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Composing Music: How to Broaden Your Songwriting

In another interview here, Bruce Benedict of Cardiphonia added,

“It truly is amazing how many different tunes have been written to the major hymn meters such as Common Meter ( and variations on The two main things I do to keep things fresh is to write music to as many different kinds of meter as possible and to research and explore the various ‘countries’ of folk music that have fed into church music. Each of these worlds has a different body of melodies that feed off of major or minor keys and various time signatures (3/4, 6/8, 4/4), which all produce very different sounding melodies.

“Like in most art, you tend to produce the richness of what you take in. If you are serious about writing great congregational songs then you have to familiarize yourself with all of the various musical traditions that have produced great congregational music.”

Explore the world of hymnody, as well as popular music and the folk music of the past. Don’t get too crazy with obscure time signatures and difficult intervals or your song will not be singable, but feel free to experiment as you are composing music.


This article on compising music originally appeared here and is used by permission.

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Bobby Gilles has written several of Sojourn Music’s popular worship songs for albums like The Water And The Blood, Over The Grave and Before The Throne. He is content manager for sojournmusic.com and has mentored songwriters and led many Sojourn songwriting workshops as part of Pastor Mike Cosper’s worship ministry. Bobby is also Sojourn Church Director Of Communications, and works with Lead Pastor Daniel Montgomery to communicate Sojourn’s mission and vision. He co-wrote the children’s book Our Home Is Like A Little Church, published by Christian Focus. As a former radio disc jockey and music director, he was twice named a National Top 10 Finalist for Gospel Music DJ of the Year.