them happen to be on vacation and another be sick, the church is suddenly rendered an a cappella church for the day. That is a very real prospect for some churches. Just wanted to clarify that I didn't intend on being frivolous or humorous about it.
     
  6. tenor

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    Generally speaking, when I use unaccompanied singing in our church, it is used as a means of achieving variety in our congragational singing.

    One of the ways of varying hymn singing is to occasionally sing 1 or 2 stanzas unaccompanied, especially if the text leans well to it. Sometimes we will repeat a refrain or tag-line unaccompanied as a means of closing. Occasionally the choir or a soloist will sing unaccompanied if the song so dictates.

    I've used an unaccompanied soloist or small group as a prayer response from the rear of the sanctuary. The only problem with this is that everyone turns to look rather than reflect on the text and mood.

    I love unaccompanied singing, but not to the exclusion of using instruments.

    Remember, the human voice is the only musical instrument created by a direct act of God.

    Tim
     
  7. LeBuick

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    We should all get harps if we want to do exactly like in the Bible...

    I have to admit, singing is not my gift. Some people sing bass, baritone, tenor, alto or soprano. I sing filler. If you picture a 25 voice choir, probably 5 to 10 can actually sing and the rest are like me, they sing filler. I also have a very bad memory so am really known to blow the words.

    Funny story, a few years ago on mothers day, we had all the Church mothers sitting together. There was a mic there because of a presentation we did during the anouncements. Instead of allowing the regular hymn of preparation (Amazing Grace), I decided to sing my own hymn (Mother loves her Children all the time).

    I'm singing and our pianist is doing that thing where they try to find your key (well into the song I might add). All of a sudden, you could hear one of the mother's say, "bless his heart, he tries so hard" which was picked up by the mic. I think everyone did all the could to keep from busting a gut.

    If the spirit hits me I'll still take off with a song. My wife suggested I stick to ones the rest of the congregation can join in with me.

    Oh, as for drowning me out, I got a group of young people I call the crew. It's about 4 drummers, 2 bass and a guy with a sax. They take turns playing so they don't all play at the same time. Once they get going, well, their hearts in the right place...
     
    #7 LeBuick, Aug 7, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2006
  8. Alcott

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    Do you have time for a cappella?

    Probably not. Who is that, anyway?
     
  9. Gib

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    We are a smaller church. Run an average of 75 in worship. In the 5 years I've been there, I've never had a pianist just not show up. I've always known in advance.

    For a Sunday morning service, I would secure another pianist. For the evening service or a Wednesday night, not necessarily.
     
  10. rlvaughn

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    Gib, I suppose in our area, in town, a church averaging 75 might be considered somewhat small, but in rural areas small churches often average 20-30.

    When you say you sing a cappella often, what would be considered often?
     
  11. LeBuick

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    Not that I think about it, our Chior sings, "tis the old ship of zion" with out music and from time to time we have a guest soloist who might sing a capello.
     
  12. Gib

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    I've sung in a a few of those churches. I have found with groups that small, you're lucky to have a pianist at all.

    I lead the music during revival for a little church in So. Alabama. Thinking back, there were probably 15-20 a night. They did not have a pianist. We sang a cappella for 4 of the 5 nights. I brought my keyboard, but ended up not using it.

    More often during the Wednesday night prayer services. 20-25 times a year.

    A dozen or so for a Sunday PM service.

    From time to time to often for a Sunday AM service. We have always had a pianist for the AM service, so singing a cappella for an AM service is by choice. We have sung the doxology a cappella on several occasions. We sing a hymn or chorus just before our intercessory prayer and have sung that a cappella. The choir has sung the Call to Worship several times this year without a pianist.
     
  13. LeBuick

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    Glad to hear this, I wish my folks would understand that service doesn't stop because the musician isn't there...
     
  14. rlvaughn

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    Just out of curiousity and kind of off topic -- which "old ship of zion" song do you all sing? I know of several --

    One is an old campmeeting chorus:

    What ship is this that will take us all home,
    Oh, glory hallelujah,
    And safely land us on Canaan's bright shore?
    Oh, glory hallelujah.
    Chorus:
    O, the old ship of Zion, hallelu, hallelu.
    Tis the old ship of Zion, hallelujah.
    The winds may blow and the billows may foam,
    Oh, glory hallelujah,
    But she is able to land us all home.
    Oh, glory hallelujah.
    (Chorus)
    She landed all who have gone before,
    Oh, glory hallelujah,
    And yet she is able to land still more,
    Oh, glory hallelujah.

    One was recorded live by the Kingsmen:

    I was standing on the banks of the river
    Looking out over life's troubled sea
    When I saw that old ship that was sailing
    Is that the old ship of Zion I see?
    It's hull was beat and battered
    From the storms of life, I could see
    The waves were rough, but that old ship was steady
    Is that the old ship of Zion I see?
    At the stern of the ship was the captain
    I could hear as He called my name
    "Get on board, it's the old ship of Zion
    It will never pass this way again"
    As I step on board, I'll be leaving
    All my sorrows and heartaches behind
    I'll be safe with Jesus, the captain
    Sailing out on the old ship of Zion

    One has the 'ship ahoy' line:

    ’Twas the “old ship of Zion,” thus sailing along,
    All aboard her seemed joyous, I heard their sweet song;
    And the Captain’s kind ear, ever ready to hear,
    Caught my wail of distress, as I cried out in fear:
    “Ship ahoy! Ship ahoy!”
    As I cried out in fear: “Ship ahoy!”
     
  15. Gib

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    We sing The Old Ship of Zion

    Chorus
    Tis the old ship of Zion, Tis the old ship of Zion, Tis the old ship of Zion, Get on board, get on board

    V1
    It has landed many a thousand x 3
    Get on board, get on board

    V2
    Ain't no danger in the water x 3
    Get on board, get on board

    V3
    It was good for my dear mother x 3
    Get on board, get on board

    V4
    It was good for my dear father x 3
    Get on board, get on board

    V5
    It will take us all to heaven x 3
    Get on board, get on board
     
  16. TaterTot

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    My first batch of music came in today for my a cappella choir at school. Its great. I have been singing "Jamaican Noel" all day!!.......Tiny little baby, tiny little babe He's a tiny little baby born in Bethlehem...:)
     
  17. LeBuick

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    You need to start working on your accent or you can't do the song justice.

    Say MAAN a lot and start eating jerk chicken...
     
  18. LeBuick

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    This version.
     
  19. rlvaughn

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    Yes, I've heard that one also. I think the only one I've actually sung at any time was the first one of the three in my post above.
     
  20. Joshua Rhodes

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    My choir will be singing my own arrangement of "Down in the River to Pray" in a few weeks. Most of my arrangements are acappella.
     

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