Good Loud and Bad Loud

While I sometimes like loud music – louder and probably more often than most people – I never like loud music that’s harsh on my ears.

Good Loud and Bad Loud
When I was a kid growing up in the Church, music for the Sunday morning services primarily used organ for instrumental accompaniment. This electronic organ was top of the line, and played by a pro. While it wasn’t a cathedral-style pipe organ, it was the best available instrument to replicate that sound.
Good Loud and Bad Loud
When I was a kid growing up in the Church, music for the Sunday morning services primarily used organ for instrumental accompaniment. This electronic organ was top of the line, and played by a pro. While it wasn’t a cathedral-style pipe organ, it was the best available instrument to replicate that sound.

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When it comes to the best volume level for Church music, a lot of people have an opinion: the audio engineer, the musicians, the senior pastor, the passionate “worshippers,” the mother holding her sleeping baby in the third row and the the grumpy church curmudgeon who’s standing right in front of the mixing console ready with a burning glare over his shoulder. (Do you have one of those too?)

Subjective opinions are often freely expressed. And rarely do these opinions agree!

So what is the right volume level for Church music in your context?

Unfortunately, many of the opinions about volume level are communicated poorly. Statements like “It’s too loud” or “It’s too soft” can be very unhelpful. They demonstrate little understanding of the real issues. Even a mandatory maximum dB measurement causes problems.

In this blogpost, “Good Loud and Bad Loud” I offer some practical suggestions about how we can better talk about volume in ways that will help bring about better, mutual understanding and unity.

So what is the right volume level for Church music in your context?


More About Grant Norsworthy
A Grammy-nominated, Dove Award-winning musician, Grant Norsworthy is also the founder, owner, content developer and principal instructor of More Than Music Mentor, helping to equip church singers, instrumentalists and technicians for artistic excellence and authentic worship.
Get in Touch: me@grantnorsworthy.com    More by Grant Norsworthy

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.


Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Musical Instruments · Audio Engineering · Experience · Frequencies · Frequency Spectrum · Music · Musical Instruments · All Topics

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