Saturday, July 07, 2007

Does the music matter?

This weekend has been a bit frustrating for me as a musician. I'm supposed to be playing on the worship team for church, but I wasn't able to make the practice this week because of a conflict with work, and church didn't opt to shift the practice from the time they chose. The issue isn't that though...instead it is that I'm so appalled by the chosen tunes being done poorly that honestly...I'm embarrassed to play the songs as they are from the recording of the practice. Sound vain?

Is it more humble to play poorly executed music if you knew that people would cringe if you did that to non-church cover-tunes in a coffee shop or concert? Or songs that are in the wrong time or playing the wrong chords? Some people would argue that this is 'worship' and therefore as long as the people are 'able' to worship that the fact that the chords are all wrong shouldn't matter. Well then...my question is return is: then why are we playing music? Can't we 'worship' just fine without music? Or without these specific tunes?

I think that we choose the songs that we do specifically because we believe the choices DO matter. And since I think that it is reasonable to give my best musicianship that I'm able (not that I'm really all that good in the first place) in serving people with music (to bring people into a place where they can comfortably connect to praising God in song), I therefore think that the music we have chosen should be played well. We have a number of really accomplished and good musicians in the church...so I see no reason to simplify arrangements, dumb down the arrangements, or simply get the arrangement wrong. Doing so isn't 'creative license'. It is just bad music.