Browsed by
Tag: Music

Bach: The Voice of God In Music

Bach: The Voice of God In Music

I’m working from memory, but it seems to me that Pablo Casals, once widely considered the world’s greatest cellist, said that he began each day playing Bach on the piano. It was like praying, he said. Since I have recently moved my place of work into a home office, with enough acoustic separation from the rest of the world, I’ve taken to playing Bach on the trombone during breaks from work. Some of his solo music, particularly his d minor…

Read More Read More

Recognizing the Real Thing: Is Christian Worship Manipulative?

Recognizing the Real Thing: Is Christian Worship Manipulative?

The music in church was great last Sunday. Unfortunately my mind wasn’t on it totally. I flashed back on the memory of some atheist or skeptic’s complaint that we Christians subject ourselves willingly to emotional manipulation with our minds in cognitive neutral. Later I went to look for where I had read that, and while I didn’t find exactly what I recalled, I ran across this from a blog post lovingly(?) labeled “dining with dunces:” … contrary to how evangelicals…

Read More Read More

Ten Turning Points: Dissonance In Heaven? You Bet!

Ten Turning Points: Dissonance In Heaven? You Bet!

From the series, Ten Turning Points That Make All the Difference One of the great puzzles about our future state in heaven is, won’t we be bored? I know there will be lots and lots of joy and love and worship. I’m not worried about heaven being bland and stale; surely God loves us more than to let that happen! It’s just that I can’t imagine how it will be. Specifically, if there’s no danger, no difficulty, and if we…

Read More Read More

Listen! You’ll Hear It! (Reductionism Fails)

Listen! You’ll Hear It! (Reductionism Fails)

There is a school of thought that says physics is the ultimate reality; that everything reduces to subatomic particles mindlessly subject to natural law. The story is told—I don’t remember where I heard it—of two young women sitting in the front row of a concert hall, holding the score for the music the orchestra was about to play. The conductor saw them, and he stepped off the podium, leaned over, and whispered to them, “You will not find it in…

Read More Read More

The Authentic Musician: Book Review

The Authentic Musician: Book Review

Book Review As a freshman music major at Michigan State University I played trombone in the Spartan Marching Band and in the Symphonic Band. A sophomore named John Haddix played trumpet in the same two bands. He lived down the hall from me in Mary Mayo Hall, a dorm that attracted a lot music majors, especially men—for us it was the nearest housing to the music buildings, where most of us spent at least half our waking hours. John’s roommate…

Read More Read More

The Pleasure of Doing What’s Good For You

The Pleasure of Doing What’s Good For You

I was a trombone major as an undergrad, with an emphasis on classical music. We trombonists owe a lot to Beethoven: he was the first major composer to include trombones in “secular” music. You see, when Martin Luther translated the “last trumpet” (the signal for Christ’s return) in his German Bible, he called it instead the “last trombone” (die letzte Posaune). For many years composers considered the trombone too noble to use in non-sacred music. (There’s a marvelous letze Posaune…

Read More Read More

%d bloggers like this: