3. Look at the Melody
Once you decide whether the lyrics and role of the song are appropriate, it’s time to give it a listen. When evaluating the musical side of the song, keep these things in mind:
- How difficult is the melody? Is it highly syncopated? Are there lots of wild jumps or crazy-long notes? If this is a song that the congregation is going to learn and sing, it needs to be singable. That might mean simplifying the song if that’s possible.
- Along with the difficulty, note how wide of range the melody spans. While a wide range might be interesting to listen to, the closer the two ends of spectrum are together the easier it will be for the congregation.
- Look at where the song sits on the musical scale. Congregations are comfortable with melodies that stay between B flat below middle C and D a tenth above that. It’s possible to briefly go beyond those limits but too far and it becomes difficult for many to sing. If the original key doesn’t work, change it.