(405) 425-5070

Q&A on a cappella singing symposium

I’m headed to Pepperdine University on Thursday to cover The Ascending Voice II, a symposium of sacred a cappella music, and work on a few other stories for The Christian Chronicle.
Symposium co-director Darryl Tippens wrote a Views piece for the Chronicle‘s May print issue entitled “Voices, hearts and lungs as spiritual instruments.” Here is my story on the first symposium back in 2007.

Darryl Tippens (photo provided by Pepperdine University)

Today, Religion News Service published a Q&A with Tippens that begins:

The psalmist said to praise God with trumpets, harps, tambourines and loud clanging cymbals, but some Christian churches shun all instruments in favor of good old-fashioned a cappella singing.
Provost Darryl Tippens is helping convene the second conference on preserving a cappella music at Pepperdine University, which is affiliated with the non-instrumental Churches of Christ.
The Ascending Voice II conference, which opened Wednesday (May 12), includes not only members of his Churches of Christ but Mennonites, Eastern Orthodox, Episcopalians and Roman Catholics who face an uphill battle against the popularity of praise bands and recorded music.

Read the entire interview.

  • Feedback
    The New Testament tells us not only how to praise God (with the fruit of our lips Heb:13:15, Speaking to yourselves… Eph 5:19), why we use these means (Teaching and Admonishing one another… Col 3:16, …sang praises to God… Acts 25:16.)
    What else is left. There is no accompaniment that helps these goals so if we accompany our singing with anything it is for our own entertainment. God simply wants you to Speak, teach, admonish, and praise with the fruit of your lips. When you add other sounds you don’t further in anyway his will.
    So whose will is it? It must be the furtherance of man’s will. Those that use things other than the mouth and use scripture other than the New Testament to justify them, are adding man’s will to try to enhance God’s will. These additions are simply entertainment for man.
    Once you go down the road of entertainment, people will never be satisfied. Entertainment has to evolve to continue to be entertaining. Those who start with pianos will need to add an organ over time, then a guitar, then drums, then brass… where does it stop; it doesn’t.
    What God puts in place you can repeat forever without any evolution and yet it still satisfies his purpose. Communion, without evolving still has a very serious meaning. Contribution, without evolving still pleases God. Singing, without evolving still fulfills the same purpose it did when the church began.
    Doug from Lithonia
    May, 19 2010

    I think it�s great that Darryl is set to help convene a discussion for ways to upbuild our tradition of singing-only. From his writing in May, it sounds like the focus will be on the positives of singing as opposed to proffering reasons to not use instruments. I think this is wise, as the more polemical stances against instruments seem to do more harm than good against the growing tide of �praise bands� and the like. While many find it to be commonsense that the bible shows us clearly how we are to worship corporately, many others are not convinced. For them, reading �sing� in Ephesians and Colossians is about as specific as when �run� is used in the phrase �I�ve got to run to the store�.
    But back to the point, Darryl�s focus on the positives of our singing tradition will, I think, achieve its goal of helping our understanding of worship to thrive into the coming generations�and this should be lauded on all accounts.
    Ryan from Ontario
    May, 27 2010

Filed under: News Extras News Links Travel Reports

Don’t miss out on more stories like this.

Subscribe today to receive more inspiring articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox twice a month.

Did you enjoy this article?

Your donation helps us not only keep our quality of journalism high, but helps us continue to reach more people in the Churches of Christ community.

Personal Info

Dedicate this Donation

In Honor/Memory of Details

Card Notification Details

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Billing Details

Donation Total: $3 One Time