The troubling organ exodus

Monday, April 23, 2018
 | 
Bill Bumpas (OneNewsNow.com)

playing a pipe organWith the rising popularity of praise and worship bands in churches, could traditional music – especially one specific instrument with a rich history – ever make a comeback?

Organ music used to be a popular sound in worship services, but many churches are transitioning away from the pipe organ. Gary Mortenson, dean of music at Baylor University, says that steady decline is cause for concern.

"The pipe organ has been serving worship well for hundreds and hundreds of years," Mortenson points out. "So to lose that sort of tradition comes with costs, in my opinion, and one of the byproducts of all of this is that there are fewer students that are going to college and studying organ as their primary instrument."

He tells OneNewsNow, though, that it is not all doom and gloom, as plenty of congregations still value the organ as a part of their worship. In fact, at tradition-rich Baylor, the music program has seen an uptick in the number of organ majors.

"It's not an impossible task to place these people in very good locations and in very good church settings and then watch them thrive," Mortenson says. "And if they go out and do really well at it, I think that bodes well that it will remain a viable possibility within churches going on in the future."

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