I like asking my children in general music class, "what is this class about?" "Music." "Singing." "Instruments." "Playing." "Nonsense!" (Smart Alec.) I answer my own question, "It's about relationship, worship, discipleship, citizenship. All relationships begin in God, so our worshiping Him in spirit and truth is paramount. This is the upward call, the vertical part of our lives. discipleship is the relationship to Christ and His body, the horizontal. Our civic life, or citizenship is also horizontal, and not less important than our worship, for God desires that our lives reflect His goodness and glory in all arenas. We must view all these areas of our lives as worship. The secular is not separated from the sacred, or set-apart. We draw the sacred into the secular.
I am now listening to Bach's concerto for 2 violins, movement 2. It reflects the depth of the relationship between the two violins and the accompanying orchestra. It reminds me of a husband, wife, and community. In perfect harmony! Listen to the voices, how they make statements that are answered and expanded in the harmonies of the orchestra. the accompanying voices are equally important and have no competition with the more prominent solo voices.
Harmony takes discipline. All players must follow the direction of the composer's score, beginning and ending together, rising and swelling, falling and diminishing, speeding and slowing together, contributing their unique sound while carefully listening to the entire mixture. You hear the fine and happy result when everyone has rehearsed well individually and corporately. Any element that is in the mix too prominent or obscure hinders the outcome of the recipe.
I'm immensely enjoying the book by John G. Elliot, "The Heart of Songwriting." In section II, "Speak to the Heart", he speaks thus of inspiration, "One of the reasons I love to write music that has its roots in the Bible is its potential to bring deep and genuine encouragement to people. I find a tremendous sense of fulfillment if I discover that a certain song I have written inspired someone toward something positive." he prefaces this section with the Scripture from Hebrews 10:24, "Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds." Further, he says, "Christian songwriters should view themselves as teachers, preachers, and pastors. The songwriter can be an imparter of wisdom, insight, and prophetic encouragement. A memorable song can literally be a source of stimulation toward love, the greatest of all virtues." "When a song incorporates a scriptural quotation or an idea linked to Scripture, it takes on a supernatural force simply because it is the Word of God. The Bible contains several promises that assure us the Word of the Lord obtains results. Real-time results."
John G. Elliot then gives an assignment;
"You have a story to tell. Tell it in your own words, following the insights and principle you have learned so far."
Walk with me on this journey. let's explore songwriting together in my class I offer this June and July. We will become more adept writers, communicators, journalists, overcoming by the word of our testimony.
Love, James Lawrence Wirth