Modern Hymns & Ben Everson Music

Modern Hymns & Ben Everson Music

There are a lot of opinions flying around these days about what constitutes a hymn. Because I write, study, and speak about music, I frequently come across questions about what hymns are and whether we can write and sing modern hymns in the church today. I’d like to answer some of those questions in this post. 

Question #1: What exactly is a hymn?

Without digging into too much history, a hymn is basically a metrical poem intended to be sung. Traditional hymns are written in common meter, which follows the 8.6.8.6. pattern. That simply means they consist of four lines alternating between 8 and 6 syllables per line, usually without a chorus. For example:

O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing

O for a thousand tongues to sing (8 syllables)

My great Redeemer’s praise, (6 syllables)

The glories of my God and King, (8 syllables)

The triumphs of His grace. (6 syllables)

Question #2: Why do we sing hymns?

There’s one more thing that sets a hymn apart, and that is its subject matter. A hymn is specifically intended to praise and worship God.

Our co-writer, Lauri Lou Jones

Think of it as a vertical text (sung to God) rather than a horizontal text (sung to fellow believers as a means of encouragement).

Question #3: Is there such a thing as a modern hymn? What would that look like?

There is a relatively small group of people in history whom we recognize as hymn writers. This list includes people like Martin Luther (A Mighty Fortress Is Our God), William Cowper (There Is a Fountain Filled With Blood), and Charles Wesley (And Can It Be That I Should Gain).

But can we write hymns today? Could you or I sit down and write a metrical poem intended to worship God and call it a hymn?

Yes and no. It’s probably going a little far to call oneself a hymn writer. Still, we can learn a lot from recognized hymn writers. Their work gives us a pattern to follow, and composers today can use that pattern to create modern hymns that help believers worship God.

So what do we think makes a modern hymn? Modern hymns follow the pattern of directing worship to God through music designed to be sung by a congregation, but I’d like to suggest three differences between modern hymns and classic hymns:

  • Modern hymns use modern language. Let’s not forget that classic hymns were the modern hymns of their day. Modern hymns use the vernacular of today to communicate truth. They also tend to emphasize internal rhyme more frequently than classic hymns do.
  • They often have choruses. Most classic hymns do not include choruses. Modern hymns, however, often include both stanzas and choruses.
  • They draw source material from internals rather than externals. Rather than drawing subject matter from external sources like nature, modern hymns usually focus more on what is happening internally between God and the believer.

Of course, hymns aren’t the only sacred songs we should be singing. When we come together as a body of believers to worship God, we should include a wide repertoire of music, including “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19). Each type of music has a different purpose. The role of the hymn is to teach doctrine and facilitate worship.

The modern hymn is well suited for this purpose. It beckons to all believers, “Come praise the Lord with me!”

– Ben Everson, including thoughts from Lauri Lou Jones

Click here for our growing selection.

New A Cappella Album Underway!

New A Cappella Album Underway!

Hymns of the Faith!

I’m hard at work in the arranging stage of the new a cappella album. I’m really excited about this one, and I want to make it special. This will be my fourth all-a cappella album, and I was thinking what type of songs to do this time around.

Hymns are such a comfort and source of strength to believers down through the years. In fact, a mark of a good hymn is that is stands the test of time and remains with us. I’m including some of the greatest hymns we’ve had down through the years.

In fact, I’m taking suggestions from our 127 Patrons on Patreon as to what hymns they would like to hear.

I haven’t completed all the arrangements yet, but I’m working on them, and plan to begin recording the album the week of May 22nd, so your prayers are appreciated!

What can you pray for? Here’s a quick list:

  1. Wisdom in picking the rest of the song list,
  2. Creativity in the arranging,
  3. Health and stamina for my voice.

It’s no secret that my family is going through some challenging times right now as we relocate to Pensacola, FL, and get medical care for my wife and a house for the family. So recording during this time is not going to be simple. But I’m SUPER grateful to Pensacola Christian College that is giving me a room to use as a temporary recording studio to do this project! What a blessing!

We’ll keep you updated throughout the process. Thank you for your prayers, and I can’t wait to create this album to be an encouragement to you and other believers!

The projected completion date for the digital album is June 22. Physical albums will be released 4 weeks later.

Sweeter Singing Vocal Course

Sweeter Singing Vocal Course

My vocal course is here! We have two versions available; one is HD and is available for $49.95. The other is the exact same content, but it is compressed into a format about 25% as big so it is under 1GB. That version is $39.95. You can also just pick up the ebook and not worry about any of the videos for $19.95.

We are using any of the profits that come in from this project to be a direct help in getting us to the mission field of Mexico. So you can be a part of helping our family, even as you are getting some great vocal help!

If you are able to spread the word about this vocal course, it would be a great help to us as we prepare to leave for Mexico March 22nd. And we hope that the course will be a great encouragement to many people to keep making music for the Lord.

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