For those of you who are faithful readers of Music Eloquence, I apologize for not posting. My blog has been giving me troubles when I try to post. So once again I am attempting to post and hopefully it will go through. My last attempt posted as January 7, 2008. If you'd like to go back and read that post, that is actually my most recent post. ... Or you can hopefully read what's here today. Here it goes:
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 Rap Music. Cosby was made aware of an artist needing a lyrics writer (whom Cosby knew) to write and promote RAPE (you can actually see the Cosby interview on youtube). The writer told the artist he would by no means write lyrics promoting rape. The artist tried to sway him towards his bent. The writer with a low steely voice said, "You're talking about my Mother." Is this where we have come as a free nation 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 sadly 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 and "glorified" 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 even 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. It 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. How wrong he was! However we can use music for good to bring healing and restoration and many other positives. 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 song penned by Dottie Rambo called "He Looked Beyond My Faults":
Amazing Grace, shall always be my song of praise.
For it was grace that brought me liberty,
I do not know, just why He came to love me so.
He looked beyond my fault and saw my need.
I shall forever lift mine eyes to Calvary,
To view the cross, where Jesus died for me
How marvelous, His grace that caught my falling soul
He Looked beyond my fault and saw my need.
I hope every musician can realize the power and influence they potentially have to effect this 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. I emphasize that WE HAVE THE POWER to prepare the way for the word and to be used to change a 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 your God given power as a musician?