Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Prayer for Educators at the Dawn of a New Academic Year

We interrupt this series providing songwriting tips from some of the best songwriters of the 20th century to offer a prayer for educators at the dawn of a new–and highly unusual–academic year. In a weekly e-mail of encouragement Judson University’s … Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 6a

“The point, in summary, is this: The chord structure drove the song, and once the interesting chords were in place, the melody almost wrote itself.” Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 5

“And I am very anxious about worship songs which have deconstructed the tune–the idea of a tune–and that’s the radical nature of post-modernity to reconstruct the narrative.” Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 4

“Another thing that I do is I might play someone else’s material that I really like and that sometimes unlocks a channel.  The danger in that is that you’re gonna write that person’s song for your next song.  It’s just sit down and, again, if you’re a lyric writer, read something that you really like, enjoy something that you really like.  Or sometimes I’ll play something of my own that I really like, something that is already existing that is fun.” Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 3

“Sometimes you have to be very tenacious, and sometimes you have to give yourself a break and not beat yourself up and say, “Where is it?  Where is it?”  It’s not here, you know.  It’ll be here when it gets here, and that’s it.  There’s nothing more you can do.” Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 2

“I wonder what cwm would sound like if more Christians writing songs for the Church listened to ‘all kinds of music’ more regularly?” Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Part 1

Dylan: “Everything sounds deeper in those black keys.” Continue reading

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Songwriting Tips from the Experts, Prelude

“The same basic elements of melody, harmony, and rhythm drive a worship song the same way they drive a secular song; hence, we can analyze how well the melody works, how helpful the harmonic structure supports that melody, and how effectively the rhythm propels both in all songs that are meant to be sung, whether by a soloist, a small vocal ensemble, a choir, or a congregation.” Continue reading

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Should Contemporary Worship Music Be Beautiful? … Part III

“’Beauty is most emphatically not the necessary and sufficient condition of aesthetic excellence,’ offers Nicholas Wolterstorff in the classic Art in Action.  Hence, the pursuit of beauty in our worship need not involve stained glass or pipe organs (though it can), nor does it mandate multiple-thousand-dollar lighting rigs or sophisticated sound systems (though it can).”  Continue reading

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Should Contemporary Worship Music Be Beautiful? … Part II

“Worship leaders, we tend to do really well, as Torgerson suggests, celebrating the immanent nature of God.  I encourage us all to give a little more time in our congregational singing sets to God’s transcendence.” Continue reading

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