Remember when KH's had a piano and real singing?

by WingCommander 85 Replies latest jw friends

  • WingCommander

    I know I do! The thread about got me thinking about my very early childhood, back when witnesses were allowed to be social and have get togethers. They also had a piano in every congregation I ever attended, and an older sister would always play the kingdom melody. There was actual singing - not mindless droning and humming.

    So what happened? I rememeber all of the pianos suddenly disappeared, and then all of the music had to come over the PA system which sounded like something someone put together from Radio Shack. Blaaaaaah!! Everyone became a zombie after that, in my opinion.

    Anyone else have the same feeling? Maybe I am just nuts.


    Wing Commander

  • MsMcDucket
    not mindless droning and humming.

    Wing, I don't remember it. I think it was before my time. I joined the dubs in the 80's. They had just gotten the new song book. No one seemed to know how to sing the songs. . . Here it is in the 2000's and they still don't know how.

  • frozen one
    frozen one

    The congregation I attended had a sister who was an excellent pianist. When she wasn't at the hall to play, the level of singing by the congregation really nose dived. One day the piano just disappered without much comment from the platform. Orders from the top I suppose. I also remember circuit assemblies that had small orchestras made up of musicians from the various halls. The music was quite good. They disappeared around the same time the piano did.

  • kls

    Real singing ? Has that ever happened,,,,,,,,Sheesh my ears

  • Big Dog
    Big Dog

    I'm old enough that when I was a kid they still had the pianos on in our hall there was this 30 something bombshell that played. I remember as a young teen thinking lightning was going to strike me for oogling her as she strutted up the aisle to the piano.

    Definitely better than the canned stuff that was just coming in when I was getting out of high school and not going to meetings anymore.

  • SirNose586

    How many people can play those kingdom songs competently nowadays? Talent dies off, and unless it's replaced, you have to go for the easier solution.

  • Gopher

    Oh yes, I remember it well. You aren't "nuts".

    When I was very young, it was older "sisters" who played the songs with feeling! However, some of us younger "brothers" also took a shot at playing, until the circuit overseer came around and removed us in the late 80's as part of the Society's purge of individuality.

    It's true that there were some who didn't play so well, or some who added their own flavor to the songs. But hey, playing at the hall was part of their worship! Why did it need to be taken away? Leave it to the headquarters to take all the fun out of being a JW.

    After we switched to the Society's CD, many of the members of the congregation told me they preferred to sing to live playing rather than to the recording. I agreed with them, but being the loyal J-dub I told them that the perfomer on the CD played about the songs as well as you could expect on a recording.

  • sir82

    In my congregation in the 70's we had, not a piano, but a genuine bona fide upright organ! Just like in church.

    A sister was an accomplished musician, and could play it beautifully.

    Unfortunately, something happened (don't recall if she moved, was D-F'ed, something) and she was no longer able to play. The next-best player was a teen-aged kid who was half-decent at piano, but the complexities of the organ just kind of threw him. The "Kingdom Melodies" ended up sounding like something from the Addams Family, or (for all you old timers out there) 45 records played at 33-1/3.

    We went to records (thin vinyl disks containing analog musical recordings, for you youngsters out there) soon thereafter.

  • blondie

    There were lots of excuses...conformity...some piano players were not very good...and using the albums...cassettes...cds made money for the WTS until 1990. They phased out the orchestras too at the assemblies because it took too much time away from the preaching work.

    Money and control.........A sister from a neighboring congegation visited a circuit assembly in the AH in Monroe, NY. Expecting canned music, she was surprised to see an old brother come out and start playing the piano (very badly...many clinkers). Another example of the WTS hypocrisy.

  • frozen one
    frozen one

    How many people can play those kingdom songs competently nowadays? Talent dies off, and unless it's replaced, you have to go for the easier solution

    When live music was permitted, not all kingdom halls had people who were talented enough or ambitious enough to play. I remember guests at the hall I attended making comments about the live music. I think it is a shame that a person who is willing and able to play (competently) isn't allowed to because of corporate policy. On the positive side, I can't help but think about the scores of kids who are thankful that they are not being forced to take piano lessons because the parents think it would be neat to have the kids play at the hall. That happened to me.

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