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Singing from different hymnsheets

The Christian music scene is in a strange place at the moment. I wrote last year that one of the reasons congregational singing is in decline is that songwriters were writing more for an audience than for a congregation. ‘Song writers have got into the habit of writing for the market or label rather than for the people of God.’

The Music Exchange Richard Simpkin

The reason for this is straightforward. As soon as you create a music label, you quickly have to rely on the market which buys in to your label. This means that it becomes more important to write songs which ‘sell’ well than ones which congregations actually enjoy singing together. It also creates a ‘pop chart’ culture, whereby each song has its day in the sun until tastes change. You then have to write another song, which you hope can sustain the momentum of the label. In my experience, songwriters tend to do this using the ‘blunderbuss’ technique, whereby we’re blasted by a load of second-rate songs in the hope that one finds the target.