Congregational Singing

   Singing by lay congregants in a worship service. Most major religious traditions have some form, but the practice varies widely. At one extreme is a Buddhist burial service, which is sung entirely by the priest, and at the other might be an American revival where everyone present sings every praise chorus. Many traditions combine the professional singing of a cantor or priest and congregational singing.
   The principal constraints on congregational singing are technical: the music must be simple enough for musically untrained members of a culture, the great majority, to learn quickly and execute, especially in cultures where printed matter is not traditional. Refrains with simple texts, strophic forms, and other repetitive forms are common strategies. Direct settings of sacred writings such as the Bible, the Vedas, the Qur’ān, etc., are generally too complex. As one solution, ancient Jewish psalmody employed brief responsorial interpolations such as Hallelujah sung by the congregation within a psalm chanted by the soloist. More common are metric paraphrases of sacred texts or original hymns.

Historical dictionary of sacred music. . 2006.

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  • Congregational Singing — • In his Instruction on sacred music, commonly referred to as the Motu Proprio (22 Nov., 1903), Pius X says (no. 3): Special efforts are to be made to restore the use of Gregorian chant by the people, so that the faithful may again take a more… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Congregational — Con gre*ga tion*al, a. 1. Of or pertaining to a congregation; conducted, or participated in, by a congregation; as, congregational singing. [1913 Webster] 2. Belonging to the system of Congregationalism, or to Congregationalist; holding to the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Singing school — O, tell me young friends, while the morning s fair and cool,: O where, tell me where, shall I find your singing school.: You ll find it under the tall oak where the leaves do shake and blow,: You ll find a half hundred a singing faw, sol, faw …   Wikipedia

  • congregational — congregationally, adv. /kong gri gay sheuh nl/, adj. 1. of or pertaining to a congregation: congregational singing. 2. (cap.) pertaining or adhering to a form of Protestant church government in which each local church acts as an independent, self …   Universalium

  • congregational — /kɒŋgrəˈgeɪʃənəl / (say konggruh gayshuhnuhl) adjective of or relating to a congregation: congregational singing …   Australian English dictionary

  • Singing, Congregational — • In his Instruction on sacred music, commonly referred to as the Motu Proprio (22 Nov., 1903), Pius X says (no. 3): Special efforts are to be made to restore the use of Gregorian chant by the people, so that the faithful may again take a more… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • singing — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ beautiful, fine, good, great ▪ carol, choral ▪ communal (esp. BrE), community (BrE) …   Collocations dictionary

  • congregational — adj. Congregational is used with these nouns: ↑singing …   Collocations dictionary

  • How Can I Keep from Singing? — (also known by its incipit My Life Flows On in Endless Song ) is a Christian hymn with music written by American Baptist minister Robert Wadsworth Lowry. The song is frequently, though erroneously, cited as a traditional Quaker hymn. The original …   Wikipedia

  • Lowell Mason — (January 8, 1792 August 11, 1872) was a leading figure in American church music, the composer of over 1600 hymns, many of which are often sung today. He was also largely responsible for introducing music into American public schools, and is… …   Wikipedia

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