Please click on the link below to hear an audio sermon on the Practical Application of Good Music. A sermon outline is below.
Summary: Music is a powerful tool, a vehicle for intense communication. It works strongly and effectively in our lives. Rock music, built on properties of blues and swing is made of poly-rhythmic properties that influence our emotions toward a bad temper. It was designed from specific musical attributes to manipulate and create feelings antagonistic of purity. “The blues is the song of those who turn their backs upon religion.”
The elements of music are melody, harmony, rhythm, lyrics, and vocalization. Each element is very important. The trouble with deciding which music a church uses is that there are many degrees between good and bad music. It is hard to know where to divide the line. In many churches, there is no system of music responsibility, and resulting bad music and actions follow like a flood, destroying churches. It takes courage to be in charge of making those choices.
It is all right for music to have surprises, but overall, it needs to have form, direction, and predictability to support the congregation. Surprise creates tension, and too much tension is not helpful. Disharmony also creates tension. Complexity is good until it begins to confuse listeners. Minor keys are not bad, but present a sense of sadness. Overall, it is haunting, sad, and meditative. We have times of sadness, but those should not characterize the victorious Christian life.
Rhythm has taken over much of today’s music. A straight 4/4 rhythm rouses a person to march. The natural beat is on the first and third counts. A 3/4 or 6/8 beat song is more meditative. The natural beat is on the first beat for 3/4 time or the first and fourth beats for 6/8 time. Rock music changes the emphasis of the beat. There is a path in rock music that does not begin at the result. Rock music uses off-beat or syncopated rhythms repeatedly, it plays with the natural rhythm, changing it. We have to be careful in our choices in rhythms, it can make music pure or dirty. Rock music sometimes goes a half beat beyond the natural beat, creating extra emphasis on the beat that is not supposed to be emphasized. It gets you off of the right beat, creating an off-beat feel. With “What Can Wash Away My Sin”, there is no dancing feel to it. When syncopation is added, a sexual dance is the natural reaction. Watch children’s actions when syncopated music is played, and they will begin to dance to it. There are people who can listen to rock music without loosing all their morals, but the direction is important – it excites the sexual drive away from what is right, influencing our hearts, and eventually, our decisions. This reaction becomes stronger the more it is used. The whole idea is to loosen morals. The back-beat hits the end of the accented beat with a thump. It creates tension and is rock music, emphasizing the second and fourth beat. The world knows what it does, but it is the Christians who do not want to admit what it does to them. The off-beat and back-beat are forms of soft rock. Hard rock emphasizes every beat harshly. It has sexual connotations.
The study of good music with a desire toward godliness brings standards that everyone may not understand. If in doubt, ask yourself does this music emphasize the offbeat? Music is not evil because it is new, but because it is designed with an evil purpose, with tools that go against God’s principles.
The boogie, honkeytonk, is designed by stretching the first beat, and dividing the second beat by two. Many good, sound and solid preaching churches have a pianist playing boogie beat, which appeals to the flesh. It is fun, and powerful, but not godly music. These forms of music go back to jazz, rock, and blues and were designed for the dance halls. Not all music use these tools to the same extant, but the tools are effective to the extant they are used. One of our problems is that young people in the church are using the world’s styles of music in the church, then using the same techniques in the world to get a bigger audience.
Over professionalism: Showing off technical skills instead of emphasizing the message of the Lord.
The country whine: Using a back of the throat in a gravely way.
The contemporary whine: Whine with a depressing attitude, usually used with a ballad style of music that has no resolution.
Music is a tool. The devil is a great musician. Music can make us feel inspired, ready to charge, sleepy, depressed, rebellious, and more. A strong off beat has a memorizing effect, similar to drugs and alcohol.
In our church, we want to hold to good, conservative Christian music. Other churches may not be as strict, but I wanted you to know why we don’t use the same music as everyone else. There are reasons you should know for guarding what you listen to in your homes. Lots of times what you listen to breaks down your resolve for godliness. If God is dealing with you to surrender your music to Him, be obedient to Him today.
Misusing the Elements of Music
- Found in some Romantic Period Classical Music and in the music of the Middle East and Far East.
- Has no distinct direction; no recognizable movement from anywhere to anywhere.
- God’s truth has direction; His music should have it as well.
- Too Tense
- Tension in music is caused by surprise.
- Melodies have certain forms that we can anticipate; we often anticipate where the next note will be—even when we do not know the song.
- Surprise is created by singing or playing a note other than the one anticipated.
- The use of surprise in music
- Music with no surprises can be boring; surprise can be effectively used to gain attention or create interest.
- Too much surprise creates an unfulfilled tension much as an unhappy ending does in a story or movie; God’s music should not leave the listener unfulfilled.
- Tension in music is caused by surprise.
- Caused by playing notes together that do not naturally go together.
- Often found in Modern Classical Music.
- Makes people wince; it almost hurts the senses; it should be avoided in Christian music.
- Complex Harmonies
- Some harmonies are much more complex than others; they bring notes together that do have connections but the connections are more difficult.
- Those who work with music a lot are comfortable with much more complex harmonies than are people who just listen; the average person finds such harmonies difficult to follow.
- Hitting an occasional complex chord brings the same surprise as the singing of an unexpected note and can be used to bring freshness to the song.
- However, extreme use of complex harmony draws attention to itself and diminishes the message of the song by making the listening experience too intellectual (thus blocking the actual message of the song).
- Minor Keys
- Minor keys are built on a different scale than the major keys (The key of A Minor starts with the A on the piano and uses all the white keys).
- The minor keys have a very different sound and create a very different emotional effect than the major keys.
- They are more haunting.
- They create a sad, meditative feeling.
- Minor keys can be very effective in an occasional melody or song where the purpose is to make the listener meditate on his failures or on the sadness of some condition.
- However, sadness is not a major theme of Christianity and when it is a theme it is always a means to a better, happier, end (Psalm 137:1-4).
- Minor keys are becoming very popular as vehicles for modern Christian music (even among those conservative in other ways); we need to keep the use of minor keys in a minor position in our worship.
- Refers to the practice of accenting the normally unaccented beats of a song; the backbeat is often provided by a bass instrument.
- The backbeat (and offbeat) is the foundational basis for all rock music; hard rock hits every beat.
- Backbeat is designed to create a physical, sexual tension in people.
- Also called syncopation; refers to the practice of placing accents between normal beats off time from the regular accents.
- Used in soft rock and in most modern music.
- Creates a desire to jump in jerky movements; to dance.
- It de-emphasizes the message of the music by overemphasizing the physical response to the music.
- Uses an 8/8 rhythm with the pattern of a dotted eighth followed by a sixteenth note.
- A jazz style of piano playing coming from bars and clubs; the honky-tonk sound.
- As in the other styles, it appeals to the flesh.
- General Comments
- All of these rhythms go back to jazz, blues and rock (which are all interrelated).
- They all have a strong effect on the flesh; they were designed to create sexual tension.
- They have a tendency to break down moral restraints; they mesmerize the mind and excite the flesh; where these rhythms predominate, virtue is often lost and moral looseness prevails.
- There are admittedly lesser strains of these beats that do not obviously bring these evils but they still have the same effects, only to a lesser degree. Also, everyone who listens to this music does not fall into moral perversity just as all who drink alcohol do not become drunks, but the danger is always there. The music tends to excite the flesh but people still have a will and react to the excitement in different ways. Some people just have a good time and do not associate the feeling they are having with anything sexual. Others are led to greater sins.
- Another danger of this music is that it is the music of the world and the world can always do better at its music than the church can. Many are being trained to love the worldly sound in the church. What are they going to do with this love? Many will go to the world to get their “better” version and will take the ungodly lyrics with the music.
- God’s music ought to sound different than the music of the world. Worldly music has no place in the church.
- Lyrics that say nothing of Biblical significance should not be sung.
- Lyrics that teach false doctrine should not be sung.
- Lyrics that exalt man and his feelings and opinions should not be sung.
- This refers to the way a voice sounds as it sings; the singing voice.
- Hyper-professionalism: some learn from classical-style professionals; although excellence is always good, we should avoid trying to sound high class in the average church.
- Country Whine: Many try to sound like their favorite country-western music star; the church is not a place for performance; the emphasis should be on the message of the song and not on the performance.
- Contemporary Whine: similar to the country whine, it carries an air of indifference and despair.
Enjoy this free sheet music resource. No strings attached for instant download and prints! Gilbert DeBenedetti has done a great job on his sheet music, providing clear typeface and pictures in graded collections. Occasionally you will find a priced piece, but they are clearly marked in blue dots. The vast majority of the sheets are free, and are marked with green dots.
SST 104 Spurlock Soundboard Cleaners from PianoTec Supply Company
I like the design of this tool better than some of the other soundboard cleaning tools as this one does not scratch the soundboard, and cleans the piano soundboard precisely.
Alfred’s Music Publishing http://www.alfred.com/
Amazon.com: Edna Mae Burnam’s Step By Step Piano Course
Bill Rice Ranch CDs, Sheet Music, Music Books:
http://bluebookofpianos.com/ Blue Book of Pianos: Find your piano’s age from the serial number.
Classical Sheet Music: One yearly subscription for $29.95 covers unlimited printing, downloads, and Scorch.
Dampp Chaser: Home of the Piano Life Saver http://dampp-chaser.com/
Ebay: Find used and new sheet music and instruments http://www.ebay.com/
Hal Leonard: Edna Mae Burnam’s Step By Step Piano Course http://www.halleonard.com
J.W. Pepper Sheet Music http://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/welcome.jsp
Majesty Music Christian Music http://www.majestymusic.com/
Magnify the Lord-CD with Ray, Ann, & Christina Gibbs http://www.majestymusic.com/new-items/magnify-the-lord-cd.html
MAT Electronics http://matelectronics.com/prestashop/en/
Old Fashioned Christian Music on Internet Radio http://www.oldchristianradio.com/
Piano Adoption: Free Pianos in the United States http://www.pianoadoption.com/
PianoMart: Shop for a piano http://www.pianomart.com/
Soundforth Christian Music http://www.soundforthmusic.com/
Winning Warm-ups for the Voice http://domenicoproducts.com/Winning.shtml
Hymn of Praise
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Beethoven, Triple Concerto with Eaken Trio, guest artists.
Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 2, “Lobgesang” with Lycoming College and Susquehanna University choirs.
“We are delighted to collaborate for the season opener with the Lycoming College Choir and the Susquehanna University Choir performing Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 in B-flat major known as Lobgesang. Called a Symphony Cantata with texts from the Bible, it was written to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the printing press.
The Eaken Trio will join the orchestra in the first half to perform Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano, Violin and Cello known as the Triple Concerto in C-major. This is a unique combination of soloists that derives from the more common trio for chamber music. This will be another opportunity to hear our principal cellist Andrew Rammon along with another two superb musicians, violinist John Eaken and pianist Gloria Whitney.”
-Williamsport Symphony Orchestra Brochure
Section 2 $40.
Section 1 $50.
Students: Tickets for students ages 4-23 are free in the upper balcony. Seats in the orchestra section are $5. Discount price is not available in the Sterling Circle, Loge, and First Row Balcony. College students must present a valid college ID at the time of obtaining tickets. An hour before the show, students may request free rush tickets for Orchestra seats.
To purchase tickets, please call the CAC Box office at (570) 326-2424 or 1-800-432-9382 or visit CACLIVE.com.
May 30, 2014
Music is a wonderful thing; an inspiring way to escape the day-to-day craziness of life.
The story I am about to tell you is a story about music, and about a sweet girl who pursued her love of music despite her disability.
15-year-old Joanna Costa was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a disability that consists of joint contractures in both her hands and feet. This means Joanna has limited use of her toes and fingers, and specifically in respect to playing musical instruments she has limited to no use in her fingers.
Yet despite her disability, Joanna still loves music and pursues it with a passion! She taught herself how to play the piano at age seven. And just a few years ago, Joanna started playing the hammer dulcimer. If that isn’t already amazing, Joanna also loves to sing and has sung in multiple choirs and ensembles. “I have always loved music,” Joanna explains in an interview with the HSLDA Blog, “I like to play a variety of genres, but my favorites include classical pieces and hymns.”
Joanna’s love for music started at a young age. It all began when Joanna asked her mom, who was a piano teacher, if she could give her piano lessons. “She was teaching my older brother Stephen, and whatever he did, I wanted to do too,” Joanna conveyed about her first interest in music. “Also, my dad and mom both play piano, so I wanted to play the piano like they did. My dad would come home from work and play, and I would listen to him and think, ‘I want to do that.’” Joanna’s mom also plays in their church, and all that little five-year-old Joanna wanted to do was to play the piano as well as her parents.
Mrs. Costa consulted a music therapist, Janet, about Joanna’s condition and if she’d be able to play the piano. Janet assessed Joanna’s ability to play and felt very confident that Joanna could learn to play the piano. “That therapist”, Joanna explained, “became my piano teacher and has been teaching me ever since. She has especially taught me how to play more complex pieces with my physical limitations (since I can only play with 2 or 3 fingers at most in each hand).”
Through all of this, Mr. and Mrs. Costa homeschooled Joanna and taught her the importance of music and education. Speaking of her homeschool experience, Joanna explained that “homeschooling has allowed [her] schedule to be flexible enough to allow for the therapy and doctor’s visits necessitated by [her] diagnosis”, as well as for extracurricular activities. Although Joanna isn’t able to play certain sports such as soccer or softball, homeschooling has afforded her the opportunities to do other extracurricular and physical activities such as sled hockey, horseback riding, participating in the science fair, and the 4-H club. Homeschooling has also allowed her enough flexibility to practice and record music.
In 2013, Joanna released her first CD, called Four Fingers, Two Hands, One Piano. The CD includes pieces played by Joanna from Muzio Clementi and Joseph Haydn. In Joanna’s own words: “Playing these pieces, even with a disability, allows me to enjoy the beauty of music – a beauty I hope to share with others. Having to work harder, perhaps more than others, to perform the pieces gave me an even greater appreciation of the compositions.”
When asked what her inspiration was behind her first album, Joanna said: “I have to blame my father for this one. Primarily, dad encouraged me to share my story. Our desire was to promote the idea that disabled individuals can still do amazing things (and should not be looked down by others in society) and we wanted to bring glory to God through the process.” Although there were some technical difficulties and the album took 3 years to record, Joanna said “it was a good learning experience to go through the recording process and it taught [her and her dad] patience.”
With one album under her belt, Joanna hopes to record another CD in the not too distant future. Joanna also loves to help people, and some of her future goals in that area include going to the Middle East this spring to help at a home for girls, and helping out at an orphanage in Mexico this summer. “I have always wanted to help kids”, Joanna explained, “and I hope to do something along these lines in the future.”
Homeschooling has allowed Joanna the opportunities to pursue her passion for music and her passion for helping people. She loves God and has a heart ready and waiting for Him to use. I look forward to see how God will use Joanna next.
PC: Sarah Fisher
A music teacher shows how chords, major and minor keys, and transposition can be easily introduced with “Mary Had a Little Lamb”.
View this amazing collection of rare, composer-edited sheet music from the Julliard School here: The Juilliard Manuscript Collection Website.
“In 2006 Juilliard received a trove of precious music manuscripts from the billionaire collector and financier Bruce Kovner. The collection includes autograph scores, sketches, composer-emended proofs and first editions of major works by Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Chopin, Schubert, Liszt, Ravel, Stravinsky, Copland and other masters of the classical music canon. Many of the manuscripts had been unavailable for generations. Among the items are the printer’s manuscript of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, complete with Beethoven’s hand-written amendments, that was used for the first performance in Vienna in 1824; Mozart’s autograph of the wind parts of the final scene of The Marriage of Figaro; Beethoven’s arrangement of his monumental Große Fuge for piano four hands; Schumann’s working draft of his Symphony No. 2; and manuscripts of Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 and Piano Concerto No. 2. The entire collection has since been digitized and can be viewed online.” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juilliard_School
Since I joined the internet community in 1996, it has been interesting to notice the improvements scammers have used in their techniques and communication to steal personal information, money, and goods. At the basic level, a scam email is fairly obvious: a black and white “form letter” from Nigeria, the United Kingdom, or the IRS telling you that you have won a kabillion dollars in the lottery, or received an inheritance, became a partner and are responsible for receiving said huge amount, or owe on taxes. These scammers take advantage of greed and fear, disorganization, and irresponsibility. The IRS will never contact you about your financial information by email! If you don’t know of a fabulously rich relative, you probably don’t have one.
A recent development with my Ebay listings was more sneaky. Usually scammers prefer the personal email system, but this one ventured to use the Ebay messages system. The legitimate-looking email said I had sold my item to a specific buyer who asked for my personal email and phone number. Now, if a buyer wants to email me, they can do that through Ebay, so why do they need my personal email? Hmmm. It turned out that when I checked my listing, it had not sold. Another red flag goes up in my mind. I wrote back, not including my information, but letting them know they could check out through PayPal as usual. Another request came back for my personal information. The message was:
Thanks for the swift response, just to let you know that am okay with the condition and price of this item, am ready for its purchase and my form of payment will be by sending you cashiers Check via USPS next day delivery.I’ll be responsible for the pick-up and the pick up money will be included in your payment to avoid delay and to enable pick up company to schedule an appropriate time for he pick-up at your location after check has been cashed,as i have other properties to be moved alongside with yours.
I would have really love to come for the viewing but due to my work frame that might not be possible,but if you have the pics,might want to have a good look. Please do get back to me with your full name and address including your cell and land number so i can make out payment.Regards.”
Several things caught my eye here:
- The scammer uses bad grammar (highlighted in blue).
- He tells you how to sell to him using his method of payment, not yours (highlighted in red).
- It is a risky form of payment, one that cannot be tracked through PayPal & Ebay and one that will have a hard time clearing, thus challenging your personal bank account holdings (highlighted in green).
- Excuses are made to the requirements of a face-to-face transaction. Sometimes it is work, sometimes a man at sea, sometimes a “much too busy being rich to do business with you” attitude (highlighted in pink).
- Pictures are asked for. My listings always have the maximum amount of pictures, but the average scammer asks for more, taking for granted that the seller is lazy (highlighted in purple).
- Scammers always ask for more personal information that is not necessary to the transaction. Be wary when they ask for your “full name”, cell, land line, address, bank account number, social security number, or PayPal password. Ebay can complete a transaction with the information you gave them on start up. No buyer needs more, especially if they do not intend to visit your home personally. Ebay also gives the necessary (but not more) information for a buyer to pick up the item after a legitimate checkout.
The website http://pianomart.com/blog/resources/scam-alerts is a good resource for information on the forged money order/cashier’s check scam. Pianomart also has a scammer of the week list.
In general, if you ever have to send money for information, or your bank account number, PayPal card number, bank card number, social security number or any personal information to get a customer, be advised it’s a scam. If threats ever come, or the “customer” demands anything, it’s a scam. Real business people value each others privacy and payment modes. Beware of emails telling you of an inheritance, a request to temporarily hold money, a lottery winning, “your good name is trashed”, “you should be worried” and other “news” that creates fear or greed. It’s not real. A plentiful resource (over 100 a day) of scam emails will be yours if you sign up for “work at home” “be your own boss”, “get healthy quick” and “make money fast” websites.
Sometimes, when I get a scam, I tell them they are using old scamming techniques and they need to lay off or I will report them to “the authorities” and “hunt them down”. You can report Ebay scammers to firstname.lastname@example.org and PayPal scammers to email@example.com. You can also report requests for personal information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Since scammers change email addresses like they change their socks, the chances of a regular person tracking them down is slim, however, reporting and a verbal strong arm has stopped scammers from practicing their lies unhampered.
My best securities are:
1. Avoid desperation and greed.
2. Treat others as I want to be treated. Do not try to take advantage of other people’s hard times.
3. Follow wise business procedures and rules. Do not let scammers tell you how to run your business.
4. Don’t rely on email alone for my information, double check emails with my listing information. Do not use links in emails to follow up on listing information.
5. Be diligent in listing plenty of pictures and information.
6. Contact authorities with scammer information.
7. Beware of bad grammar, capitalization and punctuation. Although it’s not a sure-fire sign of a scammer, it is truly chronic among scammers in general.