Friday, December 8, 2017

Mystery - Music Story

The Making of a Music Story
Colossians 2 describes Jesus as the mystery of God! Mystery would be an awesome theme and title for a song based on that chapter.
Mystery

My notes on Colossians 2 spill over into the next pages. I’ll write then rewrite and rewrite lyrics.
Mystery

The final revision of lyrics sits at my work station where I play around with melody lines in major and minor keys.
Mystery

Now to create the song on my computer. Going for a nocturne-like arrangement of Garritan® virtual instruments.
Mystery

Finale®, my music composition program, creates a WAV file of the score. I add it to my iTunes playlist and listen on my iPod. The arrangement needs work.
Mystery

So I edit the score. Again. And again. And again.
Mystery

Now to make a video. I’ll need a public domain image as backdrop and interesting fonts for music and lyrics.
Mystery

From the album “Sing” this Music Story video is a screen capture of Finale® playing Garritan® instruments.
Kathy

Did Mystery capture the theme of Colossians 2? Click here to read the passage.
You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Mystery.
Mystery
Click here for digital sheet music.
(MusicXML™ is the standard open format for sharing digital sheet music. Check the help files in your music notation app for directions on importing MusicXML™ files.)


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Sandhill Cranes Lullaby - Music Story

Dear Sara Lily,

This lullaby was written for you, to celebrate your first Christmas, the Christmas three months before your birth.
Saara Lily
Sara Lily
It was a chilly November day that sandhill cranes sang to me. Grandpa and I were outside washing our cars before winter set in and it snowed. We heard beautiful music in the skies. Grandpa pointed to sandhill cranes flying south to Georgia and central Florida for the winter.

Public Domain Image
Sandhill Crane
These cranes would return in March or April, singing as they fly over our house again. But most cranes take a different migration route.

Sping Migration
Spring Migration Routes
Something magical happens every spring in Nebraska.

Platte River
Crane Trust, Wood River NE
Over a quarter of a million cranes crowd together along an 80 mile stretch of the Platte River waiting for warmer weather. When it warms up, they will fly away to Canada, Alaska, or Siberia to raise their young.

This lullaby was my Christmas, 2009 gift to you. The baby born on the very first Christmas slept near animals on a mattress of hay. Jesus’ mother, Mary, wrapped him in strips of cloths and laid him in a manger, the animals feeding trough. He may have been serenaded by sheep or donkeys or oxen.

I hope you never outgrow lullabies. I hope you find wonder in the wild and beautiful songs just outside your window. I hope you grow to love the Creator who writes these songs in the hearts of his creatures and who then chose to become that Christmas baby.

Love,
Grandma

From the album “Silly or Celebratory – Songs for Sara Lily” this video is scrolling playback of the song. Pizzicato strings imitate the vocalizations of sandhill cranes. Put headphones on and they will fly right over your head, moving from ear to ear.


Click here for the original Sandhill Cranes Lullaby Sara Lily video (music overlaid on slides).
Click here and here for Sandhill Cranes Lullaby wall art.
Click here to watch a siege of migrating sandhill cranes.

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Sandhill Cranes Lullaby.
Sandhill Cranes Lullaby
Click here for print sheet music (lead sheet format).
Sandhill Cranes Lullaby
Click here to for digital sheet music.
(MusicXML™ is the standard open format for sharing digital sheet music.
Check the help files in your music notation app for directions on importing MusicXML™ files.)



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Holy - Music Story

Praise the Lord
Praise him, sun and moon
Let them praise the name of the Lord*

Did you see the eclipse? We drove five hours to watch it. It was partly cloudy when we arrived at our viewing area.  Would we be able to see totality?
2017 Ellipse
Waiting for Totality
A friend pointed his six-inch telescope at the sun. No one could look through the eyepiece. The light coming through it was hot enough to set wood on fire. So he projected the eclipse onto a whiteboard. It took two and a half hours for the moon to completely cover the sun.
2017 Eclipse
Telescope Setup for Eclipse
The clouds gradually cleared as we waited.
2017 Eclipse
Sunspots Projected on Whiteboard
Then totality – the sun and moon praising God in concert! There was sunset from horizon to horizon. For two minutes we gazed at the sun, spell bound by its beauty. Hushed silence, cheering, and song …
Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
Totality smart phone vs Nikon Camera
My Smart Phone vs. Bob's Nikon
We cannot gaze on God now. But someday we will. He will eclipse all else. What song of praise will we sing when we see him in all his glory? From the album “The HymnBook” this video is scrolling playback of the song. 
Kathy

*Click here to read Psalm 148.
Click here for heaven’s praise anthem.

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Holy.
Holy
Click here for print sheet music (lead sheet format).
Holy
Click here for digital sheet music for praise band.
(MusicXML™ is the standard open format for sharing digital sheet music.
Check the help files in your music notation app for directions on importing MusicXML™ files.)



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Good Rain - Music Story

Mine has been a hot, dry September. But not as hot or as dry as the summer of 2012 …

It was hot. The air above wore a fur-lined hunter’s cap, earflaps down, trapping the heat instead of allowing it to rise and escape.

My ferns, usually vibrant green in June,
Ferns in June

were as brown and crackly as these in today's September heat.
Ferns in September


It was dry. The cracks in in the hardened soil were over two inches deep. There were strict restrictions on watering.

That summer more than 95 percent of Illinois experienced severe drought. Where we lived the drought was “only” moderate. I couldn’t keep my ferns alive. But I could write music. There was no joy in gardening. Would there be joy in composing? I started writing a song about ferns dying in the heat. But then the third verse morphed into something else, something more personal. Perhaps that’s why I never arranged the song, but left it as a lead sheet – melody, guitar chords, and simple drum beat.

From the album “Paper Book Colors” this video is scrolling playback of the song.

Kathy

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for A Good Rain.
A Good Rain
Click here for print sheet music.
A Good Rain
Click here for digital sheet music.
(MusicXML™ is the standard open format for sharing digital sheet music.
Check the help files in your music notation app for directions on importing MusicXML™ files.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Prayer - Music Story

Was there sufficient evidence to indict for vehicular manslaughter? If so, the driver would be brought to trial. Then a Trial Jury would decide if the evidence proved the guilt of the driver beyond a reasonable doubt. But to indict, the Grand Jury used a lower standard of proof – probable cause.

The State’s Attorney presented the case, telling us when and where it happened and that the cause of death was injuries sustained from the accident. The investigating officer testified and answered our questions: the driver did not leave the scene of the accident, was not speeding, and was not under the influence when it happened. There were no eye witnesses to the collision. Then they and the court reporter left the room so we could discuss the evidence and vote. It would take nine yes votes for a Bill of Indictment.

This was only one of a dozen or so cases we heard each week. Up until today the State’s Attorney and investigating officers had presented sufficient evidence. Not today. A youth on a bicycle and a car had collided; the youth, gravely injured, had subsequently died. We were asked to decide if the driver should be brought to trial. But it was unclear who had the right of way. No one had witnessed the accident. We weren’t there when it happened. How could we decide after the fact? In this kind of accident, we reasoned, the car would be damaged. Was it? We weren’t told.

The Grand Jury has the right to subpoena witnesses and documents. We issued a subpoena for photographs of the accident and the next week examined them closely. Except for the passenger’s side, the car looked brand new. The passenger’s door had fresh scratch marks and indentations that corresponded to the damaged bicycle. It was clear to us. The driver was not at fault. Sadly, the youth had failed to stop for the car. We voted “No Bill.”

Pictures provide evidence when eye witnesses cannot be found. For centuries men believed that the universe was eternal. Not so! said the Bible, the universe had a beginning. What standard of proof finally convinced scientists that the Bible got it right?

Probable Cause
Albert Einstein and Edwin Hubble
1931: Edwin Hubble's pictures of stars in distant galaxies were at odds with Albert Einstein's eternal universe.

Proof beyond a Reasonable Doubt
NASA discovery is like looking at God
1992: It’s ‘like looking at God’! (Images taken by the satellite proved that the universe had a beginning.)

Proof beyond a Shadow of Doubt
All-sky picture of universe
2012: WMAP all-sky picture of the infant universe revealed how many years ago the universe was created.

The heavens declare the glory of God! From the musical The Majesty of the Maker! this video is scrolling playback of the song.
Kathy

Click here to read how WMAP turned the study of the origin and structure of the universe into a precision science.
Click here to read about the duties of a Grand Jury.

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for A Prayer.
A Prayer
Click here for print sheet music (lead sheet format)

A Prayer
Click here for digital sheet music.
(MusicXML™ is the standard open format for sharing digital sheet music. Check the help files in your music notation app for directions on importing MusicXML™ files.)



Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fingerprint – Music Story

I know something about tents. I sewed a tent. And it almost destroyed our marriage!

Forty years ago motel rooms were out of our price range. We vacationed in an inexpensive tent. When it rained water puddled in the fabric above our heads. In a down pour the roof held a gallon of water, the fabric bowing under its weight. We could reach up from our sleeping bags and touch the ball of water above us.

We were excited! The Frostline Trailridge II backpacking tent kit was in our price range.
Backpacking Tent Kit

All I had to do was assemble pre-cut pieces. It was easily until … the back door. The waterproof door was supposed to be the same size and shape as the screen door under it. It was not! Bob was upset, sure I had sewed the pieces together wrong. I could not convince him otherwise. We were at an impasse. Angry and frustrated, I took the pieces apart. We laid them on the floor. The screen door pieces were not the same shape as the waterproof door pieces. The company sent a replacement.

The last seam was done and we grabbed the corners, pulling them apart so we could see what our tent looked like. When we let go, it collapsed into a shapeless heap on the floor. Tents need tension, continual stretching, to have structure, to be livable. We set it up outside using the stakes, poles, rope, and rope tensioners that came with the kit. It was beautiful – waterproof floor, breathable sides, cross ventilation, interior storage pockets and clotheslines, waterproof vestibule entry, separate waterproof fly, room for two adults and two small children. We used it happily for many years.

Thousands of years ago Old Testament writers said that God stretches out the heavens like a tent. Six years ago three astronomers were awarded the Nobel Prize for their 1998 discovery that the universe has a self-stretching property. This property is exquisitely fine-tuned, the most extreme fine-tuning problem in all of nature. If its value were a little higher or lower, the universe would lose its structure and order, just as tents lose their structure when they are not stretched out.

From the musical “The Majesty of the Maker!” this video is scrolling playback of the song.
Kathy

Click here to read the October 4, 2011 Nobel Prize press release.
Click here to read the startling implications of dark energy.

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Fingerprint.
Fingerprint
Fingerprint
Click here for digital sheet music.
(MusicXML™ is the standard open format for sharing digital sheet music.
Check the help files in your music notation app for directions on importing MusicXML™ files.)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Connections - Music Story

Why is a biblical worldview so disturbing? Disturbing to those who adhere to the Bible. Disturbing to those who do not. Could it be because, in a biblical worldview, things that are true match what is real? And reality can be deeply disturbing. We want truth to be the stories we tell about the world and about ourselves. But what if our stories contradict what is real? And what if reality makes headlines?

Chicago Tribune headline 4/24/1992
God made headlines!
The paper is a little tattered, but you can clearly see the April 24, 1992 Chicago Tribune headline: NASA satellite discovery is ‘like looking at God’. Measurements made by COBE confirmed that the universe had a beginning, which kind of beginning, and that galaxies could form after the beginning.

However, the headline is disturbing because it contradicts two stories we tell about the world:
·         The story that we don’t need God to explain the universe.
·         The story that God created the universe six to ten thousand years ago.

Space and time itself had a beginning! And the space-time theorems show that all universes that expand on average (including the multiverse) must have a beginning. But, whatever has a beginning must have a cause. Whatever caused the universe to exist must be infinite, powerful, and lie outside of space and time, or, according to the headline, it’s ‘like looking at God’. This reads like the first verse in the Bible, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” 

COBE measurements also helped to determine that the universe is over 13 billion years old. Then the WMAP satellite, launched in 2001, gave even greater precision to the age of the universe, 13.77 ± 0.059 billion years!

The satellites measured reality. What do we do when reality contradicts our stories?
Kathy

Connections, from the album “Apologia,” was written in honor of Darwin’s Day 2009. This video is scrolling playback of the song.

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Connections.
Connections
Connestions
Click here for digital sheet music for jazz band.
(MusicXML™ is the standard open format for sharing digital sheet music.
Check the help files in your music notation app for directions on importing MusicXML™ files.)
Click here to learn about COBE.

Incidentally, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.”) has been criticized as a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Click here to read why.