| I think I may have had an epiphany recently. Or at least a vague realization. Maybe it was just a dim light beginning to glow in the recesses of my brain. It is this: We in the choral music biz are spending a great deal of time and effort producing contemporary choral music that is neither contemporary, nor is it choral.
All the many arrangements of the latest Praise & Worship songs are, at best, watered down versions of music that in its original form is, for the most, derivative pop music. By the time we smooth out the choir parts to make them easily sing-able – the music is anything but “contemporary.” And because the underpinnings – the accompaniments – are all about the groovy track (the rhythm section, the band, etc.) – the music really isn’t all that choral.
I’m not saying this music has no place in worship. Sometimes it can be a lot of fun to sing. Fun to play. But as pop music goes – this music is far from cutting edge contemporary. And after experiencing the Alleluia conference last week (where there were no tracks, no bands – just people singing traditional choral music with a piano), it was made apparent to me that much of what we’ve been producing for the past decade or so really isn’t very “choral.”
Who knows – maybe time will prove that we’ve created a viable “hybrid” music. To be honest – I have my doubts about that. In the meantime – I am re-examining my approach to “contemporary choral” music.