Consider Paul Westermeyer’s description of John Wesleys concerns regarding the tunes of hymns:
Like Luther, Wesley knew a body of Christians couldn’t have many continually changing versions of hymns and hymn tunes without creating confusion which endangered their song. . . . Two related concerns were at work here. 1) Wesley knew, again like Luther, that the quality of the texts and music had to be high or the song would be ephemeral and would evaporate very quickly. . . . 2) And he knew congregations had to learn to sing. That knowledge explains his preparation of two manuals of instruction for reading music as well as his admonitions: learn the tunes, sing them exactly as printed, and join the singing even if “it is a cross to you.” It will turn out to be a blessing, he added!
What relevance do Wesley’s concerns have for singing today?