Monday, January 7, 2008

Music is Powerful Beyond Measure

Music is powerful beyond measure. One puts his/her innermost thoughts and feelings into it to be recognized and publicly acclaimed or criticized. Which painting, poem, sculpture, song and dance do we keep? In music, we keep the one that speaks to us in past experiences retold, in melodies that bring us to a secret place, in rhythms that capture our heartbeat, and dynamics that reflect our passion. What power music has to emotionally transport us to these places. Although this is a sensitive subject I would like to pose a question to all artists. Do we REALLY UNDERSTAND the POWER of music? I don't believe we do. Here's why. (read on)

We come from different backgrounds and circumstances in life, yet we all have a commonality in our experiences of pain, loss, rejection, happiness, contentment, and fulfillment. There is strength when there is commonalities and even greater strength when there is unity or "one mind". I want a singer to sing to me from the life's tapestry we are interwoven into. Please don't cut up the tapestry and ruin the art by demanding rape and incest, perversion, plunder, violence, and such like. This breeds more of the same.

In an interview with famous family comedian, Bill Cosby,
he addressed the issue of rap music. He was made aware of an artist wanting a lyrics writer (whom Cosby knew) to write and promote RAPE (you can actually see the interview on youtube). The lyrics writer told him he wouldn't write lyrics promoting rape. The artist tried to sway him towards his bent. The lyrics writer with a low steely voice said, "You're talking about my Mother." Is this where we have come as a free nation all in the name of art? Is this what "art" is all about? A venting mechanism by which we can let the whole world know what happened to your mother as a little girl? (Sorry for the bluntness, but this is very real). Although there are untold numbers who have experienced the perversions listed above, it is not healthy at any cost to glorify ABUSE of any kind. This makes me sick to my stomach. People's sorrows and misfortunes are taken advantage of all in the name of art. The really sad part is that more and more people are listening to this message and more and more little girls fall victim to this abuse every day. Music is powerful.

This is when the power music holds on society really disturbs and saddens me. As I stated earlier, music is powerful beyond measure. Music can trigger medical problems. Just as flashing lights can cause seizures in some, I read last month that certain types of music caused seizures for an individual. Music can also inspire violence. According to a Black Gospel Documentary, during slavery, when the master of the house was away, disgruntled slaves would beat on a drum in a chant like fashion and soon after a master would be killed or a local store would be robbed (I posted on this before). You cannot tell me music is not powerful. Music can be deceptive. I believe Lucifer knew how much power there was in music. t was powerful enough that he took 1/3 of the angels with him. It was powerful enough that he actually believed his own lie, that he could be like God. However we can use it for the good to bring healing and restoration. I've even seen people healed during the musical part of our worship service at church. I've also witnessed what appeared to be a cold-hearted soul during the first few songs of worship "melt" under the power of the Christian version of "Danny Boy" which says: "I shall forever lift mine eyes to Calvary. To view the cross where Jesus died for me. How marvelous the grace that caught my falling soul. He looked beyond my faults and saw my needs."

I hope every musician can realize the power and influence we potentially have to effect our world. The devil is not timid about the results his music is producing. How much more powerful should I be, a blood bought, Jesus' name child of God, in the music I produce for His glory? What do you have to say?

Do you really understand your power as a singer, pianist, organist, drummer, etc? I don't think we really understand or else our church's would have the best music (well rehearsed and near perfection... not to mention anointed prayer behind it). What an important responsibility we have... we prepare the way for the word. We have the "power" to prepare the way for the word and for a changed life. Instead of rape and deceit, music can calm a troubled spirit (David used his skillful harp playing to soothe King Saul's troubled spirit) and it can also bring praise to God. Praise confuses the enemy. Do you understand this power?


Lauren said...

This was an incredibly inspiring read. Thank you so much for sharing! I attend Penn State University and lead worship at my home church and for a fellowship at school. I've always known the power that music holds, but I've never been more inspired to use music to reach out, soften hearts, and above all, praise Christ! Thanks again for posting!I'm so glad that I stumbled upon this!

Jovon'93 said...

I'm wrote my essay on the "The Powerful Influence of Music". Unfortunately, I couldn't get it to the teacher because she doesn't accept late assignments(one day late, it was). I've noticed that music motivates people, amplifies their moods, and even pins them to a certain belief (whether they were conscious of this or not). Music can even cause spur-of-the-moment reactions. In example, depending on how "energized" the spirit of the song is, the listener would start dancing/tapping to the beats, or just suddenly flinch. The way I look at it, we need to choose our music wisely. The only known book to help assist this decision making is the Holy Bible (possibly the one that is set to your level of reading). The safest songs of music that I listen to, and would prefer, is Gospel/Christian music (don't be fooled by "Gospel"-Hip-Hop, it's not the same). Music can be a very enjoyable thing to listen to, just don't let it ruin your life.
-[J├┤von (or Jo'Von) Phillips]