Vocal Music

The Practical Application of Good Music Outline and Audio Sermon

Please click on the link below to hear an audio sermon on the Practical Application of Good Music.  A sermon outline is below.

Practical Application of Good Music by Pastor David Reagan Antioch Baptist Church, Knoxville, T.N.

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.

Vocalization Pitfalls:

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.

Official Outline

Misusing the Elements of Music

  1. MELODY
    1. Formless
      1. Found in some Romantic Period Classical Music and in the music of the Middle East and Far East.
      2. Has no distinct direction; no recognizable movement from anywhere to anywhere.
      3. God’s truth has direction; His music should have it as well.
    2. Too Tense
      1. Tension in music is caused by surprise.
        1. 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.
        2. Surprise is created by singing or playing a note other than the one anticipated.
      2. The use of surprise in music
        1. Music with no surprises can be boring; surprise can be effectively used to gain attention or create interest.
        2. 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.
  2. HARMONY
    1. Disharmony
      1. Caused by playing notes together that do not naturally go together.
      2. Often found in Modern Classical Music.
      3. Makes people wince; it almost hurts the senses; it should be avoided in Christian music.
    2. Complex Harmonies
      1. Some harmonies are much more complex than others; they bring notes together that do have connections but the connections are more difficult.
      2. 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.
      3. 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.
      4. 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).
    3. Minor Keys
      1. 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).
      2. The minor keys have a very different sound and create a very different emotional effect than the major keys.
        1. They are more haunting.
        2. They create a sad, meditative feeling.
      3. 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.
      4. 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).
      5. 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.
  3. RHYTHM
    1. Backbeat
      1. Refers to the practice of accenting the normally unaccented beats of a song; the backbeat is often provided by a bass instrument.
      2. The backbeat (and offbeat) is the foundational basis for all rock music; hard rock hits every beat.
      3. Backbeat is designed to create a physical, sexual tension in people.
    2. Offbeat
      1. Also called syncopation; refers to the practice of placing accents between normal beats off time from the regular accents.
      2. Used in soft rock and in most modern music.
      3. Creates a desire to jump in jerky movements; to dance.
      4. It de-emphasizes the message of the music by overemphasizing the physical response to the music.
    3. Boogie-beat
      1. Uses an 8/8 rhythm with the pattern of a dotted eighth followed by a sixteenth note.
      2. A jazz style of piano playing coming from bars and clubs; the honky-tonk sound.
      3. As in the other styles, it appeals to the flesh.
    4. General Comments
      1. All of these rhythms go back to jazz, blues and rock (which are all interrelated).
      2. They all have a strong effect on the flesh; they were designed to create sexual tension.
      3. 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.
      4. 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.
      5. 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.
      6. God’s music ought to sound different than the music of the world.  Worldly music has no place in the church.
  4. LYRICS
    1. Lyrics that say nothing of Biblical significance should not be sung.
    2. Lyrics that teach false doctrine should not be sung.
    3. Lyrics that exalt man and his feelings and opinions should not be sung.
  5. VOCALIZATION
    1. This refers to the way a voice sounds as it sings; the singing voice.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Contemporary Whine:  similar to the country whine, it carries an air of indifference and despair.
Categories: Church Music, Dance Music, Godly Music, Instrumental Tips, Listening Choices, Rock Music, Vocal Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Carol Songbook for SATB Voice 22 Free Christmas Songs

Enjoy these twenty-two Christmas carols in full SATB sheet music for free from Cantorion: no email address or subscription required.

Christmas Songbook List
1) Angels we have heard on high
2) Away in a manger
3) Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light
4) Coventry Carol
5) Deck the halls
6) Ding dong merilly
7) God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
8) Good King Wenceslas
9) Hark the herald angels sing
10) In the bleak midwinter
11) It came opon a midnight clear
12) Joy to the world
13) Lo, how a rose e’er blooming
14) O Little Town of Bethlehem
15) O Come, All Ye Faithful
16) Riu, Riu, Chiu
17) Silent night
18) The Angel Gabriel
19) The First Nowell
20) The Holly and the Ivy
21) We Three Kings
22)What Child is This

Christmas Carol Songbook Voice, SATB – Voice, SATB – Sheet music – Cantorion – Free sheet music, free scores.

Categories: Piano Lessons, Vocal Music, Voice Lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Music Resources

Sheet Music RoseAlfred’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://www.billriceranch.org/store#!/~/category/id=2122006&offset=0&sort=normal

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.

http://www.music-scores.com/

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

Categories: Helpful Hints, Instrumental Tips, Piano Lessons, Piano Teacher, Vocal Music, Voice Lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Piano Lessons with Julia

Playing PianoJulia Race offers piano lessons in Lock Haven, P.A.  A 2005 graduate of Faith Baptist School of Theology, Julia holds bachelor’s diplomas in Sacred Music and Elementary Education.  She has a passion for training competent, dedicated, pianists who enjoy serving others.  She has participated in recordings and has a small recording studio that features digital and acoustic pianos.  Some concepts addressed through lessons include:

Note reading

  • Arranging
  • Following a Director
  • Counting Time
  • Technique
  • Theory
  • History
  • Performance
  • Healthy Practice
  • Repertoire
  • Technology
  • Recording

Julia enjoys using the following materials in her lessons:

  • Edna Mae Burnam’s Step by Step lessons.
  • Alfred’s Piano Course
  • Theory worksheets
  • Music downloads
  • Acoustic and Electric pianos
  • Various hymn books
  • Various repertoire and lesson books available

Lesson prices are as follows:

  • $10.00 per half hour (recommended for juniors and younger children)
  • $15.00 per 45 minutes (recommended for young teens)
  • $20.00 per hour (recommended for older teens and adults.

Call Julia at (570) 295-0371 to schedule a free first lesson, with no commitment to continue further lessons.

Categories: Piano Lessons, Piano Teacher, Vocal Music, Voice Lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Classical sheet music, for all instruments and abilities.

Enjoy one of my favorite sheet music sources  at http://www.music-scores.com/instruments.php

As a member, you have unlimited free sheet music downloads and printing for many instruments  with the purchase of a one-year membership.  Returning members get a membership renewal for $20.00!  Classical sheet music, for all instruments and abilities.  You also get a chance to hear the music via Quick Time Midi or Scorch player (my preference) so you can hear as well as see what you are about to print.

Membership statement: “We currently have 3,655 items available for download (and growing!). We calculate that if you were to pay $1.49 each, then the value of sheet music on this site is currently worth $5,4445.95!

Members only pay a fraction of that cost for a year’s access, currently ony USD $29.95. We accept payments in several currencies including USD$, GBP and €uro. Payment is for 12 months membership and renewal is not automatic.”

Wind Instrument Sheet Music:

Alto Flute

Alto Recorder

Alto Sax

Alto Sax Ensemble

Baritone Saxophone

Bass Clarinet

Bassoon

Bassoon Ensemble

Clarinet

Clarinet Ensemble

Contrabass Clarinet

Contrabassoon

Cor Anglais

Ensemble wind

Flute

Flute Ensemble

Oboe

Oboe Ensemble

Piccolo

Recorder

Saxophone Ensemble

Soprano Saxophone

Tenor Sax

Treble Recorder

Brass Instrument Sheet Music:

Baritone Horn

Bb Trombone

Cornet

Eb Bass

Ensemble brass

Euphonium

French Horn

French Horn Ensemble

Trombone

Trombone Ensemble

Trumpet

Trumpet Ensemble

Tuba

String Instrument Sheet Music:

Bass guitar

Cello

Cello Ensemble

Contrabass

Ensemble strings

Guitar

Harp

String Quartet

Viola

Viola Ensemble

Violin

Violin Ensemble

Violin solo

Keyboard Sheet Music:

Harpsichord

Keyboard

Organ

Piano

Piano Duet

Piano Duo

Other Instrumental Sheet Music:

Ensemble mixed

Ensemble voice

Handbells

Voice

Categories: Harp Music, Helpful Hints, Piano Lessons, Piano Teacher, Uncategorized, Vocal Music | Tags: , | 1 Comment

First Free Piano or Voice Lesson

mp9004311341.jpgIf you have been thinking about taking piano or voice lessons, but have not decided on a teacher, call Julia to receive a lesson with no obligation to continue lessons.  As always, the introductory lesson is free.

Categories: Helpful Hints, Piano Lessons, Piano Teacher, Uncategorized, Vocal Music, Voice Lessons | Leave a comment

Free Old Fashioned Christian Music Radio

Try this link to one of my personal favorites, a church-sponsored commercial-free-music-only web radio station, full of inspiring Christian music.  You can sample and buy CDs presented, from the station.  You will find instrumental, vocal, harp, and fully orchestrated pieces in styles ranging from “down home” to “classical” “just for fun” and “church”.

Old Fashioned Christian Music Radio.

Categories: Harp Music, Helpful Hints, Piano For Sale, Piano Lessons, Soundforth Music, Vocal Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Majesty Tunes – Magnify the Lord

Enjoy this special trio’s recording!  Since their marriage in 1979, Ray and Ann Gibbs have been a great musical team.  Their clear, pure style has led to work with the Metropolitan Opera, Pensacola Christian College, and international sacred concerts.  Together with their daughter, Christina, they present the orchestrated CD, “Magnify the Lord”, a collection of uplifting melodies that will keep you focused on “things that are above”.

Majesty Tunes – Magnify the Lord.

Categories: Vocal Music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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