Sunday, September 26, 2010

Caught up in the Snare (drum)

NO! That’s not right! It goes this way:
 Agghhhhh! I just can’t get it!
 Why do I stress myself out over this stuff? Just enjoy the music and stop trying to be a wannabe drummer!

  I love music, yet cannot carry a tune. More so, my piano teacher was correct when she pointed out that I had no sense of rhythm. I WAS NOT a child-I was in my early twenties and just starting out with lessons. You see, I wanted to play a piece in my own way; not how it was written!

  Now, as I age I cannot clap on beat, yet, become fascinated by drumming rhythms. When standing during Praise and Worship time at church, I sometimes focus on the drummer when not into the mood of the moment. Utilizing the chair in front of me, I slap at it in pathetic attempt to keep beat with the drums. I don’t try too hard to keep up, but simply enjoy the time of musical interactions.

The Bible does tell us to make a joyful noise….

  There is a classical piece of music that I just love, and fixate on the beat that is carried through the entire piece. The song is Bolero, by Maurice Ravel, and you either love it or you hate it. The same two-part melody, in the same key, is carried throughout the duration of the piece. The music is written for a large orchestra and utilizes a tam-tam,(gong), a celesta (glockenspiel with keyboard) flutes, piccolos, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns, trumpets, trombones, tubas, saxophones, harps, violins, violas, cellos, cymbals, timpani, bass drums and snare drums to build up an intensity until it reaches its climatic and cacophonous finale.
The snare drum carries the steady rhythm throughout the piece but I just cannot “get” the rhythm.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music;
Make music to the Lord with the harp, and with the harp and the sound of singing,
With trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn- shout for joy before the Lord, the King
Psalm 98:4-6 NIV

I don’t think Ravel was praising the Lord when he composed this piece.
   In 1928, he was commissioned by a well known dancer to compose music for a ballet. Ravel had an idea to integrate different pieces of other musicians’ work, but there were complications dealing with copy right issues. He ditched that idea, and his own inspiration emerged. He tapped out a simple repetitive melody on his piano, and then formatted it in the style of a popular Spanish dance known as a bolero. Ravel originally titled this piece as “Fandango" but ended up referring to it as “Bolero.”

My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Psalm 108:1 NIV

  Music does not necessarily need to be “Christian” in its origin to bring on the attitude of Praise and Worship to God. The recurring melody in this masterpiece could become redundant for those who do not enjoy the piece, but I find that I appreciate the sameness. It may be the identical theme over and over, but it grows louder and stronger and then explodes into its goose-bump-inducing conclusion.

  I have noticed that when I listen to the melody, rather than the drummer’s beat, I am carried off to another realm, which for me, is in Praise to God. I am learning that I need to focus on the music as a whole and not get caught up in just one aspect of the work. When I listen to just the drum beat, I am missing out on the beauty of the entire song. Worship to God can be carried out in many different ways, yet no matter what form it takes on, God desires our praises.
You know, I can’t sing, and I can’t keep a beat, but I can make a joyful Noise to my Lord!

Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord in His sanctuary; praise Him in his mighty heavens
Praise Him for his acts of power; praise Him for his surpassing greatness
Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet.
Praise Him with the harp and lyre; praise Him with tambourine and dancing.
Praise Him with the strings and flute; Praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise Hm with resounding cymbals
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord
Praise the Lord

This is a YouTube clip of Bolero