The Sermon of Music

I went to church this week and received a blessing as the pastor talked about purity. Each week for the past three weeks he’s elaborated on one of the thoughts included in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount from the 5th Chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.

These sermons are thought provoking and channel my thoughts into areas that refresh the soul as I contemplate the life of Jesus that serves as a perfect model for you and me.

Purity is something we all admire and is also something that causes us to struggle from time to time. Our human weaknesses and hormonal imbalances along with the constant influences from the advertising on TV and magazines bombard us with ideas and concepts directly opposed to a humble Christian life of serving others.

As the sermon ended we were ushered into a song called “Whiter than snow” that focused our attention on the need to be cleansed and on the willingness of God to wash us with His righteousness.

The sermon and the closing hymn were a cleansing experience, and as the closing prayer was spoken by the pastor I realized how vulnerable I am to impure thoughts, and how delicate is my spiritual condition. I felt the need for more prayer to seek the power of God to be drawn higher and to live above this level of temptation that desensitizes the soul.

We then sat down for the postlude.

The music began with sounds appropriate for reflection as the guest organist moved from one set of keys to another creating an interplay of sounds of authority for a few measures followed by sounds of fragility. One moment my mind was directed to the unchangeable, majestic power of God and the next to my weak vacillating character that had just been cleansed. One moment to my clumsy attempts at life followed by the still, small voice of God.

The Music reinforced the sermon on purity as it clarified in my mind the need for God to be included in every dialogue. A need for God to have a say in each phrase of life.

And then began the Toccata and things changed.

The soft and delicate strains from flute, and clarinet pipes was replaced with horns, and 16 and 32 foot pipes as the organist’s hands morphed from elegant devices of peace, depressing the keys with such soft and light movement into monstrous tools of war intended to subdue the instrument of sound that resisted compliance.

The atmosphere changed as heavy fingers became objects of oppression, demanding more and more sound, forcing the organ to respond with note after note of power with increasing decibels. Additional pipes were brought into play as organ stops were opened. Intricate and balanced harmonies were left behind. Interplay between the various organ manuals was replaced by blasts of power as the king of instruments lived up to its reputation by delivering note upon note of authority as if I was standing before the judge of the universe and my sordid record was placed before me.

Understanding Royalty Free Music for Film, Movies and Videos

Royalty free music is music that is created specifically for use in multimedia productions such as videos, presentations, podcasts, films, theatre, advertising and broadcasts. By the music being royalty free it means that once you buy royalty-free production music license, you don’t have to pay any performance royalties when you play the music.

You should note that you won’t be required to pay any additional money as long as you don’t exceed the usage restrictions for the license. You should also note that the license can be revoked if you use the music for other purposes other than the agreed ones.

Advantages Of Royalty Free Music

There are many benefits that come with this type of music. These benefits include:

  • Easily accessible
  • You can use it over and over again without additional fees
  • Comes in all musical styles and genres
  • You have peace of mind as you know that you are using it legally
  • You can easily license it and download. To license the music you only need to contact the music library and enter into an agreement.
  • It’s usually of high quality

Difference Between Libraries

It’s good to note that the terms and conditions of different music libraries vary. One library will allow you to use the royalty free music on all of your projects while another library won’t allow it. For example, one library will allow you to use the music in your presentations; however, it won’t allow you to use the same music for your TV advertisements.

To be on the safe side, you should carefully read through the terms and conditions of the library that you are buying the music from. To save money you should work with a music library that allows you to use the same audio in all of your projects.

Audio File Format

Audio music comes in a variety of formats and all you need to do is to choose the one that is ideal for you. Some of the most popular formats include: physical audio CDs which you can easily convert to 16-bit, 44.1 kHz files when you want to import them digitally.

Since the audio files come in different formats, you need to be cautious when choosing them. To choose the right music you should listen to a number of tracks before you make your decision. When making your choice, you should beware of libraries that provide you with very short music samples or very low quality samples and promise you high quality versions after making the purchase.

Conclusion

This is what you need to know about royalty free music. You can easily get the music from different libraries and all you need to do is to contact the library that you want to work with. As mentioned, always ensure that you first listen to the music before you make the purchase. You should also ensure that the library you are working with is certified and operating legally.

Learning How to Read Music – Introduction

Do you have a dream to play a musical instrument, sing or write songs? Learning how to read music is a critical skill set that you will need to be a successful musician. Some compare it to being literate. I would agree with that assessment.

Believe it or not learning how to read music can be surprisingly easy and fun. You just need to have a little motivation, a good plan and some encouragement as you learn.

For over forty years I have been involved in music, most of those years earning an income, though meager at times, as a musician. I have taught literally hundreds of students. Some who were very young students and, surprisingly, some who were quite elderly.

The Sad Story

Many years ago I became acquainted with a very talented saxophonist. He was quite young at the time and he could virtually play anything he heard without the aid of written music. At the time I remember thinking “What an awesome gift”! I still feel that way today.

You can imagine my surprise when I found out Tom (not his real name) had no clue how to read music.

Toms burning desire was to become a professional musician. He had all he needed to become a highly successful musician with the exception that he could not read any music.

All of his musical friends told him that being able to read music was a critical skill that he needed to develop in order to achieve his musical dream. That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Tom didn’t think that advice was so reasonable and he totally rejected the ideal. That was many years ago and you have probably guessed the outcome. To date he cannot read music nor has he ever made any serious effort to learn. He has yet to achieve anything close to his dream and potential.

In Texas we have a saying that goes like this, “With that kind of attitude you could ruin an anvil”

Toms’ story is disappointing and sad. But the real tragedy was his attitude about learning. I later found out that he had great difficulty learning in traditional ways.

The Good News

As a teacher I have thought many times with the resources we now have available online for specialized learning, Tom could easily have been motivated to learn the musical skills necessary to achieve his musical dreams.

This article is an introduction to a series of articles I’ll be writing on “Learning how to read music”.

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Songwriting Starting From The Ground Up

Your experience with songs may be that you have heard songs on radio, YouTube, iTunes, or other media. You have developed preferences in what you like. You may like one style more than others. You may like only one style. You may like all or most styles of music. Now, you want to write a song or songs and maybe you have already given it a try. Maybe your song didn’t turn out like how you wanted it to. Maybe it did, but you’re not sure where to go from here.

Without hearing your song or your song idea, there is no way to evaluate it, so let’s explore songwriting from the ground up. Somewhere in the process, we will hit your level and move up from there. Perhaps there are also some blanks to fill in along the way. If you knew everything there is to know about cars and driving, except for where the brake is and what the brake does, you will run into a “problem” eventually.

To listen to a song in its entirety can be overwhelming when you start to analyze it, if you haven’t done that before. There is a lot going on at once and throughout the song. There can be singing of lyrics and the accompaniment. The words and the music are two components, but those have many sub-parts, so to speak. If we back up from what we hear and get a broader view of the song, we’ll see some things we might not have noticed.

The title is repeated within the chorus, too. You might listen to the song and count how many times “killing me softly” is repeated. That part, the title and the line of that song is often referred to as the “hook”. It has the hypnotic effect of repetition to anchor itself in your mind after you have heard it a few times. It is common in popular, country, and jazz songs that there will be a hook. We’re not looking for a formula at this point in time.

There are styles. In Baroque style writing there are “rules” but they are part of what makes Baroque what it is. To go outside the rules would result in altering the style of Baroque music. It is not a bad thing to know or to learn just as ballet is not a bad thing for a hiphop or jazz dancer to know, however, one may not be essential as a prerequisite to the other. There are commonalities between ballet and other dance. There are also commonalities between Baroque music and modern music. We will investigate these soon.