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.