Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?
By David W. Music

Why should the devil have all the good music? This pithy question is often used to justify the introduction of “secular” musical styles into the church service.

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Growing a Hymn-Loving Church:
An Interview with Mable Stewart Boyter
By Harry Eskew

Mable Stewart Boyter (1905-2000), church music consultant and specialist in children’s choirs and music education, served as Director of Children’s Choirs at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta at the time of this interview. Her published teaching aids were used widely in the fields of music education and church music.

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Ideas from Hal Hopson’s100 Plus Ways to
Improve Hymn singing
By Hal H. Hobson

Hymns are powerful agents in the spiritual formation of those who sing them; and because they are repeated over and over, they store theological concepts deep in our memory banks. For these two reasons, especially, the hymns we choose for a congregation to sing become very significant.

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Hymns in the Church’s Teaching Ministry
By Harry Eskew

Next to the Bible, the hymnal ranks highest in the ministry of most evangelical congregations. It is a rare church in which the congregation does not raise its voice in song at least three times during a worship service. The hymnal has exerted a profound and lasting influence upon the lives of many.

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The article, “How Do You Select The Hymns?” is Dr. Harry Eskew’s first published article, which appeared in the June, 1962 issue of The Church Musician.

How Do You Select The Hymns?
By Harry Eskew

A VITAL part of the task of the minister of music is that of selecting hymns for congregational singing. Its importance requires more than a hurried moment’s selection just before the order of service must be turned in for the following Sunday’s bulletin. What are some factors to be considered in the choice of hymns for the congregation to sing?

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William Walker: Carolina Contributor to Amercian Music
by Harry Eskew

When it comes to the hymnody of the nineteenth century South, The Sacred Harp often comes to mind. After all, The Sacred Harp is still celebrated in singing practically every weekend across the United States.  One singing school teacher whose compilations often get overlooked these days, however, is William “Singing Billy” Walker, a South Carolina native whose tunebook, Southern Harmony (1835), successfully rivaled the popularity and sales of The Sacred Harp.

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Georgia Origins of The Sacred Harp
by Harry Eskew

In recent decades The Sacred Harp has traveled far beyond its southern roots to become
geographically spread to urban centers from coast to coast. In Boston, Chicago, Dallas, or
Seattle, one can find enthusiastic Sacred Harp singers.

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Isaac Watts and the Shape-Note Tradition
by Harry Eskew

(This article appeared in Minds and Hearts in Praise of God: Hymns and Essays in Church Music in Honor of Hugh T. McElrath, ed. J. Michael Rayley and Deborah Carlton Loftis. Nashville: Providence House, 2006. It is republished here with permission..)

Isaac Watts is widely acknowledged as the “Father of English Hymnody.” It was he who developed a philosophy of congregational song that went beyond traditional metrical psalmody. Furthermore, he was the first to write a large body of hymns to become widely used in worship, both in Great Britain and in her American colonies.

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