Sunday, March 14, 2010

to B or not to B ( when maybe A or G is fine )

What is the highest note you should ask the congregation to sing? Currently our leader bounces around F# above middle C ( F#4)

In his book " Here I Am To Worship", Tim Hughes specifies Bb2 to D4, just above middle C. How high should we be singing? David Crowder is often quoted as saying to move the songs to a higher key, and people will sing louder. That works as long as you're David Crowder and people are a captive audience paying $20 to sing along with you.

Not sure it works in a congregation

your opinions


1 comment:

Michael Kuehn said...

Happened upon your site and am a worship leader in NC. This issue is an important one, and I think that Hughes' estimation is a good one. Our congregation does well from Bb2 to Eb4. Some songs to get to E4, but they are not usually sustained notes, so it works fairly well. In my opinion F#4 is way too high.

I also disagree with Crowder's philosophy that a higher key = louder singing. As you said, maybe it works with a paying audience in a concert setting, but a congregation is totally different. If we sang popular praise songs in their original key at my church (supposing the worship team could even do it), the place would be silent. When the songs get too high or complicated the default for most is to get quieter. That is not to say we shouldn't stretch our technical muscles and try new things, but it must be done with taste and wisdom. People should sing louder out of true worship, not stressing their vocal chords to reach the notes.