Music

Soundbites

When we sing songs of worship, we are most likely singing from one of two groups of songs – those that are written about and to God that come from a person’s heart and are inspired by God, and those whose lyrics come directly from scripture and are set to music.  To me, this latter group is the purest form of worship through singing.  How more can we praise God in song than through singing His divinely inspired Holy Word?

The choir sang a song of worship on Sunday morning called “Revelation Song.”  The words of the chorus come directly from Revelation 4:8:  “…Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” (NIV)

How incredible it is for us to sing the very words that the heavenly creatures are constantly singing to God!  We don’t know the heavenly melody or accompaniment, but to get just a glimpse through those words should bring us a chill of excitement!  I am thankful that God is still using people to write songs of praise and worship today, that we may continually sing Him a new song.

“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.” Psalm 40:3 (NIV)

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Wind Controller in Worship

I have a Yamaha WX5 MIDI Wind Controller.  I absolutely love it.  I got it back in 1998 right after I started college.  I was in a cover band and played the saxophone, but I wanted something else to add to the mix.  Enter the Wind Controller.  When I realized that I could play harmonica, fiddle, electric guitar, drums, SFX, and just about anything else, I was sold.

It was a few years after this that God led me into a part-time music ministry position at a tiny little Baptist church in North Mississippi while I was in school at Ole Miss.  I was still in the cover band.  We would play gigs on Saturday nights and I would go and lead worship on Sunday mornings.  It didn’t take very long for me to realize the hypocrisy of the situation.  Taking out my sax or my wind controller on a Sunday morning and smelling cigarette smoke didn’t help matters either.

 

Fast forward many years and much spiritual growth later.  I play my wind controller in worship just about every week.  Our pianist usually picks the offertory, and I play lead along with the organ, piano, and synth.  It’s the only opportunity I have during our worship services to play.  And I cherish it.  I miss the playing time i used to get, but I don’t miss the worldly gigs at all.  Now I make music to worship my Savior.

My wind synth has given me untold opportunities for personal worship, and judging by the discussions I’ve had with church members and guests, it has ministered to others as well.

The possibilities are endless.  I typically try to select an instrument that fits the style of the song we are playing.  Violin or cello are used most often, but I have also used tenor Sax, flute, bagpipes, irish whistles, and even a full orchestral sound.  Most people seem to pair this controller with the Yamaha VL70m tone generator (which is now discontinued).  It uses physical modeling technology instead of sampling – it gives incredible response and lifelike sound.  The only problem I have with it is that it is monophonic; it can only play one note at a time.  In order to layer sounds with this tone module, I would have to purchase more of them and link them together via MIDI.  That gets a little pricey when they run anywhere from $500 – $700 on ebay!

To solve the layering problem, I ventured into softsynths (those that are computer – based).  Right now I use Garritan World Instruments and the Garritan sounds that come stock with the Ewi USB (another wind controller).  The World Instrument package comes with Aria Player, which is a 16 channel virtual mixer that I can load any sounds from the Garritan libraries I want to.  I love it.  If I wanted to, I could mix 8 various bagpipes, a soprano sax, chimes, nose flute, djembe, and steel drums and go to work.  That probably wouldn’t sound great for an offertory, though.

I love experimenting with this thing; I’ll post as I discover more (when I hopefully have time!).


How Can I Keep from Singing?

Sing.  That word is mentioned 121 times in the Bible.  It goes up to 209 if you use the New English Version.  It is one of the most recorded commandments in God’s Word.  For God to command us to “sing” that many times throughout scripture, He MUST regard it as important.  He tells us in Psalm 66:2:  “Sing about the glory of His name; make His praise glorious.” (HCSB)

Music is a true gift that God has given man since creation.  It is one of the purest forms of worship we can give Him as an offering.  A word of information:  we tend to think of the word “worship” as meaning “singing.”  Worship is actually our response to God through His work in us.  Singing is just one of many forms of worship, albeit a very important one! 

Not only are we commanded to sing to God, we are also called to do it as a unified body of believers:  “Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,  That together you may [unanimously] with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).”  Romans 15:5-6 (Amplified Bible)

I encourage all of you to sing!  Sing in your personal worship time, and sing when you enter God’s house!  He has truly gifted us with a musical gift; let us be more determined than ever to use it to His glory!