Sunday, 6 January 2013

Dealing with Off-Beat People

Nice to have that outbreak of clapping-along during a couple of songs this morning. I mean, obviously it's not what you normally expect during the "Sanctus" from Berlioz's Requiem, but whatever.

However it has shown up that not all people are alike. I would say that most people clapped - correctly, as God intended - on the first and third beats of the bar. But some others - a very small minority, but very evident - were clapping on the second and fourth beats of the bar.

What to do about this? Obviously people who clap on the off-beats are God's people as well, but they are clearly different. The people who clap on the on-beats are complaining that the people who clap on the off-beats are putting them off.

Obviously we can't tell people who clap on the off-beat not to come to our Occasions. But equally clearly we can't have them confusing everyone else. I can only see one resolution. We're going to have to ask them not to clap.


  1. Love the syncopater, hate the syncopation, I always say.

  2. Spend too much off-beat time in the wrong bars and anyone could end up with an odd clap.. :o

  3. Introduce a samba rhythm. Give me a call and I'll do you a samba worship workshop session. I'll bring the kit with me - you'd like it. It's a "found" kit made from converted patio tubs, tin mugs, baking tins; makes an impressive noise when we all get going. After a few minutes no-one has a clue where any of the beats have gone...

  4. Have a sympathetic thought for those who can only manage to clap at the right time by carefully watching the hands of those with a better sense of rhythm and mimicking their movement.

    And it is Not Fair to present such challenged individuals with something that requires them to clap of the off beat!

  5. Get the Sunday School to conduct the clapping. They are much better at it anyway.


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