Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Ecclesiastes – Music Story


The ancient book of Ecclesiastes speaks to contemporary youth culture. An increasing percent of youth in the UK exclude the Creator from their life.[1] According to a recent study most young Brits believe their life lacks purpose.[2]

Ecclesiastes is twelve chapters long. The first chapter opens with these words, "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."[3] The last chapter echoes the first, "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Everything is meaningless!"[4]

The Teacher walked a secular path. He knew the Creator exists. But he chose to live life apart from God. He spent his life researching the benefits of the ordinary things of life and concluded, “All things are wearisome, more than one can say. … I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”[5]

The ordinary things of life include work, pleasure, possessions, success, marriage, children, religion, youth, old age, and even wisdom. None give meaning or purpose to life. Ironically, recent scientific discoveries agree with the Teacher. Hope, purpose, and destiny cannot be found in this world or, as the Teacher puts it, under the sun.[6] According to the Teacher, the most one can expect from life is a little happiness.

This video is scrolling playback of seven songs based on the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes.
·         Chase the Wind – The Failure of Secularism
·         Livin’ Large – The Failure of Possessions and Pleasure
·         Time and Circumstance – The Failure of Success
·         The State of the Heart – The Failure of the Heart
·         Judge Wisely – The Benefits of Wisdom
·         Live Wisely – The Limitations of Wisdom
·         Invest Wisely – the Failure of Life Lived Apart from God
Kathy
Click here to read Ecclesiastes.
You can get print sheet music for Ecclesiastes (24-page PDF).
Ecclesiastes
Click here for print sheet music (lead sheet format).




[3] Ecclesiastes 1:2 NIV
[4] Ecclesiastes 12:8 NIV
[5] Ecclesiastes 1:8, 14 NIV



Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Time and Circumstance – Music Story

In the 1960s an ancient poem set to music became a number-one pop hit. Can you guess the song?

Some hints:
·         The poem, perhaps three thousand years old, is one of the best-known passages in the Bible.
·         The song proved that Ecclesiastes is a timeless book.

More hints:
·         Songwriter Pete Seeger incorporated the poem verbatim in the song.
·         Released as a single October 1, 1965, The Byrds cover, a folk-rock version, climbed to number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts within three months of its release.

Did you guess the song? It’s Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season).

There is more to Ecclesiastes than being a number-one pop hit. Ecclesiastes is Wisdom’s search for meaning in the ordinary things of life. The conclusion?
Chapter 1: Secularism doesn’t deliver.
Chapter 2: Neither do possessions or pleasure.
Chapter 3: But, if you live your life in accord with the times and seasons God has set up, will your life have meaning?

So, Chapter 3 begins with the well-known poem, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” But there is more to Chapter 3 than the poem. Time and Circumstance is a rap, examining the entire chapter, looking for an answer.

From the album “Ecclesiastes” this video is scrolling playback of a percussion ensemble performance.
Kathy


Click here to watch The Byrds Turn! Turn! Turn!
Click here to read Ecclesiastes Chapter 3.
You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Time and Circumstance.
Time and Circumstance
Click here for print sheet music.
Time and Circumstance
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, July 29, 2019

Livin’ Large – Music Story


Can possessions and pleasure give meaning to life?
The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes examines that question.

What if you were incredibly skilled and worked hard to get it all,
And
You accomplished all your dreams,
You achieved it all,
You owned everything you wanted,
You didn’t deny yourself any pleasure,
You created paradise,
You tasted it all,
Would you be fulfilled?

From the album “Ecclesiastes” this video is scrolling playback of a song based on Ecclesiastes 2:1-23.
Kathy



Click here to read Ecclesiastes 2.
You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Livin’ Large.
Livin' Large
Click here for print sheet music.
Livin' Large
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, June 13, 2019

Chase the Wind – Music Story


He had everything. He had nothing.

He had unlimited resources. Soaring intellect. Endless curiosity. Boundless energy.
He lived large. Worked hard. Created beauty. Played extravagantly.
He was a student of history. Of nature. Of life’s choices.
He wanted to make sense of life.
So, he experienced all life had to offer.
His greatest delights were blown away on the wind.
Nothing gave permanent satisfaction.
He became frustrated. Perplexed. Disillusioned.
In despair, he cried, “Meaningless! Meaningless! ... Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”[i]

The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes is Wisdom’s attempt to find meaning in the ordinary things of life. From the album “Ecclesiastes” this video is scrolling playback of a song based on Chapter 1.
Kathy

Click here to read Ecclesiastes 1.
You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) lead sheet music for Chase the Wind.

Chase the Wind
Click here for print lead sheet.
Chase the Wind
Click here for digital lead sheet.
(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.)




[i] Ecclesiastes 1:2

Monday, March 18, 2019

Sophisticated Lady – Music Story

Our granddaughter turned nine yesterday. Over the years Grandpa and I have taken lots of pictures and videos of her. Some grandparents carry around a brag book, a little photo album that fits in a purse or shirt pocket and holds a dozen or so snapshots of their grandchildren. Our brag books were on our smart phones. Now they’re in the cloud.

We delight in watching Sara grow up. We want to remember all of it. So smart phone in hand, we’ve snapped away happily. Last year her parents asked for copies of our brag books. So, I organized the photos by year, saved them to a thumb drive, gift wrapped the drive, and put it under the Christmas tree for my daughter and son-in-law to open on Christmas Eve. I was shocked to discover that in the last nine years Grandpa and I have taken 2,560 photos and videos of her! What a treasure trove of memories.

This birthday song came about because of those photos and videos. ­This music story is a brag book of sorts. So, if you grit your teeth when a grandmother opens her purse and pulls out her brag book, I’ll understand why you are skipping this music story. However, it has a surprise ending. You won’t want to miss that.

From the album “Silly or Celebratory” this video is scrolling playback of the song.
Kathy
PS. Sara approved of the photos in this song.



You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for Sophisticated Lady.
Sophisticated Lady
Click here for print sheet music.
Sophisticated Lady
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, February 5, 2019

No God but One – Music Story

When I was five years old, I fell in love with the Creator. I fell in love with Jesus. I knew he loved me for the Bible told me so. It said that God loved me so much he sent Jesus to die for my sins. And because Jesus rose from the dead, I can live eternally. I asked Jesus to forgive me and be my Savior.

But that belief was challenged in high school. A friend told me it was not the Creator who died on the cross. One God couldn’t be the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. That was logically impossible. She also questioned my belief in the resurrection. I wanted to be a nurse and that meant taking science classes. My science textbooks told me that we were on the verge of discovering the pathway from molecules to man. We no longer needed a Creator to explain the universe.

I had lots of questions and wanted answers.

For thousands of years people believed the universe is eternal and unchanging. But the first verse in the Bible says the universe was created, it had a beginning. And other Old Testament verses tell us that the universe is expanding, it is being stretched out. The 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the discovery that the universe, that is, space, energy, matter, and even time, had a beginning and has been continually expanding from that beginning, forming galaxies, stars, and planets. A beginning requires a Beginner, one who transcends space and time!

Not only that, I learned that triune things are common. Pre-med students learn about resonance theory in organic chemistry, a class not required for nursing students. Some molecules have more than one structure or resonance. Nitrate has three resonances. Nitrate is all three structures all the time, never just one of them. That’s exactly how Christians describe the Triune God! God is all three persons all the time, never just one of them.

As a nurse, I know that crucifixion is lethal. Jesus did die. Historians and critical New Testament scholars tell us that the primitive church recited creeds about Jesus years before any of the New Testament documents were written. Unbelieving scholars tell us that one of those creeds contains a list of people who saw Jesus alive after he died. That list can be dated to within three years or even months of Jesus crucifixion.

A Triune Creator with the power to create space, matter, energy, and time from nothing and stretch it out to the size it is today would have the power to enter his creation as a man, die for sinners, for me! and rise from the dead.

I fell in love with the Creator. I fell in love with Jesus. I know he loves me because the Bible tells me so. I know this is so because evidence from science and history confirm the Bible’s claims.

From the album “Main Street” this video is scrolling playback of the song.
Kathy

Click here to read what I learned about the Creed and here to read about the NASA satellite discovery that’s ‘like looking at God’.

You can get print (PDF) and/or digital (MusicXML™) sheet music for No God But One.

No God But One
Click here for print sheet music for horn and organ. 
No God But One
Click here for digital sheet music for horn and organ.
(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, November 24, 2018

Music Story - Toolkit


I’m a songwriter. I turn stories into songs and songs into music videos. I use an amazing toolkit.

I start with a story that I could turn into a song. Here’s one: A crazy robin flew into our living room window again and again and again! We photographed the robin’s antics. I wrote the story out as a rhyme. I took the rhyme to my workstation where I played around with melody, chords, and beat until the rhyme began sing. Now to notate the song. I opened up my computer and created a lead sheet, typing notes, lyrics, and chords into a staff. Then I added staves and arranged the song for percussion instruments. I added photos to the music score. Now to create a music video.

My 27-inch desktop gets a little crowded when creating music. Can you pick out the apps in my toolkit?

Computer apps for songwriters
Songwriter's Toolkit
Finale music notation software is at the bottom left. You will have to look closely to see which staves in the score are played by which Garritan virtual instruments (upper left). Before inserting a photo in Finale it has to be sized and edited. I use PowerPoint (bottom right) or Photoshop. I need help with rhyming lyrics (bottom middle) and hyphenating them (top middle). My go to for fun free fonts is Google fonts.

Debut screen capturing software (top right) makes a silent movie of Finale playing the composition. Then using Debut video editing software (middle right) I combine title page, silent movie, and audio file created by Finale. Bose earphones helps in checking sound.

Using Finale I create shareable versions of the song. CutePDFWriter makes a PDF copy that anyone can open and Finale exports a digital file (MusicXML) that other music apps can open and edit. These are offered under the terms of a Creative Commons license.

You can read about the crazy robin in my backyard here: Guano – Music Story. Here’s how the video came together.

Kathy