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N.T. Wright on Modern Worship Songs

Here is a quote I that I read in an interview with NT Wright in Worship Leader Magazine

And then the other thing I really, really worry about is the music. Quite a lot of the contemporary worship songs don’t actually have tunes in the proper sense. They have two or three notes which they go to and fro on and then maybe they have a chorus which lifts it a bit, but it’s still often not a tune. When you go back to some of the older things way back into the medieval period and through the 16th, 18th Century, etc., you have an actual tune.-And the point about a tune is that it’s telling a story.

It’s going somewhere. 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 deconstruct the narrative. That’s where our culture is. But we ought to be discerning how to do fresh actual tunes, not sort of past issues, copying what was done in the 16th or 17th or 19th or whatever century, but actual refreshed new creation tunes rather than simply a scattering of random notes. You can feel the difference in the congregation when they’re given a real tune to sing.


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