Archive for the 'Music' Category

Guitar Hero

The obviously very creative David Crowder Band. The song is “…neverending…”

Gotta love that Mario button!

Never ending
Always
You will never end
Because
You’re always
Never ending

You were
There before
There was beginning
Always
You were
You are never ending

Here you are now
With us here
We are found
In You

And this makes all the difference
This changes everything
Making our whole existence
Worth something so we sing

La, la, la …

And You make all the difference
Yeah, You change everything
You make our whole existence
Worth something so we sing

La, la, la …

The Music of Sparta

Or The Scandal of the Strings

Here is your completely random and amusing historical tidbit for today. The topic is that warrior haven of Sparta and its take on music during the 7th century before Christ. From Will Durant’s The Story of Civilization, Vol. 2: The Life of Greece (Simon & Schuster 1966):

In that dim past before Lycurgus came, Sparta was a Greek city like the rest, and blossomed out in song and art as it would never do after him. Music above all was popular there, and rivaled man’s antiquity; for as far back as we can delve we find the Greeks singing. In Sparta, so frequently at war, music took a martial turn – the strong and simple “Doric mode”; and not only were other styles discouraged, but any deviation from this Doric style was punishable by law. Even Terpander, though he had quelled a sedition by his songs, was fined by the ephors, and his lyre nailed mute to the wall, because to suit his voice, he had dared to add another string to the instrument; and in a later generation Timotheus, who had expanded Terpander’s seven strings to eleven, was not allowed to compete at Sparta until the ephors had removed from his lyre the scandalously extra strings.

As humorous as the scandal of the strings is to us 21st century types, it seems that Sparta was a very musical city, even if that music served national (i.e. milataristic) purpose. I don’t know about you, but I find this highly fascinating! Durant continues:

Sparta, like England, had great composers when she imported them. Towards 670 [B.C.], supposedly at the behest of the Delphi oracle, Terpander was brought in from Lesbos to prepare a contest in choral sining at the festival of the Carneia. Likewise, Thaletas was summoned from Crete about 620; and soon after came Tyrtaeus, Alcman, and Polymnestus. Their labors went mostly to composing patriotic music and training choruses to sing it. Music was seldom taught to individual Spartans; as in revolutionary Russia, the communal spirit was so strong that music took a corporate form, and group competed with group in magnificent festivals of song and dance. Such choral singing gave the Spartans another opportunity for discipline and mass formations, for every voice was subject to the leader. At the feast of the Hyacinthia King Agesilaus sang obediently in the place and time assigned to him by the choral master; and at the festival of the Gymnopedia the whole body of Spartans, of every age and sex, joined in massive exercises of harmonious dance and antistrophal song. Such occasions must have provided a powerful stimulus and outlet to the patriotic sentiment.

A Hymn for Evening Prayer

The following hymn, based on the famous passage in Philippians 2:6-11, is sung every other Saturday evening for Sunday vespers. It also happens to be one of the better hymns in the Psalter. I should also mention that the passage in Philippians, likely a hymn itself in the (very) early Christian church, also serves as the Canticle for the same vespers every week. Introductions aside, here is the hymn from the Psalter:

At the name of Jesus
Ev’ry knee shall bow,
Ev’ry tongue confess him
King of glory now;
‘Tis the Father’s pleasure,
We should call him Lord,
Who from the beginning
Was the mighty Word.

Humbled for a reason,
To receive a name
From the lips of sinners,
Unto whom he came,
Faithfully he bore it,
Spotless to the last,
Brought it back victorious,
When from death he passed.

Bore it up triumphant,
With its human light,
Through all ranks of creatures,
To the central height,
To the throne of Godhead,
To the Father’s breast;
Filled it with the glory
Of that perfect rest.

In your hearts enthrone him;
There, let him subdue
All that is not holy,
All that is not true;
May your voice entreat him
In temptation’s hour;
Let his will enfold you
In its light and power.

Brothers, this Lord Jesus
Shall return again,
With his Father’s glory,
O’er the earth to reign;
He is God the Savior;
He is Christ the Lord,
Ever to be worshiped,
Always blest, adored.

The Joy of the Fiddle

To my mind, there is hardly an instrument that brings more joy to the soul than a fiddle. That’s right. A fiddle. Now, perhaps I’m biased because of my southern roots, but I say that a fiddle is the most downright toe-tappin’ instrument on the planet. What other instrument makes you want to get up and dance like the fiddle? Exactly.

One of my favorite CDs of all time is by Natalie MacMaster (her official website); her Live double CD released in 2002. It’s simply incredible. I highly recommend it for those who, possessed of right reason, love a good fiddle. Being from Cape Breton in Canada her style is distinctive to that particular region. It’s almost a blend between the American south and traditional Celtic, but certainly more Celtic. Below are two videos that show off her remarkable talent. Unfortunately, the quality could be better, but you get the idea. Plus she’s a Catholic girl. That makes her a Catholic artist and thus applicable to the stated intention of this blog.

Enjoy!

Mystical Theology in Rock n’Roll

While I’m more of a classical music sort of guy, I came across this band that I’m sure I should be embarrassed to know nothing about. Their name is Flyleaf and they are obviously a Christian rock band. Or rather, a rock band that is Christian. Very Christian. Their song called, “All Around Me” particularly struck me. The song is about an overwhelming experience of God. The lyrics are incredible:

My tongue dances behind my lips for you/… This fire rising through my being / Burning I’m not used to seeing you

Saint Teresa herself couldn’t have said it better. See the video here. Lyrics are below:

FLYLEAF

“All Around Me”

My hands are searching for you
My arms are outstretched towards you
I feel you on my fingertips
My tongue dances behind my lips for you

This fire rising through my being
Burning I’m not used to seeing you

I’m alive, I’m alive

I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I’m breathing
Holding on to what I’m feeling
Savoring this heart that’s healing

My hands float up above me
And you whisper you love me
And I begin to fade
Into our secret place

The music makes me sway
The angels singing say we are alone with you
I am alone and they are too with you

I’m alive, I’m alive

I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I’m breathing
Holding on to what I’m feeling
Savoring this heart that’s healing

And so I cry
The light is white
And I see you

I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive

I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I’m breathing
Holding on to what I’m feeling
Savoring this heart that’s healing

Take my hand
I give it to you
Now you own me
All I am
You said you would never leave me
I believe you
I believe

I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I’m breathing
Holding on to what I’m feeling
Savoring this heart that’s healed


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