Once I worked for a church whose worship leader said "No minor songs". I don't think he even liked minor chords - probably thought them too depressing.

 

I admit it - I do have a prejudice against slower Minor songs (like 24 ELDERS). Too much like dirges, IMO.

Faster ones (and slower Spirituals like GO DOWN MOSES) I don't mind...

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Minors every time for me! You can produce a much more powerful/awe type song with a minor key. Obviously I do still use major keys, but I'd be inclined to go for minors first.

I'd love to see what songs you do.  It seems like minor worship songs are hard to come by.

There is quite a resistance in Evangelical culture to minor songs.  Some associate them with Liturgicals (which in their view is reason enough to banish them); others buy in to theories that minor is depressing, and they stay religiously away from "downer" influences (why, I'm not sure), so everybody is happy, happy, happy and smiling, smiling, smiling.

More recently, influences from the Rock world, blues and classical music are giving us a Christian music culture that has very little "pure" major or minor.  Our chords are getting increasingly full of mixed modes, drones and intentional dissonances, in the search for unique or more interesting tonalities, or emotional concepts that will match the subject matter more specifically than in traditional "four-chord" music.  When was the last time you heard a song with just three nice major chords and a borrowed dominant?  I'll bet about 1986.  So major worship songs are also hard to come by.

You must be totally unfamiliar with Messianic music.  Most of it is minor.

(Partly @Cory - ) Since as a young child I first heard Spike Jones' "Hotcha Cornia" (Dark Eyes) and various classics my Dad played on the organ, I have loved music from Eastern European and Jewish traditions, most of it decidedly minor in flavor with only short forays into the major modes for contrast.

During these last four decades or so, while the "mainline" CCM world has taken its cultural cue from Nashville with a little seasoning from the British Empire, Messianic congregations and others interested in "Restoration" movements have cultivated music in Jewish style.  In the 70's even Kenneth Copeland was involved, and many congregations, especially the Pentecostal, had Jewish or quasi-Jewish-style worship choruses, often short ones you could dance to (if your congregation permitted) in celebration of the goodness of God. 

David, you could probably talk about this with more accuracy than me, since I was only on the perimeter.  But I did write a number of songs in this genre, and in minor keys. If you are interested in hearing some, I've attached one here (Psalm 150) and added fifteen others to my Profile, of all sorts, from little choruses to entire passages of Scripture, telling the story of life in Messiah's kingdom.

Attachments:

No minors? That makes about as much sense as saying "I don't want any Bb notes played". Some of my favourite worship songs are in minor keys (like "Take Me Past the Outer Courts" and "Welcomed in to the Courts of the King (Facedown)" (and best done not too fast either, FWIW - slow doesn't have to mean dirge-like).

 

Wulf

The minor key gets in where the depression is and flushes it out with sweet sad wonderful melancholy gorgeous lovely harmony.  Oh, for more minor keys in our worship!  

Then when the Major sun comes out, how much more glorious!  Then when we tune the fiddle to major keys, and the feet move and the hands clap and the feet stomp, how thunderous is the song of praise!

To hold back the tempo is the glory of a musician.  To barge ahead because of boredom is common, but to get in the groove of a song, whether fast or slow, and leave room to breathe life into the music, is wonderful.

In the 70's through 90's the Bill Gothard Seminars preached against excessive use of minor keys; and the strong anti-rock movement naturally castigated the heavy use of minor in rock music; the anti-traditional and anti-intellectual movements castigated classic music (Bach is about half major, half minor); and the hymnbook is overwhelmingly major (only a couple of minor tunes from the Welsh revivals are in a typical hymnbook).  The absence of good minor-key songs from traditional American hymnody, along with a theology of triumphalism that has pervaded our churches for over a century, has given us the illusion that the normal thing for a Christian song to be is in a Major key.

Personally I don't think we have enough minor key songs.  Indeed there are even some that are that are quite joyful (often the Israeli/Hebrew dance style) eg You shall go out with joy; One shall tell another.

 

Of course one thing a lot of minor key songs do is go to the relative major to give it that 'lift':

From the Highest of heights (indescribable)

There must be more than this (consuming fire)

How long oh Lord (Brian Doerksen)

 

Surely if God gave us musical expression, why can't we use minors?  If it allows others to reach out to God, I'm all in favour!

 

When messing around one time we were doing a jazz-funk version of How great thou art, and even managed to put the third verse into the relative minor key with the chord shapes.  Odd, but it worked! 

 

 

I tend to choose them, especially when phrygian mode is employed.  

 

There was an old line of thought that minor songs (songs written in minor keys and/or modes?) are of the devil. Back to that old stuff...

The use of tri tones was banned by the medieval church because of how they sound. My own favourite is using a harmonic minor chord progression, ie start on the 6th chords, then use the 3rd, but play the 3rd as a major rather than a minor.
Ah, the best interval in a Dominant 7th chord (like G7)...Gospel and Jazz use lots of these, as well as other tritones...

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