Season after Pentecost, 2023
Chuch music has been around for many thousands of years, but each church musician has only been around for a handful of decades. So, while the tradition will probably hold itself together, each individual laborer in the musical vinyard has to figure out the best way to harvest his or her own musical grapes.
I like to maintain an interdisciplinary approach to my work, and that's why I am drawn to the ramifications of design concepts -- like How Apple's small things influence their big things -- on church music, and more specifically, rehearsal technique.
Here, I think it's important that we pay particular attention to our small things: hymns. The trebles sing hymns at every service, but they are often relegated to the status of "small thing". Especially if the hymns are rehearsed all in a lump and all in the same way every week, the treble perceives them as second-tier.
This is fine. Musically, there's only so much material there. It's literally a small thing. But if a standard of excellence can be brought to the hymn -- focus, intonation, clarity of text, phrasing, musicality -- this standard will permeate the rest of the rehearsal and infect the larger things: the psalm, Mass setting, and anthem.
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