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Thread: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

  1. #61
    Distinguished SOTW Member Dr G's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by clhuff View Post
    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 )
    Nothing judgmental there, eh?
    Go for The Tone,

    g



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  2. #62
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr G View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by clhuff View Post
    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 )
    Nothing judgmental there, eh?

    It's OK, G. I wasn't offended. Of course I did think about the Rabbi when he said 'It is written'. He didn't give a chapter and verse.
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
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    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  3. #63

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    I wonder if the other theologians on here remember their Hebrew classes??? and the fact that scholars have no idea what the instruments played in biblical times actually are....we are working on a best guess (@ best) and anyone who classes any instrument as more 'holy' than another is seriously misguided....I did my thesis on Coltrane's A Love Supreme focusing on how the use of a 'secular' piece......
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  4. #64
    Distinguished SOTW Member CONN-hunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Oh! And I met this guy a while ago Edwin Sepulveda.
    I know Erwin personly. We met each other last year in Florida.
    He plays cannonball.

    He is a blessing.

  5. #65

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr G View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by clhuff View Post
    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 )
    Nothing judgmental there, eh?
    I felt he knew I was joking, or I wouldn't have typed it. Just a bit of good-natured fun.

    I haven't really thought much about this topic--the biblical justification for using or not using instruments in worship--though I can state that the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) seminary I attend has a post-graduate music leadership program filled with all sorts of instruments.

    The whole discussion seems to be missing the point, which is worship. If you've been gifted in this area, I don't believe God really cares what you play, as long as you do it for His glory. Any prohibitions to this smack of legalism, which brings us back to the Pharisees' missing the point. The New Testament may make no direct references to instruments, but it doesn't prohibit the practice, either. Be careful not to read things into the text that aren't there.

    I haven't exegeted that passage in Ephesians (5:19, btw), so I took a look at it.

    Paul's work with the Gentiles involved helping them resist cultural norms that would keep them or others from worshiping as they should (reference also 1 Cor 8 for another discussion about this). Much pagan worship was done while drinking. Being drunk, folks would sing vulgar and prophane praises to the pagan god of wine: Bacchus. When you're filled with alcohol, you cannot be filled with the Spirit, as He commands us to be. Here's an exerpt of Matthew Henry's exposition of this passage:

    "...the joy of Christians should express itself in songs of praise to their God. In these they should speak to themselves in their assemblies and meetings together for mutual edification. By Psalms is meant David's psalms, or such composures as were fitly sung with musical instruments."
    - Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, page 2317. Originally published in 6 volumes over 20 years beginning in 1706.

    So, at least in Henry's opinion, the reference to Psalms included all references to the musical instruments for which David wrote them, and therefore does indeed prove that the New Testament approves the use of musical instruments in worship. As Henry's work was short and to the point, and as it has been thoroughly vetted for over 300 years, I'll stand on that reference.

    Anyone wanting me to look further at this, using more and varied sources, please PM.

    Chris
    ...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.

  6. #66
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    I feel that a capella singing is the most beautiful and spiritual singing, regardless of whether it's done as a Gregorian chant, Fasola singing, Muslim chants, Sufi Dervish chants, or Tibetan harmonic chant.

    My fear in having praise bands is that the music becomes entertainment for the non-musician. How does one tell whether their music is having an uplifting effect or an entertaining effect?
    Sound guy theory of relativity: E=mc^2 (+or- 3dB)
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    "Free jazz is the vegemite of the musical world. It's an acquired taste."-J. Jacques

  7. #67
    Forum Contributor 2009 DesertCreature's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    ...
    My fear in having praise bands is that the music becomes entertainment for the non-musician. How does one tell whether their music is having an uplifting effect or an entertaining effect?
    The congregation. They enter into praise or they don't. I think it more important that I hear them than they hear me. In corporate P&W they are part of the "gig", not the audience, so you listen and adjust as you do with band mates.

    Not that there's anything wrong with entertainment. There's a place for it even in church. That's why I draw the trichotomy I do between entertainment, inspirationals, and accompaniment. Each presents a different set of objectives, which obviously drives what and how you play.

    And that's the essential difference playing Christian music - your objectives. The skills we use to achieve those objectives are the same as always.
    So what, I'm the bass player.

  8. #68

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by DesertCreature View Post
    The congregation. They enter into praise or they don't. I think it more important that I hear them than they hear me. In corporate P&W they are part of the "gig", not the audience, so you listen and adjust as you do with band mates.

    Not that there's anything wrong with entertainment. There's a place for it even in church. That's why I draw the trichotomy I do between entertainment, inspirationals, and accompaniment. Each presents a different set of objectives, which obviously drives what and how you play.

    And that's the essential difference playing Christian music - your objectives. The skills we use to achieve those objectives are the same as always.
    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

    I think you've perfectly summed up "the point" when it comes to playing for corporate worship. If the people ain't singing, then the music ain't working. And not all music will work with all congregations.

    Geoff

  9. #69
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    My fear in having praise bands is that the music becomes entertainment for the non-musician. How does one tell whether their music is having an uplifting effect or an entertaining effect?
    Again, I am very happy that most of the posters have continued this subject on a polite and thoughtful level. And I offer the followings with the same respect.

    To answer Hak's comment, that's actually easy for me. First, I believe praise is a form of and a subset of worship. Praise is worship, but not all worship is praise. And worship is not performed in a vacuum. In my belief system, the Lord already knows he is awesome. Worship is for lifting up the worshipers by reminding them of that fact through music, preaching, teaching, testimonials and other things. And worship must always have a purpose and a result.

    If the audience is lifted up it will show in their lives. Is the audience growing in faith? Are they helping their fellow man? Are they tying to be more like the Lord? Are they acting like Christians? Are new people being saved and joining the church?

    If the aggregate answers to these questions is yes, then lifting up people like these is always worship because the praise will always be given to the Lord.

    But if the answer is no, then there are most likely many more problems than just the music choice. And as a church member and contributor to the service, I am much more concerned with these issues than I am about my music.

    And what about music with no words?

    For my specific audience, I find instrumentals are very uplifting as long as the audience knows that there are words that go to music and they know those words. So many of my instrumentals are from songs that the audience at large knows well.

    But this is not required. And I know this because several times I have performed instrumentals of songs, thinking folks knew it, and then had lots of people come up and ask me what the song was. These folks were still uplifted because they know my heart and they know the song was ultimately an offering to the Lord. And that act of offering alone is worship.
    Good Luck,

    Enviroguy
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  10. #70
    Forum Contributor 2014 Sidepipes's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Yesterday was the introduction of the "Horn Section" to the contemporary services at Menlo Park (CA) Presbyterian Church. The main praise number was "You are Good" by Israel Houghton. Along with the vocalists and rhythm section were two top notch trumpets and myself on tenor. We used the Lakewood transcription, and it really rocked, complete with the trumpets hitting the double F# on the last note (song is in concert E). The congregation was really with it, and it set an uplifting, energized tone for the rest of the service.

    Sidepipes
    "Lets Play!"

  11. #71
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    That sounds great, Sidepipes.

    I can't wait until my daughter can hit the high notes like that. Then I can do stuff like that too.
    Good Luck,

    Enviroguy
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  12. #72

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    These are the only references to music in the New Testament, AFAIK. Seems clear to me that the command is to sing, not play.
    How about 1 Corinthians 14:7-8:
    7 Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? 8 Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?

    OK, so taking these verses in context Paul is speaking about the gift of prophesy, not music. Still, it's fun to whisper verse 8 to the trumpet player after he clams in the service.

    Charlie

  13. #73
    RCNELSON's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Interesting thread. I have been playing one or all of my saxophones in church since high school (and I won't say how many years that was), playing all genres from John Peterson hymns, Gaither Southern Gospel, right up to the things that MW Smith, Mercy Me, Newsboys etc. are producing today. Solos with piano/pipe organ, fills/solos with contemporary praise bands, as a member of wind ensembles/small orchestras, everything. I have never been told (at least to my face) that the saxophone was from the Devil NOR have I been told I was going to Hell. In fact, it wasn't until I bought and read Michael Segell's book THE DEVIL'S HORN did I realize why anyone would even think of such of thing.

    My personal mission in the past few years has been to make sure the saxophone is played well, with all of the reverance that our Lord deserves, in order to make sure no one even thinks of negative things. And things are just fine with this approach.

    SO...I think we simply need to keep on worshipping God with one of the best instruments ever invented and to play with enough excellence as to keep the listeners/fellow worshippers from thinking of anything satanic.
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  14. #74

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by KennyD View Post
    Let me (perhaps?) close this with a short psalm... (mostly because I could not say it any better...)



    Psalm 33:3 - Sing unto Him a new song: play skilfully with a loud noise.
    This comes to mind as well as all of Psalm 150!! In the Bible they praised God with the instruments they had....

    "Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
    praise him with the harp and lyre,

    4 praise him with tambourine and dancing,
    praise him with the strings and flute,

    5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
    praise him with resounding cymbals.

    6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
    Praise the LORD.


    The sax had not been invented but now that we have it, it is just another way to play music to worship God.

    My church is open to ANY kind of musical instrument in worship. We are only limited my the people we have and the instruments they know how to play. All are welcome, encouraged, and appreciated. We do various worship songs and also do some spontaneous worship songs.

  15. #75

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by Enviroguy View Post
    To answer Hak's comment, that's actually easy for me. First, I believe praise is a form of and a subset of worship. Praise is worship, but not all worship is praise. And worship is not performed in a vacuum. In my belief system, the Lord already knows he is awesome. Worship is for lifting up the worshipers by reminding them of that fact through music, preaching, teaching, testimonials and other things. And worship must always have a purpose and a result.
    Exactly. Praise helps to bring us closer to Him.

    Essentially, we were created with free will so we would recognize Him as our creator and do nothing more than love him. Musical worship is a sincere and uplifting way of first reminding ourselves of Who He is and what He has done for us, then helping us communicate our love for Him to Him in a way that is uniquely done through music.

    Interestingly, a popular radio ministry I listen to during the morning commute aired a sermon today discussing this very topic. This link will take you to today's broadcast (Aug. 18, '09). Click on the "Listen to Today's Message" button. (If you're reading this after Aug. 18, click the "Library" link in the left panel and navigate to the above date.)

    The particular bit to which I refer begins at 18:40 and runs about 4.5 minutes.
    ...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.

  16. #76

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    I got a gig tonight in Red Bank, NJ for a new church that is starting in that area and is having a week long celebration of music and guest speakers. Can't wait to rock out for the Lord. Tommy Barnett and his son Matthew are supposed to be there.
    Soprano - Selmer Mark VI, Barone Vintage 7*
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  17. #77
    SOTW Administrator hakukani's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    All the Bible verses concern making music, not listening to it. Everyone is commanded to make music, in my reading.
    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

  18. #78

    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    suprising to hear that this would even be an issue, except maybe in certain isolated groups that may consider telephones and new shoes as evil.

    people can take anything in all of creation and use it for evil or good, to glorify God or to test God. pornography is evil, but God invented sex for good (marriage).

    but, maybe you should carry a set of spoons as backup just in case someone spots a devil in yer horn. i don't think spoons were invented by the devil?

  19. #79
    cjmdsax's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    At my church, sax as a standalone accompanying instrument is a past thing. You'll see it in a horn line, which happens maybe once a month. The reason is that the music sticks pretty closely to a certain form of the latest songs coming out, and none of that music has sax. It's mostly guitar driven. So, in the mind of the music director, if he doesn't hear it on the original recordings, he pretty much doesn't do it.

    At least I can play keyboards, so I can still make music that way.

    There is a bit of a negative undercurrent at our church concerning the sax but that's mostly among the older generation. Guess they haven't gotten over the lifestyles of some of the jazz players of their era enough to see that is isn't the instrument, it's the player.

    However, now that the sax heydays of the 80's and 90's are done (at least as far as a lot of christian pop and worship music goes) the sax seems less well accepted even among some of the younger crowd. I find this interesting since, at our church, it was a must-have not too long ago.

  20. #80
    cjmdsax's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Saxophone in Christian Music?

    Quote Originally Posted by hakukani View Post
    My fear in having praise bands is that the music becomes entertainment for the non-musician. How does one tell whether their music is having an uplifting effect or an entertaining effect?
    Good question. Nothing wrong with entertainment per se, but I'd like to think that the uplifting part should take precedence in a worship setting. I don't know if there is a good way to tell in any setting for any kind of music. You may find one thing uplifting, someone else may prefer something else.

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