Instruments In Worship

Source: The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Robert E. Webber, General Editor

Instrumental music was an essential feature of Hebrew worship. The early Christian church, however, rejected instrumental music, largely because of the pagan associations of many instruments. Thus, its church music consisted of exclusively unaccompanied singing. Later centuries again saw the use of instruments in worship, especially the organ. In the twentieth century, music for worship has been accompanied by the widest variety of instruments playing in a wide variety of styles. This...

Historical And Theological Perspectives On Musical Instruments In Worship

The use of instruments in worship has engendered great controversy throughout the history of the church. The following article describes the most important issues at stake in these controversies, highlighting important principles that can guide our use of instruments in worship today.

Instrumental Music In Service To The Text

A wide variety of musical instruments can be used effectively in accompanying hymns and anthems. Creativity in the use of instruments should always seek to reflect and illuminate the text that is sung. The following article gives suggestions for how a variety of instruments can be used to proclaim the text.

The History Of The Organ In The Christian Church

The honor accorded the pipe organ in Christian worship represents a curious paradox. On the one hand, the Christian church through most of its history has had an abiding antipathy toward instruments; on the other, the organ (together with bells) has, since the late Middle Ages, become so identified with the church that it embodies the very essence of "churchliness. " How could this have happened?

The Organ In Worship

The organ is a very complex instrument both to describe and to play. The following article defines many of the terms used to describe and distinguish organs and identifies important issues in playing them in worship.

Designing The Organ For Leading Congregational Song

The primary purpose of the church organ is to lead and accompany congregational singing. This article argues that the highest priority in organ design and construction in churches should not be to produce an impressive organ for recitals, but rather to construct an organ to meet the unique needs of congregational singing.

The Piano In Worship

Many congregations are discovering the piano as an excellent instrument to lead congregational singing. This article informs the reader about the intelligent use of the piano in worship.

Electronic Keyboards And The Church Musician

Recent technology has generated a wide variety of electronic keyboards available to the church musician. This article defines many of the technical terms that are used to distinguish the varieties of keyboards available and provides guidelines for their use.

The Synthesizer In Worship

The synthesizer is one of the most versatile yet affordable instruments a church can purchase. It can contribute a variety of sounds and accompany a variety of musical styles.

Arranging Music For Instruments

Writing music for orchestral instruments requires knowing about the unique design and sound of each instrument. This article examines each major type of orchestral instrument, outlining the basic features of each and suggesting ways of effectively arranging music for each.

Brass In Worship

Brass has enjoyed a long use in worship, beginning in Old Testament times and continuing into the present. This article describes where and how brass may be used in worship.

Brass Instruments

The Orchestra In The Praise-and-worship Tradition

The orchestra has found a significant place in the worship of Pentecostal, charismatic, and praise-and-worship churches. This article describes the use of the orchestra in this worship tradition.

The Band In The Praise-and-worship Tradition

Music in the praise-and-worship tradition is often accompanied by a small consort or band of instruments. Precedent for the band in worship goes back to the foundation of the Salvation Army in the nineteenth century. This article describes this history and suggests how the contemporary worship band can be used as a means of musical leadership.

The Guitar In Worship

The use of stringed instruments in worship goes back into the Old Testament and has a history of its own in the Christian church. In recent years, the guitar has been frequently used to lead music for worship. This article explains where and how to use the guitar.

Hand-held Percussion In Worship

The history of percussion instruments is traceable to the Old Testament. These instruments, used on only a limited basis throughout the history of the church, have re-emerged in contemporary worship. This article describes various hand-held percussion instruments and their usage in Christian worship.

Bells In Worship

Bells have long been employed in worship. In contemporary use one can find large bells used for calling to worship, carillons or chimes, small Sanctus bells used during liturgy, and handbells, which are covered in the next article.

Handbells In Worship

Handbell ringing is an English art that has made a phenomenal appearance in American worship in this century. This article explains the various kinds of handbells, how to organize a handbell group, and how and where to use handbells in worship.

Drums In Worship

Every style of music embodies certain rhythmic features, many of which can be clarified, enhanced, or emphasized by percussion instruments. This article outlines the historical use of percussion instruments and discusses their function in the praise-and-worship tradition.

Churches That Refrain From Use Of Instruments In Worship

A small minority of churches today are opposed in principle to the use of instruments in worship. The following article outlines a typical argument for this position. It is written by a leader in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, one denomination that refrains from the use of instruments in worship.