He was right.
Still, I wanted to hear from churchgoers what their favorite and least favorite instruments are. Some of the responses were anticipated. Many were not.
- Piano — Piano is not only a favorite; it is one of the few instruments that did not also get mentioned as a least favorite.
- Acoustic Guitar — This instrument was a clear second preference.
- Organ — This instrument was also the number one least favorite. There seemed to be a clear generational divide here.
- Violin — The violin and the organ were only one vote apart.
- Cello — This choice surprised me. Maybe it should not have surprised me.
- Organ — Wow. There were very strong negative sentiments here. One person wrote, “I will ask God for permission to haunt my wife if she allows an organ at my funeral.”
- Tambourine — I was surprised at the negative sentiment here. Apparently, many churchgoers believe this instrument to be the choice of those not musically inclined.
- Drums — Again, there was mostly negative sentiment here, but the reasons for the negativity varied.
- Handbells — Handbells did not get one positive vote.
- Banjo — I can’t remember the last time I heard a banjo in a worship service. Maybe there’s a reason for that.
I was also fascinated to see the “one-vote wonders,” those instruments noted by only one person.
- One vote wonders, favorite: Hammer dulcimer; mandolin; and ukulele.
- One vote wonders, least favorite: Oboe; jazz flute; whistle; kazoo; harmonica; recorder; tuba; shofar; cowbell; accordion; chimes; and saxophone.
I bet this discussion will be fun. Let me hear from you.
Please note: These are NOT the views of LifeWay Worship! We love all instruments and understand the role they play in the making of music (except maybe the kazoo). These are simply views from a Twitter poll taken on Dr. Rainer’s Twitter feed.
This article was originally published at ThomRainer.com on January 11, 2016. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and seven grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer.