Friday, September 24, 2010

friday five: joyful noise

At RevGals Mary Beth writes: Music is a part of the human experience, and part of religious traditions the world over. It is evocative and stirring, and many forms of worship are incomplete without it.

Our title comes from a quote popularly attributed to St. Augustine: "He who sings prays twice." A little Googling, however, indicates that Augustine didn't say exactly that. In fact, what he said just doesn't fit well onto a t-shirt. So we'll stick with what we have.

"Singing reduces stress and increases healthy breathing and emotional expression. Singing taps into a deep, age-old power available to all of us. When we find our
voice, we find ourselves. Today, sing like you mean it." And let's talk about the role music plays in your life and worship.
1) Do you like to sing/listen to others sing? In worship, or on your own (or not at all?)
I love to sing. I sing along with songs, sing or hum to myself, in my head, while walking the dog (quietly, though). I have an adequate voice and can generally carry a tune. I also love singing in parts. I'm an alto, and I try to offer up that voice in church, where every voice is needed! Every now and then I join the choir for the prelude, just because.

2) Did you grow up with music in worship, or come to it later in life? Tell us about it, and how that has changed in your experience.I grew up in the unprogrammed tradition of Quakers, which translates as no music in worship. We had singalongs every now and then, and there were a handful of staples like Kum Ba ya, and We Shall Overcome. I got really tired of those. But we also sang rounds, which seems like a lost art. No one seems to sing rounds anymore. Sad face. Oddldy enough one of my favorite rounds is one I learned at a Quaker youth weekend. I learned it in the bathroom, since the acoustics were so good in there! Unfortunately no one seems to know this song at all, so I never get to sing it except alone. Can't find it on you tube. If I could figure out how to record it on the computer I'd give that a try!

One of the things I LOVE about being an episcopalian is the opportunity to sing. 

3) Some people find worship incomplete without music; others would just as soon not have it. Where do you fall?I grew up with silent worship, and thanks to that, I can endure silence for a very long time. I love hymns, too, and since church is the only place I really get to sing them, I prefer music in worship.

4) Do you prefer traditional music in worship, or contemporary? That can mean many different things!
I'm a traditional gal. Give me Bach any day.

5) What's your go-to music ... when you need solace or want to express joy? A video/recording will garner bonus points!
I like my music with a "C." Country, Classical and Celtic, and not necessarily in that order. I'm especially fond of baroque music and The Brandenburg Concertos, Alasdair Fraser and the Secret Garden, Ty Herndon and Sugarland (check out Jennifer Nettles' voice control at 2:40--love her voice, and I've gotten used to the twang), and almost anything by the late Dan  Fogelberg.


Sharon said...

I am a fan of the Secret Garden (musical group), too. Their version of "You Raise Me Up" makes Josh Groban's seem anemic.

Mompriest said...

Love the "C's" - well, except I'm not a big fan of country, but I like some of it....but classical and Celtic...yes.

Di said...

I like to sing parts, too. Partly because it's fun, partly because it sounds so wonderful, and partly because I love the metaphor-- we all sing slightly different tunes in our different voices, and the combination is much lovelier than sameness would be.

RevDrKate said...

Oh, love your C's! And realting to the singing in parts as well. We are so small that most Sundays the priest is IN the choir for the anthem or we'd have no section!

The Bug said...

I can't see the video until I get home, but I wanted to go ahead & comment now.

I love rounds! I remember one we sang in the Christian group in college - one of the parts was "Jesus love is a bubblein over..." That one is a lot of fun. What's the one you remember?

I've enjoyed learning to sing alto in the choir, although I have to say I'm not a natural. We're singing A Mighty Fortress on Sunday & I've never tried to sing alto on it before - it's like a whole other song! I'd better get to practicing tonight & tomorrow!

Jan said...

I didn't know you grew up in Quaker meetings. I would be interested in reading about how that has influenced your faith and life of prayer.

So glad you shared fully and with the video!

Sandy said...

I learned some of my favorite songs in the bathrooms (or empty hallways) of youth camps also! Thank you so much for sharing this! Happy Friday!

Faith Hope Cherrytea ~ said...

enjoyed your Cs ! i'm with you on the joy of rounds - rare nowadays but great memories...
thx for posting !

Mary Beth said...

i love to think of the gift you received with the silence.

Auntie Knickers said...

We sing rounds at Family Camp, and this year I bought a whole 3-volume set of them and CDs of demos. I got a scary message from Google Chrome about your blog harming my computer, but went ahead anyway, and then the video wouldn't work. I'll take your recommendation and spend the $1.04 on iTunes! Thanks!

Teri said...

definitely tell us the round you remember--you might be surprised at who can help you out!

SingingOwl said...

I miss rounds too! What Teri said!

Jayne said...

I can't imagine my life without music. Can't read a lick of it, but can learn to sing anything with practice. Being in the choir has enriched my life in a way I can't adequately explain. BTW, last Sunday for post communion, our choir did Seek ye first the kingdom of God and it was magnificent! :c)

Stratoz said...

enjoyed the music. thanks for sharing some joy!


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