Today our musicians had quite a discussion about copyright as it applies to a copyrighted hymn. If a composer has written a 4-measure section within a hymn for instrumentation only [no lyrics for that 4 measures] and one leads singing and/or plays that 4-measure as one  measure only, is that a violation of copyright?
It is felt by some of us that altering the music to such a degree is undesirable and confuses those in the congregation who read music. Some were silent for 1 measure only, and immediately sang the next lyrics… The others waited for the 4-measure “break” and then commenced to sing. It was not pretty.
I have enough trouble playing the notes as written <<>>
Your thoughts? Any specific copyright verbiage to allow/disallow such alteration?