Harmony, Melody and Musical Musings

Harmony requires that people sing slightly different tunes. Not discordant ones, but different. 
In the Methodist Church we pride ourselves on our singing. "Methodism was born in song" we claim... but these days most of the the singing that goes on is in unison... Slowly the four part harmonies that used to characterise some classic Wesleyan hymns are being forgotten even more rapidly than the wider corpus of Wesley's hymns...

And what is true musically is at times true theologically. There is a desire for us all not just to sing from the same hymnbook, but to sing the same parts in a very small range of songs.
People singing different tunes or introducing different songs can be made to feel very unwelcome in certain parts of the church... and I am not specifically talking about the Methodist Church, but we are as guilty as any...

However, there is a limit... I was in a church recently where when it came to the chorus, which in our church involves myself and maybe one or two other people singing the harmony, in this church 90% of the people there sang the harmony, or a variation of it... and the melody was almost lost...

Again this can be true of us theologically... The belief that no-one has a comprehensive understanding of the mind of God that that there is no monopoly on theological truth is not an excuse for theological anarchy... 

We need to know the melody... the core credo... but this should be counterpointed by the harmonies... different voices, singing slightly different tunes... to the delight of the same audience of one...

Shalom

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