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What Makes a Song “Congregational Singable”

On one of the forums that I am a part of, today, a user asked a question about a particular song.  She wanted to know if it was “good as a congregational song”.  (the song, by the way, was Mercy Me’s Flawless.)

Until today – I may have been able to give you a brilliant answer to the question of “what makes a song ‘congregational'”…that was until another user reminded us of something:

But wait a minute? Can’t I walk into every congregation on the globe and sing that song and hear every voice singing it?

…and yet I remember thinking the same of the song.  “It doesn’t have a straight forward rhythm to the melody line…people won’t song it right!“, I thought.

With that in mind…what songs have I tossed away because they “surely” couldn’t be sung by a congregation in my book?  Should I have given them a chance?

So I pose the question to our readers…What does make a song singable to the congregation?

Let’s start a healthy discussion below in the comments area.

2 thoughts on “What Makes a Song “Congregational Singable””

  1. Danny Davis says:

    I think if a song “strikes a chord” in people’s hearts it can override any sensible measure of “singability” we can come up with. Luther probably trampled on every sensible idea of singability imaginings blue with “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” While modern writer’s have cleaned up the arrangement to aid in its ease of participation, in its original form it was written in multiple (and sometimes NO) time signatures. Yet over hundreds of years it has remained arguably one of the most sung and recognizable hymns for Believers and non-believers alike.

    1. (Jason W.) says:

      Great thoughts, Danny! Ironic that when some hear the “cleaned up arrangement” that they tend to think “that isn’t the way its supposed to be sung” and then long for the ways of old, isn’t it?

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