Leading the Church's Song

(Robert B. Farlee). Augsburg Fortress Press, 1999.

In this book and CD, over 23 accomplished church musicians offer discussions and examples of the skills and attitudes needed to bring congregational song to life. The authors encourage music leaders to look through congregational eyes, to be open to music of other genres, and to be constantly learning. The first chapter centers around the common elements of communal song—such as beat, tempo, articulation, accompaniment, and vocal and instrumental leadership. Subsequent chapters move the reader through a more detailed exploration of the many genres of song available today. The variety of North American hymns are discussed, along with the different genres of “contemporary” worship music and the improvisational dimension of African-American gospel and spiritual music. Also covered are Latino, African, and Asian music and the rhythmic and melodic characteristics of each. Church musicians, choir members, music and worship committee members, and pastors who are committed to excellent, vital worship will benefit from the insights and instructions presented in this book.