Friday, May 6, 2016

Is Music a Language?—part 1


Is Music a Language?—part 1
            In a recent ad for the Book How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition by Robert Greenburg this statement was made, “Music is a non-verbal language that can encode volumes of social, historical, and even philosophical information, provided you know how to understand it.”  Greenburg seems to have a modified theory about music being a language.  Some believe that music is a language; others consider it to be a universal language; while still others believe music to be no language at all.
            Greenburg touches on another major argument that questions whether or not we can understand music’s meaning at all.  Some summerly dismiss the question of understanding music’s meaning by simply asserting that music does not have any meaning at all.  Still others believe that music has meaning but that its meaning is an isolated meaning that is not related to life or any understanding that is related in any way to life outside of music’s little bubble.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

ANCIENT MINISTERS OF MUSIC—part 3

                         ANCIENT MINISTERS OF MUSIC—part 3
            It appears that these chief Levite musicians were chosen by a committee including musicians and non-musician much like ministers of music are chosen today.  However, the chief Levite musicians were "set" or chosen by a very authoritative "committee."  II Chronicles 29:25 states, "And he set Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet:  for so was the commandment of the LORD by his prophets.  Note that the A.V. margin says, "by the hand of the LORD, by the hand of his prophets."  So, the appointment of these chief musicians was so important that they were selected by:
                        1.         David who was God's anointed King.
                        2.         Gad the king's seer who was a chozeh or a beholder of                                                          visions of God.
                        3.         Nathan who was a naba or inspired prophet.
                        4.         The hand of Jehovah the self-existent eternal God.
Perhaps this august "committee" was necessary since these Levite musicians were separated to be naba or prophets who would prophesy with music.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

ANCIENT MINISTERS OF MUSIC—part 2

ANCIENT MINISTERS OF MUSIC—part 2
            Special note should be made of the word natsach (5329).  This term used in the title of fifty-four of the Psalms connotes a person with great charisma.  This musician was to glitter from afar.  This person was to be a powerful leader and an accomplished musician.  So, we can see that the chief musician was an eminent leader of music in the Temple.
            The Levite musicians were called or separated for a particular service--that service was leading music worship in the Temple.  I Chronicles 15:16 states, "And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be singers with instruments of music, psalteries, and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy."  Verse seventeen goes on to mention the names of Heman, Asaph, and Ethan (Jeduthun) who were chief musicians.

 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

ANCIENT MINISTERS OF MUSIC—part 1


ANCIENT MINISTERS OF MUSIC—part 1
            Sometimes we think of the concept of a minister of music as being a modern invention.  However, if one aspect of Levite Music Administration could be pointed out as most important it would be the office of the "chief musician."  In the Bible the minister of music is called by several names.
            The Book of Psalms refers to the chief musician fifty-four times.  The words “chief” and “musician” are translated from the Hebrew word natsach (5329) and mean to be eminent, to glitter from a distance and to be superintendent.  These musicians were chosen to supervise the business of music making in the Temple.  Other names for these musicians were: chief singer (5329) in Habakkuk 3:19; overseer (paqiyd 6496) in Nehemiah 12:42; principal (rosh 7218) in Nehemiah 11:17, meaning to be first, in rank or to be captain; chief (sar 8269) of the Levites in I Chronicles 15:22, meaning a head person or a master musician; and chief (rosh7218) of the fathers of the Levites in I Chronicles 9:33.  All of these names carry the meaning of a person who was in charge who is was leader and had skill, and one who is a responsible person.

 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Merely Sounding Brass—part 3

Merely Sounding Brass—part 3
            The Christian musician must be sure that he or she musics with love for others.  When a very gifted performer stands before a congregation of worshipers, it is easy to center all attention on the performance rather than on ministry.  Some Christian musician performers have a tendency to worship the created thing (music) rather than the creator (God).  Romans 1:25 refers to those, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature (2937) more than the Creator (2936), who is blessed forever. Amen.” Strong’s Concordance states that ktisis (2937) refers to original formation (properly, the act; by implication, the thing, (literally or figuratively).  Strong also states that ktizo (2936) means the one who created.
            So, with this knowledge we deduce that the Bible condemns worshiping music rather than the God who is the creator of music.  A common error of church music performers is worshiping worship.  It is also wrong for the musicer to worship music.  A Christian musician must love the God who created the art form of music rather than the music itself.  Although there is nothing wrong with a Christian performer enjoying performing sacred music, but if the love of music or performance becomes the main thing, it will become an idol rather than a vehicle of praise to God.

 

 

 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Prayer for this Blog in May


Prayer for this Blog in May
            I want to thank You Lord and Father for the 111 countries that are a part of our blog family.  It is my sincere and earnest prayer let this blog will go around the world to places where I cannot go.  Lord, thank You that You are answering my prayer by guiding people from 111 countries to find and read my blog posts. Please continue to help me in 2016 as I prepare a post for each day to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
            Only You know Lord who is out there ministering musically that needs a fresh anointing for musical ministry.  Help me to know which philosophical and devotional thoughts will help these busy pastors and musicians.  Lord, as I continue to develop posts for the month of May, I am not sure which aspects of music education and music ministry to write about that will stimulate and encourage the blog family.  Please anoint the blog, the blogger, and the blog readers during 2016. If it is your will I am asking that the number of page views will increase during each month.  Lord, I am praying that you will help the content editors for the two books that they are now editing and making final preparations so they can be sent to the publisher.  These things I ask in your great and wise and wonderful name.  Amen.

Thank you for a Great Month of April

       Thank you for a Great Month of April
            This month was the 40th month of my blog which contained devotional and philosophical thoughts for Christian musicians. I have written over 2,384 posts since this blog was started. There have been several times this year when I have experienced a certain amount of writer’s burnout.  However, I am praying that my posts in 2016 will stimulate both the regular and new blog members to remain faithful to their musical ministeries. It is my continued prayer that each new post will bring honor to our heavenly Father in 2016.  The over 1,100 page views in the month of April were a mixture of philosophical and devotional topics.  
       Since we began on January 2 of 2013 we have received a total of over 68,200 page views with over 900 views in March which is about 400 fewer than we had in April of 2016.  Since I started this blog the page views have come from 111 different countries.                These views have come from Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Argentina, Armenia, Angola,  Aruba, Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Colombia, Congo [DRC], Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong,  Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland (Republic of),  Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia,  Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Netherlands, Netherlands (Antilles) New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru. Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Porto Rico, Qatar, RĂ©union, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Turks & Caicos Islands, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, USA and Zimbabwe .
             The ten countries with the most page views this month were: USA, Germany, Ukraine ,France, Brazil, Portugal, China, Russia, Romania, and  Mexico.
          If you are from a country that has had page views in the past 40 months and has been omitted from the 111 countries listed above, please email me your country’s name.  Please continue to pray with me that God will allow this Music Philosophy Blog to continue to go places where I will never have the opportunity to minister musically in person. Please pray for me, as I have mentioned before, I am in the process of writing a general music philosophy book and a devotional book for musicians. My philosophy book is now in the hands of the content editor. Please pray the editor of the devotional book is in the process of moving to Scotland and is very busy at this time.
        I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to view my music philosophy blog during the month of April and a special thanks is in order to those countries that faithfully view this blog month after month.  Please continue to pray that God will guide each post and allow it to reach those who need encouragement to keep ministering for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
       The main reason that I started this Music Philosophy blog is that, although there is much music philosophy information on the net, not very much of it is from a biblical perspective.  Please share the blog address with your friends.   If you have an area of music or fine arts philosophy that troubles you, please feel free to let me know and I will include it in our discussions.  My email address is Garenlwolf@gmail.com         
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Merely Sounding Brass—part 2

Merely Sounding Brass—part 2
            There are a host of opinions about what the Greek words echo chalkos (2278 5475) which were translated sounding brass mean. The best explanation that I have found of the Greek words <echeo> <chalkos>, (sounding brass) comes from the writings of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio who lived in the 1st century b. c.  He was a Roman architect, engineer, and author of the celebrated treatise De architectura (On Architecture), a handbook for Roman architects.
            Vitruvius explained that the echo chalkos were tuned acoustic brass or bronze vases that were strategically placed around the Roman out-door theaters.  Each vase was tuned chromatically and when a particular pitch was produced by the human voice, that particular vase would amplify the actor’s voice.  However, these metal sounding vases produced a hollow sound that was not a true representation of the actor’s voice quality.
            So, when one reads “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity i.e. love that acts, I am become as sounding brass” with the knowledge of what we learned from Vitruvius, we understand that if a person says that he loves his or her neighbor but does not really care for them—this person’s speech is hollow like the sound produced by the Roman hollow sounding vases that amplified sound in the roman theaters.

 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Merely Sounding Brass—part 1


Merely Sounding Brass—part 1
            1 Corinthians 13:1, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”  There are a couple of thoughts that I would like to leave with you today.  The word charity which is used repeatedly in this chapter is translated from the Greek word agape (26). Albert Barnes, in his Commentary on the New Testament gives the following comments: The words ‘And have not charity’ mean and have not love. This is the proper and usual meaning of the Greek word. The English word charity that is used in many translations of this passage of the New Testament, has, according to how it is used I a great variety of meanings; and some of them cannot be included in the meaning of the word here.”    It is believed by many bible exegetes that agape connotes love in action or love that acts.

 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Teaching the Next Generation to Music--Part 4


Teaching the Next Generation to Music--Part 4 

            An often much overlooked necessity is studying music seriously.  It is no joke that “knowing is doing”.  A Christian cannot teach what he or she does not know.  In our highly educated world today it is ludicrous for one to try to instruct others in how to music and how to develop a music philosophy without as much as knowing the names of the lines and spaces.  Being a music consumer does not qualify one to instruct others in music.

            Christians must consider the whole of music.  This includes a long broad study or music which includes both sacred and secular music.  Everyone should have knowledge of classical, folk, pop, jazz, rock, country and a host of other types of music in order to converse intelligently with the generations to follow us as pastors, parents, and church musicians.  Anything less than music literacy and a general understanding of the performance practice of these styles will dwarf our possibilities of reaching our young people with a logical, reasonable, explainable, discussible, and practical philosophy of music.