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Fether

Should I say something?

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Every hymn that is played in sacrament meeting is consistently at least 10 Bpm slow. Even the most up beat songs become funeral songs. We sang “their is sunshine in my soul today” at 55bpm today. It’s been this way since I moved into the ward.

is this something worth bringing up? For me personally, it can be agonizing

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As chorister, I don't know if I would want it brought up or not. It's a very common complaint around the Church, but it doesn't seem to change, so I don't know if bringing it up yet again will really change anything. Of course, I often feel like I am rushing the congregation and/or organist, so maybe I'm seeing this from the other side of the problem -- a fear of going too fast.

Having also been the accompanist, sometimes I think the pace is set by the organist/pianist, because that is the position related to music that requires the most skill. If the organist/pianist cannot play any faster, complaining that it is too slow won't help until the accompanist improves their skill level. Unless and until the Church decides to make accompanist a paid position (like other churches) we maybe need to be patient and tolerant of the volunteer musicians we use for this.

My feeling -- if you have a good enough relationship with the chorister/organist to gently say something, then say that you, personally, would like to sing some of the hymns at a faster tempo. Then, leave the job of leading/playing the music to those called to the job. If it changes, then good. If the tempo remains slower than you like, accept that they are doing the best they can with the skills and artistic vision they have, and be patient with them.

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11 minutes ago, MrShorty said:

As chorister, I don't know if I would want it brought up or not. It's a very common complaint around the Church, but it doesn't seem to change, so I don't know if bringing it up yet again will really change anything. Of course, I often feel like I am rushing the congregation and/or organist, so maybe I'm seeing this from the other side of the problem -- a fear of going too fast.

Having also been the accompanist, sometimes I think the pace is set by the organist/pianist, because that is the position related to music that requires the most skill. If the organist/pianist cannot play any faster, complaining that it is too slow won't help until the accompanist improves their skill level. Unless and until the Church decides to make accompanist a paid position (like other churches) we maybe need to be patient and tolerant of the volunteer musicians we use for this.

My feeling -- if you have a good enough relationship with the chorister/organist to gently say something, then say that you, personally, would like to sing some of the hymns at a faster tempo. Then, leave the job of leading/playing the music to those called to the job. If it changes, then good. If the tempo remains slower than you like, accept that they are doing the best they can with the skills and artistic vision they have, and be patient with them.

Because I dont know if it is a matter of skill or just not being aware, I am uncomfortable bringing it up. If I knew it was just not being aware, I would absolutely say something

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My experience with this is that the organist and/or chorister are usually older and cognitively that seems to be the best they got. In which case we accept what they have to offer and we endure to their end.

Otherwise I would mention it to the bishopric and leave it up to them as to if and how to address it. Maybe it just needs to start with "I think we need a rousing hymn to start the meeting, something with a faster beat" making it sound more like a change in policy as opposed to telling them they have been doing it wrong. Tricky subject.

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In a previous ward, the tempo of the hymns made it feel like we were always at a funeral. The chorister was older* and had that calling a long time (most likely only active because of the calling) but the organists were all middle-aged and you could see him look at them and count the tempo before facing the congregation. Anyway, after being patient for some time, I mentioned it to my husband who was then part of the ward council. He told me he brought it up and all of them agreed about the issue. One of the bishopric counselors who had a good relationship with the chorister said he'd talk to him about it and things were much better after that. 

In a nutshell - yes, say something. Others may be feeling the same way. If it helps, maybe put it in context of if you were an investigator, would you get the impression people were happy to be there or come away feeling like church was a sad time.

*Age isn't always the issue. Some people just have a slower pace and others have a quicker pace about them. Maybe mention this concept to the bishopric as well so the issue isn't repeated.

 

Edited by Manners Matter

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3 hours ago, MrShorty said:

As chorister, I don't know if I would want it brought up or not. It's a very common complaint around the Church, but it doesn't seem to change, so I don't know if bringing it up yet again will really change anything. Of course, I often feel like I am rushing the congregation and/or organist, so maybe I'm seeing this from the other side of the problem -- a fear of going too fast.

Having also been the accompanist, sometimes I think the pace is set by the organist/pianist, because that is the position related to music that requires the most skill. If the organist/pianist cannot play any faster, complaining that it is too slow won't help until the accompanist improves their skill level. Unless and until the Church decides to make accompanist a paid position (like other churches) we maybe need to be patient and tolerant of the volunteer musicians we use for this.

My feeling -- if you have a good enough relationship with the chorister/organist to gently say something, then say that you, personally, would like to sing some of the hymns at a faster tempo. Then, leave the job of leading/playing the music to those called to the job. If it changes, then good. If the tempo remains slower than you like, accept that they are doing the best they can with the skills and artistic vision they have, and be patient with them.

I like your response - I was taught by my parents to never complain about anything I was not willing to demonstrate improvement.   In other words - do not complain about anyone unless you are willing and capable of replacing them.

I do not know exactly why but when I was scout master I got more complaints about what was going on more that all other callings I have had all combined.  I solved the problem of parents complaining about campouts by suggesting that they take over the planning and excitation of our next camping activity - which was needed for merit badges to keep their kids on schedule to complete their scouting experience.

 

The Traveler

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3 hours ago, Grunt said:

I wouldn't know 10 bpm difference if it was drummed on my head.

10 Bpm is bright where you typically start asking “is this too slow?”. For us, 10bpm too slow is best case scenario.

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Thanks for the post.  I agree.  Many times the hymns seem like songs of distress instead of worship.  

Luckily, because of COVID home church, I can do something about it.  We just put in a bid on a vintage metronome and will be practicing our hymns during the week before Sunday services. 

17DFD063-AB0E-427C-A02E-E4798FC8FA09.thumb.jpeg.f722bf24e79e653766ed98ae4f27e046.jpeg

Edited by mikbone

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54 minutes ago, mikbone said:

Thanks for the post.  I agree.  Many times the hymns seem like songs of distress instead of worship.  

Luckily, because of COVID home church, I can do something about it.  We just put in a bid on a vintage metronome and will be practicing our hymns during the week before Sunday services. 

17DFD063-AB0E-427C-A02E-E4798FC8FA09.thumb.jpeg.f722bf24e79e653766ed98ae4f27e046.jpeg

I jokingly commented to my friends Today that we need one of those $150 dr beats hooked up to an amp next to the organist. Just play that piercing DING DING DING DING DING DING for the whole congregation so we can stay on time.

For those who are not initiated with the ways of drumline…a  guaranteed migraine in 2 minutes 

Edited by Fether

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