Written By Deborah Negron
December 24, 2018
For the to be Harmony, there must be some distinct, specific and ordered variety of notes that alone appear to be incomplete yet together produce a sound that fills the air with a resounding and pleasant presentation of song.
It is this product that enables the heart of a person to be moved. It draws the listener to a place of pleasure and a sense of wellbeing.
The Mirriam Webster definition is very clear.
This is the objective of a choral director, every composer and every person who puts a group of singers, or an orchestra or ensemble together.
To evoke a response in the sound and in the heart that will be fulfilling, thrilling and bring about a desired outcome.
When I studied music in Music and Arts School in New York City. The process of study was more about understanding how the musical parts are to blend and bring forth a specific sound, than about perfecting one’s own sound. It was Belonging, More than about performing. It was more about waiting for the part and meeting the goal, than racing through the musical piece.
One of my teachers said, “If you cannot become the music, don’t sing. If blending with each single part is not your objective then do not sing.”
The soloist must understand when it is time to sing a part and make it their own, without removing oneself too far from the scale, the sound of each instument and the sound of other singers in the arrangement.
The soloist must Master the ability to navigate through the musical piece with confidence and yet humility.
They must stand out in some places but surrender in other parts of the music.
It is a dance of wills, a collaboration of notes an intercourse of communication between each voice and each instrument which will bring about an impacting and powerful outcome of melodious refrain.
This makes me think of the book of Romans chapter 12:4-10
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
A man and a woman the night of their Wedding come together to form one flesh. They surrender wills, hearts and their bodies one to another in a harmonious union. It is not about one overtaking the other or one being more important than the other. It is a sublime connection that cannot be truly real unless their is love.
The church of Jesus Christ has for too long been divided in regards to their interactions one with another. The division has brought about a sense of disconnection and weakness.
The Bible says in John 15, That Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. It states that outside of this understanding of our necessity to be intertwined one with another and in our foundation, which is Christ, we can do nothing.
Imagine for a moment a conductor…
Imagine he stands before his orchestra and the drums do not all keep the same rhythmic sound. Imagine that the stringed instruments all play in their differing notes and somehow forget to follow the key provided. Imagine still that the wind instruments all begin to resound in a plethora of styles and notes that do not harmonize.
Church, you are one body. Church you are one people. Church we are not to be walking in a direction contrary to what God has established.
He is the Conductor of our symphony. They is nothing worse than to be with an unstable, unsure conductor. An irrational conductor will produce a sound of uncertainty, division and disarray. We cannot all lead. There is a Head. This Head is Christ. We are but His Body.
The Apostle Paul, the writer of the letter to the church in Corinth wrote the following,
1 Corinthians 12:12, 14, 18-27. Christ is just like the human body—a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many. Certainly the body isn’t one part but many. But as it is, God has placed each one of the parts in the body just like he wanted. If all were one and the same body part, what would happen to the body? But as it is, there are many parts but one body. So the eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you,” or in turn, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” Instead, the parts of the body that people think are the weakest are the most necessary. The parts of the body that we think are less honorable are the ones we honor the most. The private parts of our body that aren’t presentable are the ones that are given the most dignity. The parts of our body that are presentable don’t need this. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the part with less honor so that there won’t be division in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it. You are the body of Christ and parts of each other.
Christ Jesus is the Conductor of this Chorus. He is the Choral Director, the Master of this Symphony.
Our sole purpose is to blend in to the sound of worship and become part of, we have been engraved in to the true vine. We were a wild vine, one without a true purpose. We grew wildly and in a desert place. Surely the heat of the sun and the lack of water would have ruined the potential in us. Christ brought us out of this place of distress. Where would have perished and died without relief. He gave us Life Within the Vine. He took us out of that desert place and engrafted us in to the trunk. He placed us in to the family of God. Now He sustains us so.
But not every branches will produce the same. Not every voice will be the same. Yet collectively, He orchestrates the arrangements of the same. The Lord decides what and how much fruit each branch will bear. According to his plan. He holds the SONG of Life. He decides.
Going back to my education in music, I was used to being part of the chorus. The place was comfortable for me. All I had to do was follow. This was a comfort zone for me.
I recall the day my teacher said, “Come to me, stand here. I will teach you to become a soloist.”
I had sung in church since I was a child. But this was different. Now I had to perform in such a way that it would meet the director’s expectations without room for debate. He knew where he wanted to take every musical piece. The pressure was on. The fear came did come. The uncertainty and the fear of failing began to overwhelm.
Then He Said, Your voice will stand out in certain parts and ways. But never forget the scale, never forget it will enhance the song. It will be for only a space. Never forget the choir. Never forget the Music. You are a part of The Music. For The purpose of the solo part is to bring about a desired outcome. To provoke there to be an exclamation of the same song. Truly, you are still a part. Remember, you still need the other parts. For you are not complete unless you are a part of the whole.This teacher did this on various with different students. Each new song meant a different arrangement and a different direction. Sometimes the soloists were male, sometimes female. The Instructor, the Conductor decided this.
We are part of One Body. Yet at specific times we understand the differing parts work harder and or with more intensity depending on the need. Still, they must be all connected. They must all have clear in mind that outside of one another we will be out of the Vine.
Lord, wake us up, Let the Church remember, it is is not alone. We have a Head. Help us know when to follow and help us know when to lead. Help us know when to submit one to another ans help us in understand the necessity to at times stand ahead in order to perform your will and purpose. Let us not battle with one another for position or status. We are one part of the same whole.
Lord, help the unity in our worship be evidenced by the love and care we have one for another. Preferring one another…
Let us esteem our brother higher than ourselves. For then, the Harmonious Sound of Our Praise will be Seen. Then The Sound of Our Worship will evoke others to that place of tranquility. When the congruence of our faith is not just Spoken of But Heard.
Oh Precious Maestro, Precious Conductor of our Souls…
May we Unite in Worship, May this be our Resolve.
May our Faith be Clearly Witnessed… May it Draw men to the Cross.
May the Variety of our notes be Harmonized By Your Spirit…
May We blend in United Song… For the Song of The Redeemed… Must begin in Our Hearts and Lives Today.
Lord Forgive us For Our Wanderings… Help us Lord to Synchronize… Let Our Lives. Which are Your Instruments… Bring Forth A Melodious Rise…
Let The Hearers Be Drawn Closer… May Our Song Bring Dead Souls Life.