Every songwriter hopes their tunes stand the test of time.
But for Keith Getty, this goal has particular significance. Keith and his wife Kristyn are writers of modern hymns – songs that, by definition, are intended to be more than a radio hit.
The Gettys recently released their newest album, Sing! An Irish Christmas, which was recorded live at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn.
“The goal of a hymn is – first – does it teach a certain aspect of theology? And, secondly, could this song be sung for the duration of the hymnbook? – 20 years, 30 years, indefinitely. So it’s just a whole different target [than contemporary worship]. In one sense, there’s no scientific definition. In another sense, it’s an entirely different goal.”
Hymns typically use “more classical forms” to “try and teach the faith,” Getty said. By comparison, a modern worship song – generally speaking – “has to sound contemporary” if it is to be played on the radio.
“Only time will tell” whether a hymn will be sung by future generations, he said.
“I don’t think there’s a sense of rightness or wrongness,” Keith Getty said of the comparison between worship songs and modern hymns. “It’s just different artistic goals.”
Getty was the co-writer of In Christ Alone – one of the more popular modern hymns in recent years.
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Source: Christian Headlines