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  1. #41

    Thumbs up Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Yep, can't say I've ever played it quite like that...
    (And not just because I'm on alto only).

    I tend to play around the melody (and often fairly close to it) to keep the *singers on track with varying degrees of movement away from the melody depending on how well the singers are holding the melody.

    We have a keyboard running just chords, a bass guitarist, a single electric guitar running just chords and a #drummer to either keep us in time or to drive me absolutely bonkers and make me have to tongue notes really firmly and blatantly while deliberately and very obviously nodding my head on-beat to bring the drummer up to or back down to the right tempo. Oh, yeah, the band includes me on wind, the whole wind and nothing but the wind - mostly alto sax but the clarinet does make appearances from time to time... I am pleased that I sometimes get told the saxophone is missed when it is not there...

    I've been recording the sessions for a while to give kids a backing track to play against to gain confidence in their playing at home - they can play along to something they are familiar with hearing. The way I record, with my Zoom H4n on the ground in front of me when we play, I get a good mix of the band with the saxophone holding around the melody a little more prominent than the rest of the band. I'm now just breaking the long tracks down into individual tracks so I can pop them onto a CD that budding musicians can play along to... I've got a senior who used to play cornet long ago that I'm trying to encourage back to playing - the play-along tracks might just get her there.


    *I'm sure He appreciates the vocals much more than I often do...

    #Depending on which drummer we are blessed/not so blessed with on the day...

    [Oops, sorry for the long-windedness. I've been rambling again, haven't I?]
    Ciao. [ KennyD01 on YouTube ] -->1923 Conn New Wonder Alto Sax #118,108 +Pomarico Crystal M/P -->1947 Conn 444N Big Bore Bb Clarinet #B324663L +Pomarico Diamond Crystal M/P -->1967 Boosey & Hawkes Edgware Bb Clarinet #288,983 +Mitchell Lurie Crystal & Master by Gregory Hollywood M/P

  2. #42

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Here's something that I think you guys will enjoy, its the preview for Kirk Whalum's the Gospel According to Jazz 3 CD/DVD. He talks about how the Lord is the "great improvisor" and how his music is a vessel that brings the gospel to others; great testimony and great music!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ctutoe4-MM
    Soprano - Selmer Mark VI, Barone Vintage 7*
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  3. #43

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    If you give me your email address I will send you two awesome worship songs with sax on them. One is by Michael Flowers and the other is by Free Chapel ministries.[/QUOTE]

    heyy i play in my church and was looking or new songs. could you send me those songs? my e mail is kjay116@yahoo.com thanks
    ~~~Buffet Crampon 400 Series Tenor~~~

  4. #44
    Distinguished SOTW Member CONN-hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Let my tell you all a short story prior to go work...

    I had a visitor here years ago, a senior Baptist pastor in his age of 80.
    He had a heart attack years ago and experienced death for minutes. He tells he was in Heaven and can tell pretty nice what he saw there.
    Amazing story from Pastor John.

    Well, I went to a music store and he acompanied me.
    As he saw the various brass and woodwind instruments he said...


    WOW! this instrument looks pretty similar to the instrument I saw in heaven!!!

    Do you believe that?
    I sincerely do. Because if life on earth can be good and pretty why should be life worse in heaven?

    Playing the sax is wonderful on earth, the is gonna be much better in heaven.

    Jesus knows how much I do like to play in the church and I am expecting to get a golden sax in heaven, with diamonds as pearl keytouches
    from a special alloy. Copper? yellow brass, rose brass? no, no.
    somth special.

    I also hope to get better Playing skills.

    Anyway I will have the whole eternity to practice. haha

  5. #45
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Wow...

    This thread has stayed civil and polite. That says a lot about the SOTW members. You guys are all a cut above in my book.

    I am saddened greatly by those of you that have had bad experiences trying to use your God-given talent in church only to be accosted by others. And I am also sadden by those turned off by church in general because they haven't experienced true worship the way it ought to be. You and your saxophones would all be welcome in my church.

    The Christian Bible contains following references to music and musical instruments (modern terms are used here):

    choir(s)
    cymbal(s)
    flute(s)
    gong
    harp(ist, ists, s)
    horn, ram's horns
    hymn(s)
    instruments,
    stringed instruments
    music of the strings
    the strings
    lutes
    lyre(s)
    music(al, ian, ians)
    pipes
    players
    psalm(s)
    sang
    sing(er, ers, ing, s)
    sistrums
    song(s)
    sung
    tambourine(s)
    trumpet(s) [musical applications only]
    trumpeters
    zither

    I wouldn't want to be the one who told someone they couldn't use their instrument in church. And I probably wouldn't want to stand near them during a lightning storm.
    Good Luck,

    Enviroguy
    _____________________________________________
    Buescher 400 Tenor, Pre-War Big-B Aristocrat Tenor, True Tone Alto, Conn New Wonder Bari, Antigua 590 Soprano

  6. #46
    Distinguished SOTW Member CONN-hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    great list Enviroguy. Wonderful.

    It shows that music is in the essence of the Bible.

    I even heard a preacher telling a Bible text in Hebraic about Lucifer(indeed a nice name: Lucifer is a Latin word meaning "light-bearer", "day star" or "morning star).

    After the interpretation of the original text (I don´t remember the Bible reference now, sorry) Lucifer had in his own body flutes and wind instruments. He was also the worship leader in heaven.He must be the most incredible and wonderful creature of all creatures.

    Music is the essence of the glory.

    As my grandpa always used to comment decades ago...(he was a teacher and professional musician on service for several churches, almost for free)

    Music is made of... Melody, Harmony and Rhythm and that is the way I like to deploy my sax.

  7. #47
    Distinguished SOTW Member Kini's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaysne View Post
    This is why I have an aversion to organized religion: it can often support ignorance. There are religious folk who believe that only Latin should be used in the liturgy; they are also religious folk who think that any instruments invented after 1700 should not be allowed in the church. And they believe this not out of faith, but out of fear that they're going to be struck down by God for doing something different than what they think tradition dictates.

    I'll say it again, just because these people profess a faith does not make them any better than anyone else, and the more they believe in their faith, the more dangerous they become because there are those of us out there who feel intimidated by them, and fear that maybe we really are going to Hell because we blew our sax in the church.
    There are wackos and ignorance in any subdivision of religion, including "unorganized religion", ie people believe in "their own path" with God as their Cosmic Good Buddy; as well as those in the anti-religion camp. The same applies to any organized subsection of society. It is an error to define anyone that is a member of a large, generalized group, as being like those is a smaller segment or fringe group of the large group. Ie "all Christians are", "all sax players are", "all liberals are", etc.

    My opinion is that church services should be formal, with music from the classical genre with saxophones able to play that music, of course. In my experience, pop seems to provide more entertainment than worship, and generally accompanies lite theology.
    Intellect over emotion. Veritas Vincit. Recommended Reading: How the Irish Saved Civilization. Erin Go Bragh!

  8. #48
    Distinguished SOTW Member CooolJazzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Check this guy out. Tim McWright with the Cornerstone Church Choir & Orchestra in San Antonio, Texas. He plays a burning alto solo from 2:30-3:10 in the video. While he burns on alto...I doubt anyone in that huge congregation thinks he'll be burning in hell for it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T-wm1MrGOg

    I knew Tim when I was in the Army. He was an instructor at the Armed Forces School of Music back in the 70's. We performed together once in a student/faculty jazz band.

  9. #49
    Forum Contributor 2009 DesertCreature's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    When you're talking about Christian Music, its important to distinguish the difference between:

    1) Christian-themed entertainment;
    2) Inspirational performance/recital;
    3) Accompaniment in corporate praise and worship.

    Obviously, each of these requires different roles for instrumentalists. Heuristics for applying sax successfully in one does not necessarily translate to another.

    The OP's blog post deals with #3 in a contemporary context, and I think most of us end up doing something similar to what he described.
    So what, I'm the bass player.

  10. #50

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by CONN-hunter View Post
    great list Enviroguy. Wonderful.

    It shows that music is in the essence of the Bible.

    I even heard a preacher telling a Bible text in Hebraic about Lucifer(indeed a nice name: Lucifer is a Latin word meaning "light-bearer", "day star" or "morning star).

    After the interpretation of the original text (I don´t remember the Bible reference now, sorry) Lucifer had in his own body flutes and wind instruments. He was also the worship leader in heaven.He must be the most incredible and wonderful creature of all creatures.
    Amen. This is why rock, jazz, metal, rap(if that can be called music), etc. have all been called "The Devil's Music." All they are are perversions of music meant to glorify the Lord, probably been around since the before time, but malformed into something seen as evil. And being open-miinded to the reclamation of these musical forms is unbelievably important.

    But I can't believe nobody's mentioned Denver and the Mile High Orchestra. Christian Big Band, anyone?

  11. #51

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by DesertCreature View Post
    When you're talking about Christian Music, its important to distinguish the difference between:

    1) Christian-themed entertainment;
    2) Inspirational performance/recital;
    3) Accompaniment in corporate praise and worship.
    Good list of categories, DesertCreature! It’s pretty obvious when something falls in #3. I think #1 and #2 cause a lot of controversy. A lot of people get rattled when they think there is an attempt to pass off Christian themed entertainment as inspirational performance in a worship setting.

    Use that fine video that CooolJazzz posted – is it #1 or #2? I’d guess opinions differ. How about the “Halleluiah Chorus” or one of the arias from Handel’s “Messiah” performed in a worship service - #1 or #2? I think a case could be made for either.

    Not to defend the judgmental soul in pmaine’s original post, but it could be that he/she was only able to see the saxophone as a “tool of entertainment.” From that perspective (misguided in my view), it would be considered by some to be offensive to use it in worship.
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  12. #52
    Distinguished SOTW Member CONN-hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    I think every instrument can be offensive in the worship if not used in the right mood. a guitar or bass or drums played without the goal to reach the Person who is the target of our music... God.
    Some people do live a life of adictions ,impurity ... I´m not judging such people but worship should be in best case clean, made with the heart and soul. Not abusive.
    Worship in Spirit and in Truth can´t be offensive, if we are talking of Christian Music at all.

    I recall I saw a child playing in a Church service in Africa. It was in a tent. The people were poor and the child had a metal tube he used to blow in. It was not the best soundcore at all but I am pretty sure this child reached the center of God´s heart.

    The attitude! the attitude.

  13. #53

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Not wanting to get involved in the arguments that are going on here (as probably one of the few SOTW's with a theological degree, I'm learning to steer WELL clear of most of this stuff)....but just to plug a guy who has done some lovely 'classical' recordings of old Anglican hymns, with vocals and organ, Christian Forshaw (no relation!) Christian is a tutor at London's Guildhall school of music and is well worth checking out and he has most of his albums on itunes....I'd highly recommend Renouncement
    Learn saxophone the Cambridge way - Innovative and interesting video saxophone lessons from the heart of Cambridge

    http://www.danforshaw.com Get four free lessons from me today http://lessons.cambridgesaxophone.com

  14. #54
    Distinguished SOTW Member CONN-hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    as probably one of the few SOTW's with a theological degree
    you´re indeed not alone.

  15. #55
    Distinguished SOTW Member CONN-hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    You have the sound Dan!

  16. #56

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by DesertCreature View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pmaine View Post
    Is anyone using the sax during the worship service in a style different than Gospel? If yes what are the names of some of the songs?
    We do a lot of Hillsongs and recently a lot of Israel Houghton which is a challenge for a mixed group of pros and amateurs. If you ever played Israel's stuff (like "We Have Overcome" and "I Know Who I Am"), you know what I mean.
    By Gospel I'm assuming you mean old, traditional hymns, as opposed to modern Praise music.

    Most of the popular Christian music today is available scored for orchestra and can be purchased here. They have just posted full orchestrations for Hillsong's new album.

    Israel Houghton's work is a great example of what can be done with horns in praise music. I saw him live this last spring with Chris Tomlin. He didn't travel with a horn section, and I think it was to his detriment; a tower of power type of horn section would add a fabulous dimension to his live performances. It's great fun playing the Galbraith arrangements of Houghton's tunes.

    An example of an Israel Houghton tune with Soprano can be found here. (Skip ahead to 3:30 for the solo. Disclaimer: I am NOT a fan of Cindy Ratcliff or this particular "Prosperity Gospel" church.)

    Quote Originally Posted by DesertCreature View Post
    I actually have a lot I can say about this topic but its your thread.
    Agreed. Don't get me started on the lame orchestrations available for most Gospel (as opposed to Praise) tunes.
    ...my eyes have seen your salvation, that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.

  17. #57

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    Enviroguy, there are many fundamentalist churches that are not Baptists.

    Now I've nothing against any kind of instruments in the church, but here are the facts from my studies in the Philosophy of Music, including a graduate seminar in this area.
    The whole practice of forbidding instruments in the course of worship is very Un-biblical and is an example of the works approach to salvation that Jesus went to great lengths to denounce. Refer to Matt - John, particularly the parable of the prodigal, in which the older brother is an allegory for the pharisees, or priesthood, and the father is an allegory for God--for an example of how the priesthood misses the entire point.

    The book of Psalms is a Song book. Refer to the New King James version and read the beginning of, for example, Psalm 4, 5, & 6, which are addressed to the "Chief Musician" and reference flutes and an 8-stringed harp.

    Also Nehemiah 12:27-43, describes the dedication of the newly rebuild city wall of Jerusalem, which included a Choir, Trumpets, and the Instruments of David.

    Many more examples exist, including our Hawaiian friend's reference to making a joyful noise. (Though he doesn't give a scriptural reference...I thought about asking him for one so he'd open the book and read it a bit )
    ...my eyes have seen your salvation, that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.

  18. #58

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by CONN-hunter View Post
    as probably one of the few SOTW's with a theological degree
    you´re indeed not alone.
    +1 more
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  19. #59
    FranzKafka's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    I saw a worship band with a sax player on a festival two weeks ago. That guy played horrible, it wasn't even funny anymore. I've heard 8 year olds with better intonation and more chops overall. That's all I know about 'christian sax'.

    Oh! And I met this guy a while ago Edwin Sepulveda. Really nice guy, and though his recordings don't show it that much, he has chops for days.

  20. #60
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by clhuff View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    Enviroguy, there are many fundamentalist churches that are not Baptists.

    Now I've nothing against any kind of instruments in the church, but here are the facts from my studies in the Philosophy of Music, including a graduate seminar in this area.
    The whole practice of forbidding instruments in the course of worship is very Un-biblical and is an example of the works approach to salvation that Jesus went to great lengths to denounce. Refer to Matt - John, particularly the parable of the prodigal, in which the older brother is an allegory for the pharisees, or priesthood, and the father is an allegory for God--for an example of how the priesthood misses the entire point.

    The book of Psalms is a Song book. Refer to the New King James version and read the beginning of, for example, Psalm 4, 5, & 6, which are addressed to the "Chief Musician" and reference flutes and an 8-stringed harp.

    Also Nehemiah 12:27-43, describes the dedication of the newly rebuild city wall of Jerusalem, which included a Choir, Trumpets, and the Instruments of David.

    Many more examples exist, including our Hawaiian friend's reference to making a joyful noise. (Though he doesn't give a scriptural reference...I thought about asking him for one so he'd open the book and read it a bit )
    I assure you that I've read the book. The 'joyful noise' is from the psalms of David, somewhere between 95 and 100, I believe.

    My favorite, though, is from Ephesians:
    'Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord'

    and from Colossians: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

    (emphasis added)

    These are the only references to music in the New Testament, AFAIK. Seems clear to me that the command is to sing, not play.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
    Sax player theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- .010" at the tip)
    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

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