Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Light of the World - Music Story

At Christmas we celebrate the arrival of the King! In the middle ages the arrival of a king was announced by fanfare trumpets. As part of our Christmas celebration we hang a fanfare trumpet on our fireplace mantle.
Christmas Decoration


It’s a special trumpet with a long straight tube that has a banner hanging on it. We found this trumpet in an arts and crafts store and added the banner.
Christmas decoration

Ours is counted cross stitch banner that was inspired by a Christmas card. Angelic heralds announce the birth of the King, Jesus, the Light of the World.
Counted Cross Stitch

Fanfare, written for special state events, is played by brass instruments. The birth of a king is a special state event. Here’s Christmas fanfare for the birth of the King of Kings, the Light of the World. From the album “Main Street – Songs for Today” this video is scrolling playback of a Christmas carol.

Kathy

You can get print sheet music (PDF for a cappella choir) and/or digital sheet music (MusicXML™ for brass instruments) for Light of the World.
Light of the World
Click here for print sheet music.

Light of the World
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.)
The counted cross stitch pattern of our trumpet banner is available here.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Can You Imagine - Music Story

I’m privileged to listen to and sometimes participate in lively conversations among lay people, theologians, engineers, scientists, etc. (many with advanced degrees) on the convergence of science and faith. The topics discussed are thought provoking and challenging. Most conversations are way above my pay grade. But, occasionally, something I can understand grabs my attention. This time it was poetry.

John Morgan shared a poem he had written. I was enthralled. A friend of his was going to set it to music and post it on YouTube. I couldn’t wait to hear it. But each time I searched for it on YouTube, I was disappointed. Three years went by. It still was not on YouTube.

Could I put John’s poem on YouTube, I wondered? I had written songs using music notation software and had even uploaded musical scores to the web. But not music videos. I hesitantly asked John for permission to put his poem on YouTube. Amazingly, he said yes.

I chose a few lines of the poem and set them to melody and laid the melody over a chord progression. Then I scored it for chamber ensemble. My music notation software made an audio of the instruments playing the song. But what about lyrics? And video? A search of the web turned up an answer. I could put lyrics on PowerPoint slides and use Windows Movie Maker* to make a video, syncing JPEGs of the slides with audio. I now had a simple movie of John’s poem.

Did the cosmos know we were coming? “Can You Imagine?” John Morgan’s provocative poem asks challenging questions and finds an astonishing answer in the Creator God of the Bible. From the album “Apologia – Reasons for Hope” this video is music overlaid on slides.

Kathy

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Can You Imagine.
Can You Imagine
Click here for print sheet music.

Can You Imagine
 (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.)
*A search of the web revealed that I am not the only person who cannot open or edit older Windows Movie Maker files (.mswmm) using the current version of Windows Movie Maker! I no longer use it or recommend it.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

God's Laws - Music Story

250 Year Old Askenazi Torah
250 Year Old Torah Scroll

Jesus said not one jot or tittle of the Torah would change until heaven and earth disappeared. A jot is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. A tittle is a tiny decoration above a letter.

The Torah is a hand written copy of the first five books of the Old Testament written in Hebrew with a feather quill on calf skins which are then stitched together and rolled into a scroll. The Ten Commandments are recorded twice in the Torah, in Exodus (pictured above) and in Deuteronomy.

It takes about one year to make a Torah. A trained scribe makes an identical copy of an older Torah. Each Torah has 304,805 letters. It must contain no errors, no missing letters, no added letters, no misshaped letters, no letter may touch another letter. Mistakes are corrected by scraping off the ink with a knife and inserting the correction.

The Torah is the most important text in Judaism and is read daily in synagogues around the world. The community of listeners makes sure the written text is accurate. If listeners detect an error while the Torah is read, the text must be checked against an older Torah. If an error is found, it must be corrected within thirty days.

Scrolls are made to last for generations. If they are read for an average of 250 years before being retired, then just thirteen scrolls takes you back to the first Torah, penned by Moses approximately 3,300 years ago! The oldest Torah still in use is over 700 years old. It would be only four scrolls away from ones read in synagogues around the time of Jesus!

The Ten Commandments may have disappeared from the public square. But, through the amazing accuracy of the text in each copy of the Torah, Jesus made sure they would not disappear from the moral sphere of life. From the album “A ChorusBook” this video is music overlaid on slides.

Kathy


You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for God’s Laws.
God's Laws
Click here for print sheet music.

God's Laws
(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 read about the accuracy of the Torah text.
Click here to read about the reliability of the New Testament text.
Click here to read about the world’s oldest Torah scroll still in use.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Silence of the World - Music Story

What if the Arabic letter N (for Nasara, an early Islamic term for Christians) were spray painted on the front door of homes and businesses of Christians in my town? What if terrorists gave me the choice to convert to Islam, leave town, or die? What would I do? Would I be as courageous as the thousands of Christians in Iraq who refused to deny Jesus and fled with little more than the clothes on their backs?

Iraq has a rich Christian heritage. Jesus and his disciples spoke Aramaic. Shortly after Jesus resurrection his disciples took the gospel to the Aramaic speaking people of Iraq. Now they are being annihilated. In just one decade the Christian population in Iraq dropped by 80%! According to the March 22, 2015 broadcast of 60 Minutes, “More than 125,000 of Iraq’s Christians have been forced to flee the homeland they have lived in for nearly 2,000 years because of ISIS violence and threats.”

One hundred million Christians worldwide will suffer persecution, imprisonment, or death this year because they are Christians. The numbers are startling! Don’t let the shock value wear off. Don’t become numb to the plight of Christians who are facing terrorism.

Jesus sent his disciples out into the world where they would face hardship and death. He prayed for them. Not that they would be insulated from danger. He prayed that their faith would be protected in the face of danger. We have the privilege of echoing that prayer, of praying with and for Christians worldwide on November 6, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

I wrote this song as an expression of solidarity with persecuted believers. From the album “Main Street – Songs for Today” this video is scrolling playback of the song.

Kathy


You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for The Silence of the World.

The Silence of the World
Click here for print sheet music.

The Silence of the World
Click here for digital sheet music for SATB choir and piano.
(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 for the 60 Minutes segment on Iraqi Christians.
Click here to learn how to pray for the persecuted church.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Jesus Loves Me - Music Story

Chord progressions evoke emotions and even suggest lyrics! Play this chord progression slowly on your guitar, keyboard, or music app:

Guitar Chords
Piano Chords

What do you feel? What ideas go through your mind? As I was playing this progression, I felt a yearning to be loved perfectly. This reminded me that Jesus loves me. Perfectly, completely! So I wrote song lyrics describing his love for me and set them to a simple melody accompanied by the chords. However, the song was incomplete. I left out why I hunger for perfect love.

A month later a friend invited me to hear a Christian leader speak at the Union League Club downtown Chicago. Every other month Moody Business Network hosts a luncheon for the business community. According to their website, “Each MBN event features a guest speaker from the top ranks of business, athletics or academia who shares their life story.”

As Greg Koukl, Founder and President of Stand to Reason, shared his story, he explained my longing for perfect love. God judges my behavior and attitudes perfectly for he knows my motives and intentions and the depth of harm I have caused others. God cannot overlook that harm. His justice is perfect, crushing, condemning. Jesus loves me, a condemned person! He loves me so much that he bore the weight of God’s perfect justice so I don’t have to. He loves me completely, perfectly! His love for me makes it possible for God to offer me perfect mercy.

I incorporated those thoughts into the song. It was almost complete. After weaving a few notes from the children’s hymn, “Jesus Loves Me,” in the music, the song was finished.

From the album “This & That – A Little Bit of Everything” this video is music overlaid on slides.

Kathy


Print (PDF) and digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Jesus Loves Me are available at the MusicStories shop on Etsy.com.

Jesus Loves Me

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Flutterby Farm - Music Story

Hi. I’m Sara Lily. I’m helping Grandma with this blog. Grandma waited until this summer to write my six-year-old song. It’s not a birthday song. It’s a song about my butterflies. Daddy thinks it’s a rap.


God gave us milkweed plants and Grandma and I prayed for butterflies. Then Mommy and I found Monarch butterfly eggs! Grandma went to the Dollar Store and bought containers big enough for milkweed leaves. Grandpa found netting and rubber bands and we made a Flutterby Farm.
How to raise butterflies

Mommy turned my old fish tank into a big Flutterby Farm and I decorated it with stickers.
How to raise butterflies

Now Mommy and I look for butterfly eggs on the bottom of milkweed leaves. We pick the leaves and put them on wet paper towels and put them in my Flutterby Farm.
How to raise butterflies


A few days later the eggs hatch. You need a magnifying glass to see baby caterpillars. They eat and eat and grow.
How to raise butterflies

Milkweed leaves get dry, so we pick new ones for them to eat. Mommy wraps the stem of each leaf in a wet paper towel. The caterpillars eat and eat and get too big for their skin. They wiggle out of it five times. They grow pretty big. And they make an awful mess!
How to raise butterflies

Finally the caterpillars crawl to the top of the Flutterby Farm and make a silk button. Sometimes they attach it to the wall, sometimes to the netting. They hang from the button and wiggle out of their skin again. Now they are a green blob.
How to raise butterflies

A couple weeks later a butterfly pops out! We take butterflies outside and carefully put them on a milkweed plant. We carry them on a stick so they can hang upside down. We don’t want to hurt their wings.
How to raise butterflies

After their wings dry out and they fix their tongue, they fly away. But they love the milkweed plants God gave us and come back and lay eggs. Last summer we raised 23 Monarch butterflies.

Sara Lily

From the album “Silly or Celebratory – Songs for Sara Lily” this video is scrolling playback of the song.
You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Flutterby Farm.
Flutterby Farm
Click here for print sheet music.

Flutterby Farm
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.)



Monday, August 1, 2016

Ain't No Angel - Music Story

A knock on my front door. I open it to two well-groomed gentlemen wearing ties, holding some brochures and what could be a Bible. They tell me they are in my neighborhood to talk about faith. I love to talk about Jesus so I do not shut the door.

They ask some probing questions about life. I answer their questions. They are respectful and engaging. And impressively brave to knock on doors in my neighborhood. I listen for several minutes, agreeing with much of what they say. Then finally, almost as an aside, they mention Jesus.

“Who is Jesus?” I ask. “Is he Yahweh, the Creator God of the Old Testament?”

“No,” they answer.

“Then, who is he?”

That’s the pivotal faith question. If Jesus is not Yahweh, then who is he? A good man? A teacher? A prophet? “Who do people say that I am?” Jesus asked his disciples. “Who do you say that I am?” Much hinges on the answer to that question.

The gentlemen at my door tell me that Jesus is a created being, an angel, a small ‘g’ god. They say he is wisdom, the first of God’s creation.

“That’s confusing,” I reply. “Are you saying that wisdom didn’t exist until God created it? That the Creator of the universe somehow wasn’t wise or he lacked wisdom, but then he created it?”

When I evaluate their claims against the claims of historic, orthodox Christianity, I find them wanting. The early church fathers condemned the belief that Jesus was created, calling it heresy. Their reasons are still valid today. The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews makes it clear that Jesus “ain’t no angel.” He is far greater than any angel. He is Yahweh the Son in human form come to save us.

From the album “Westminster” this video is scrolling playback of the song. Feel free to correct the vernacular of the lyrics, if you must.

Kathy


You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Ain't No Angel.
Ain't No Angel
Click here for print sheet music.
Ain't No Angel
(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.)

Is Jesus really the Lord he claimed to be? Former skeptic, Josh McDowell and his son, Sean McDowell, take a fresh look at questions commonly raised today in this classic book, More than a Carpenter. Check it out here.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Loon Lake - Music Story

The February, 2012 SmartMusic® blog announced, “Create new music to win your dream vacation from Garritan!” Should I? Could I?

The contest rules were very specific. The composition had to use Garritan virtual instruments and incorporate an exact series of notes (G A Eb G A Eb Bb) and last no more than ninety seconds. It must evoke the atmosphere of a vacation destination. Composers would upload an audio of their composition to the Facebook contest page. Facebook users would click on the audio files, listen to them, and vote for their favorite. A panel of judges would pick the winner from the ten entries having the most votes.

I grew up vacationing in one of National Geographic‘s fifty destinations of a lifetime. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota is a million-acre paradise, a wilderness of a thousand lakes with fifteen hundred miles of canoe routes. You leave behind the clamor of civilization and become immersed and enthralled by the sights and sounds of nature.

My most memorable vacation in the BWCA was with Bob. We honeymooned there, portaging from lake to lake, followed by a pack of boy scouts for a mile or so! The most memorable sounds in the BWCA are loons calling to each other around sunset.

I wrote lyrics, marrying memories of our honeymoon and the calls of the loons. I set the lyrics to a melody, incorporating the required series of notes. Then, using virtual instruments, tried to imitate loon vocalizations. Garritan virtual instruments performed the composition. I uploaded the audio to the contest page and people voted. Did I win? No, my song didn’t get many votes. But I wrote it for the man I love. He voted for it. It was his heart that I had won. Happy forty-sixth anniversary, Bob!

From the album “Paper Book Colors - Songs from Nature” this video is scrolling playback of the song.
Kathy
You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Loon Lake.
Loon Lake
Click here for print sheet music.

Loon Lake
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, May 29, 2016

Guano - Music Story

Greed brings out the worst in … (you think I’m going to say “people,” don’t you?)
Robin on fence
Robins!
Robins in nest
Especially the ones that raise their young under our neighbor’s eaves.
Serviceberry by deck
When the serviceberry tree by our deck is in bloom, the robins lay their eggs.
Robins in nest
The chicks are voracious eaters and soon fledge.
Robin food
Not long after they fledge our serviceberry tree is covered with bright red berries. And robin greed kicks in!

This sordid music story is a robin tale about greed. From the album “Paper Book Colors - Songs from Nature” this video is scrolling playback of the song.
Kathy


You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Guano.
Guano














Guano
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.)







Thursday, May 12, 2016

This Is Our Prayer - Music Story

While he was in prison the Apostle Paul wrote to his friends at Philippi. He was in chains simply because he was a Christian. Now his friends at Philippi were facing chains. Paul prayed for them, that their love would overflow more and more. That they would grow spiritually, discerning and doing what is right, leading blameless lives to the glory of God.

At the same time that our life group was studying this, our pastor was preaching a sermon series on the meme “coexist.”

According to coexist.org, “There is a crisis of understanding that tears at the social fabric of societies around the world. Globalization has outpaced our understanding of one another, creating divisions that plague communities with prejudice, hate and violence.”

I wonder. Does understanding each other break the cycle of prejudice, hate, and violence? Was it a “crisis of understanding” that put Paul in chains? Or was Paul in chains because his enemies wanted to suppress Christianity?

You could understand the people you live and work with and still hate them. But when you love with the love of Jesus, you are patient and kind, not arrogant or rude, not irritable or resentful, not selfish, not glad about injustice done to anyone. Paul prayed that his friends would love those who want to suppress Christianity, be irreproachable in their treatment of them, and continue to share Jesus.

Christians face persecution in over 60 countries in the world. It is a crisis of love that tears at the fabric of society! Our pastor said that because the love of Jesus can break the cycle of prejudice, hate, and violence, the world needs more of the Gospel, not less.

I want Paul’s prayer to be my prayer. So I put the first chapter of Philippians to song. From the album “Main Street – Songs for Today” this video is scrolling playback of the song.

Kathy

Print (PDF) and digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for This Is Our Prayer is available at the MusicStories shop on Etsy.com.
This Is Our Prayer
Click here for "This Is Our Prayer" at MusicStories.
Gingercreek.org
Click here to listen to the coexist sermon series at Ginger Creek Community Church. 



Sunday, May 1, 2016

Holy Is My King - Music Story

They said their vows and exchanged rings. My daughter was glowing. I had never seen her so happy. My son-in-law adored her, calling her his angel. He called himself a pagan.

He spent his formative years on a Native American reservation where his mother was a nurse. He grew up bare footed, with dirt floors, surrounded by poverty. But that didn’t matter because the community offered love and support. Everyone was his mother or father, sister or brother.

I had written a song for each person in my family. Now it was time to write a song for Joe. Could I write one that honored his childhood yet reflected a biblical worldview? Native Americans pass on their heritage through storytelling, singing, and dancing accompanied by drums. The drumbeat is powerful, full of emotion, and is described as haunting and beautiful. Joe’s song had to be based on Native American drum music.

The Old Testament prophet Isaiah had a powerful, emotional encounter with beauty that haunted him the rest of his life. He saw God. Then he saw himself as God saw him. That encounter changed his identity and his view of the world. I wrote this song for Joe hoping that one day he, too, would encounter the God of the Bible. The story line is Isaiah’s. The music is inspired by Native American drum music.

With a pentatonic melody for vibrato voice, the song has three pushes. The lead singer in the drum introduces each push. The rest of the drum, called the second, repeats the lead. All sing the chorus, or main theme of the song. The chorus is followed by three accented drum beats called honor beats and the chorus is repeated. At the end of the last chorus the final five beats are accented. You’ll need speakers with a subwoofer to feel the power of the drums. No subwoofer? Use earphones!

From the album “Main Street – Songs for Today” this video is scrolling playback of the song.

Kathy

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Holy Is my King.
Holy Is My King

Holy Is My King

(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, April 13, 2016

Great Are You Lord - Music Story

On the first page of his autobiography St. Augustine of Hippo wrote, “Lord, teach me to … praise Thee.” Then he wrote Confessions in praise of God. I wondered why, given the eloquence of his praise, he never set his prose to music.

Music played a pivotal role in his spiritual journey. Music moved him deeply; he was intensely stirred by singing the Psalms. He was musically literate. His six books on music influenced music in the West for centuries to come. A history of hymn writing preceded him. His contemporaries wrote hymns. If Augustine wished to praise God, why did he not set his praises to music?

I learned that for Augustine:
·         Music was an intellectual pursuit, not an artistic endeavor.
·         Studying the structure and components of music made sense of the world and man’s place in it.
·         Music could draw a person to God, but it gratified the senses.
·         Gratifying the senses took a back seat to intellectual pursuit.
·         Meaning was more important than emotions.

St. Augustine was critical of his emotional response to music!

God answered Augustine’s opening prayer in Confessions. His autobiography is filled with praise to God. I wondered, could I take Augustine’s written praises and turn them into praise music, something that Augustine’s view of music wouldn’t allow? Plainchant and responsorial singing were the genre of his day. But the exuberance of his praise suggests a music style that moves. Perhaps I owe St. Augustine an apology for setting his prose to swing.

From the album “The HymnBook – Thirty-Four Hundred Years of Praise” this video is scrolling playback of the song.

Kathy

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Great Are You Lord.
Great Are You Lord
Great Are You Lord
 (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 for a modern translation of Confessions.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Forgiven - Easter Music Story

Easter changes everything. Easter gives meaning to life, tells us who we are and why we are here. Easter explains why others hurt us and what God has done about it. Easter endows the present and future with inexplicable joy. But not everyone who knows about Easter gets this.

Her life was marked by pain. How could she trust God after what she had been through? God hadn’t protected her. God hadn’t met her needs. Now pain defined who she was. She would reach for anyone or anything that might ease the pain, pushing away whatever got in the way. She made wrong assumptions about love – love in general and God’s love specifically. She equated love with feelings and circumstances. If it didn’t look or feel like love, it must not be love.

How could God possibly show the depth of his love for her? What could he do to change her identity, who she was at the core, so that she was no longer defined by her pain, but by his love? Good Friday, Jesus’ death on the cross, is the answer to that question. God loves us so deeply that he became a man and died for us. But God didn’t stop there. Jesus rose from the dead and that’s why Easter changes everything! If Jesus is alive then God’s demonstration of love is more than an historical event. If Easter is true, God’s love trumps pain, does not waiver with circumstances, is not dictated by feelings. His love is an ever present reality. He defines who we are, not pain, not circumstances, not feelings.

I wrote this Good Friday song with her in mind. But she moved away before I had the chance to share it with her. From the album “Main Street – Songs for Today” this video is scrolling playback of the song.

Kathy

You can get Forgiven print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for SATB choir.

Forgiven
Click here for print sheet music
Forgiven
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.)


Did Jesus rise from the dead? Or was his body stolen by his disciples? Risen, the movie, is a depiction of events surrounding Christ’s missing body after his crucifixion through the eyes of a nonbeliever. I hope you get a chance to see it. Click here for the trailer. Click here for the trailer.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Baby Katie - Music Story

Sara was inconsolable. She and her beloved doll, Baby Katie, were nearly inseparable. Sara didn’t understand why Katie needed a makeover.

Baby Katie was a ‘wipe clean with a damp cloth’ little baby doll. While her heart was soft and cuddly, the rest of Katie was molded plastic. She usually dressed in her birthday suit as pre-K fingers struggled pulling small PJ’s over small legs and arms. Nevertheless, Katie stayed warm wrapped in a wash cloth, its corners twisted together to keep it from falling off.

“Grandma, play with me!” When Sara made that request, it meant holding Katie and making her come alive, being the ‘puppeteer’ and voice of Baby Katie.

Baby Katie shared life with a menagerie of animals, inviting them to sumptuous tea parties so she could indulge her sweet tooth. Katie was born, celebrated her birthday, and got married several times a week. She slid down banisters, jumped on couches, made forts, collected dust bunnies under the bed. Unbelievably, Baby Katie even crashed the Christmas tree. Stickers served as Band-Aids or casts for her numerous injuries. When stickers weren’t available, a strip of paper licked and applied to the injury worked just as well. Katie took trips around town and out of state. She had a certain fondness for tattoos. She painted her nails, colored her hair, and experimented with eye and cheek makeup. When things didn’t go her way, Baby Katie threw tantrums that could be heard all over the house.

Baby Katie was beautiful even when a damp cloth failed to remove the evidence of her many adventures. Heedless of care instructions, she took a bath. Katie didn’t get clean. Sadly, her stuffing migrated to the lower half of her trunk leaving her heart nearly empty. None of that mattered to Sara. She loved Katie unconditionally. Sara was heartbroken when Baby Katie had to get a makeover.

From the album “Silly or Celebratory – Songs for Sara Lily” this video is scrolling playback of the song.

Kathy

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Baby Katie.
(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.)

For more of unconditional love of a toy by a child see TheVelveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Sorrow into Joy - Music Story

Garritan Weekend Challenge, July 18, 2014: create a melody using all twelve keys on the keyboard and loop it. Then publish it on SoundCloud.

A melody that hits all seven white keys can be joyful. But what if it has to include the missing black keys? Twelve tone compositions are typically chaotic, atonal, have no home note, no resting place. But I realized that if a twelve tone melody had a resting place it would fit Psalm 30.

“Suddenly my courage was gone; I was terrified and panic-stricken. I cried to you, O Lord … Then he turned my sorrow into joy!” (The Living Bible)

I wrote Sorrow into Joy, but before I could upload it to SoundCloud my life hit the black keys. This is how I described it:

“There have been a lot of ‘black keys’ in the melody of my life the last six weeks.
We managed to rip all the carpeting off the second floor without injuring ourselves. Then...
When we moved the credenza, my printer fell off and hit the floor. It no longer prints. Office Depot says it is cheaper to replace than repair it.
The toilet tank in the upstairs hall bath cracked and leaked water for several hours before we discovered it. There is extensive water damage to the living room ceiling.
I broke my bicycle 14 miles into a 28 mile ride. The gears tore off when they hit the spokes. Our bike shop couldn't repair it. Bob disassembled it and mailed the frame to the manufacturer for repairs. It's in pieces in the garage waiting to be reassembled.
I was admitted to the hospital with abdominal pain and a fever, had emergency surgery, and a five day in-patient stay. This exacerbated another problem. I need another surgery.
A few days after I got home from the hospital the new flooring was delivered. It reeked of formaldehyde. I had severe headaches and dangerously high blood pressure. My doctor ordered me out of the house!
The hard drive on my computer died. Tiger Direct replaced it and Dell walked me through formatting it. I lost lots of files, but am so glad I didn't lose this song.

God wove the ‘black keys’ of my life into a joyful melody!”

From the album “This & That – A Little Bit of Everything” this video is scrolling playback of the song.

Kathy

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Sorrow into Joy.
(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 see the #weekend challenge.

Atonal music reflects a worldview. See chapter 1 in Vishal Mangalwadi’s book The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Deep Waters - Music Story

How does one live with crippling circumstances when God does not change them?

Do you know someone living with unrelenting pain? I do. At times does it seem like they are drowning? Or their life is in flames? Have you begged God to ease their pain, to take it away? I have. Did God answer your prayer? God did not answer mine.

The Apostle Paul pled with God to change his circumstances and God said, "My grace is sufficient for you." I wonder if Paul audibly heard God’s voice. Or was he meditating on God's promises? Perhaps this promise that God made to Israel helped Paul understand the adequacy of God’s presence: When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you.

When God does not answer my prayer for someone who is suffering, I find comfort in that promise, knowing that God’s grace, that is, his presence, is sufficient even during times of chronic, crippling, unrelenting pain.

In her book "A Place of Healing, Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain and God's Sovereignty" Joni Eareckson Tada describes her journey with pain. I wrote Deep Waters after reading Joni’s book. The song is a music story interweaving God’s promise and a journey with pain.

A few weeks after writing the song I had emergency surgery, was in a hospital bed, alone, in isolation, in pain, unable to sleep, and struggling to breathe. I was in deep waters. And Deep Waters became my song.

From the album “This & That – A Little Bit of Everything” this video is scrolling playback of the song.

Kathy


You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Deep Waters
Deep Waters
Click here for print sheet music

Deep Waters
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.)