Every choir has favorite songs they love to sing. These songs can have some special meaning to the choir or the choir just sounds good on these particular tunes. While I was researching literature of the intergenerational church choir, I asked my leaders to name 3-5 of their choir’s favorites. Almost every leader had no trouble coming up with a list of things their choir loves. After I gathered the information from the leaders, I had a total of 283 titles. Several of the leaders had similar titles, so there actually wound up being 160 different tunes in the list.
What I wanted to find out was two-fold. First, what was the music type category of each tune (Contemporary, Southern gospel, Black gospel, Traditional church anthem, Hymn arrangement, etc)? Second, was there a difference between the music types the leaders reported they used and the actual music types from the favorite anthems? Here are the results:
Now, look at the graph below from my last blog where I reported the music types given by the leaders when asked what types of music they use with their choirs. Remember, the percentage of the graph above must equal 100 percent of the total of 160 different titles given, whereas below the percentages equal the percentage of the leaders that use the music type.
The first thing I see when comparing the two lists is the ORDER of frequency. In both the music types of the favorite anthems reported AND the self-reported list of music types the leaders use with their choir, the music types are ranked similarly in frequency. This suggests that the leaders are well aware of the music types their choirs are singing and reported similarly when giving me their common music types. This suggests to me that choirs in the intergenerational church don’t have favorites that are in one music type either. Perhaps it is because they are exposed to various types of literature or maybe it has to do with the various ages that are involved in the church music ministry. Whatever it is, it reminds me that variety is alive in well in the intergenerational church choir.
I know some of you are interested in what would be on this list. Here are the top five songs in rank order:
- Thou, O Lord (19 indicated)
- The Majesty and Glory Of Your Name (11)
- We Will Remember (11)
- Jerusalem (8)
- This Blood (8)
Even in the list here, there is variety of music style! Variety is good, especially when done well.