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Difference Between Song and Hymn

Song vs Hymn

Songs can be defined as any lyrics with tunes. When we talk about music in reference to hymns and songs, it actually means we are trying to differentiate between “hymns” and “worship songs” and not just any song. These “worship songs” are also called “praise songs,” and hymns are called “traditional hymns.”

Hymns

A traditional hymn is considered a formal song which is sung to God by the entire congregation in public worship. Metrical psalms can also be considered hymns.
For the traditional hymns there are specific hymn tunes like “Amazing Grace” which is always sung to New Britain. The main thing about the tune of a hymn is the rhythm (8.8.8.8.). The lyrics of the hymns and the melodies are interchangeable.

The music which is used by trained musicians to refer to hymns is called “chordal.” The chordal has harmony, melody, and rhythm. The main function of the music in a hymn is to emphasize the words.
Hymns and their structure have been derived or originated from classical music. It is often a four-part harmony.
Hymns have been sung for over hundreds of years and combine music, melody, and harmony in such a way that it reinforces positivity.

Praise Songs or Worship Songs

Praise songs, also called worship songs, are informal songs sung in churches in praise of God.
Music is the main defining feature of praise songs instead of the lyrics or words.
They have many repetitions not a four-part harmony. The music range is considered limited, and it is not influenced by classical music.
In praise songs, a single person or a group performs the whole song, and the songs are accompanied by many musical instruments not just an organ.
Praise songs are not traditional songs. They are influenced by the present culture, and new songs are being composed regularly.
It is believed that praise songs were introduced in the 1960s. Some songs like “Majesty” were included in the hymnals. However, traditional inclusion of songs in the hymnal do not make it a hymn.

Summary:

1.A hymn is considered a traditional hymn; a song is considered a praise song also called a worship song.
2.Hymns are always sung to the same tune or rhythm like 8.8.8.8. The melodies and lyrics of the hymns can be interchangeable. Each praise song has its own music and separate lyrics like any other song.
3.The main emphasis on hymns is the words which are played with only an organ, and the music is called chordal; the main emphasis in the praise songs is on music and not words. The songs are played with many instruments.
4.Hymns and their structure have been derived or originated from classical music. It is often a four-part harmony; praise songs are not derived from classical music but are influenced more by the current culture and do not have four-part harmony.
5.Hymns have been sung for over hundreds of years; praise songs were introduced in the 1960s.


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