Musical Musings on the next 4 weeks of music-check them out!

June 15, 2014
  1. The Round: Music that reminds us of our faith
Today's Introit  consists of three parts and will be sung as a round.   The musical characteristics of "Come Let Us Sing" can help elucidate aspects of our faith in Christ.  First,  the foundational harmony remains consistent and is the same four chords of tonic-mediant-subdominant-dominant. This consistency reminds us that the Bible is the Word of God and also does not change. Second, the interest in the round comes from the oscillating rhythms in parts two and three. This reminds us that Jesus is constantly shaping us and encouraging us to change and grow closer to Him. Third, all singers end together on the word "come." This resembles one of the first steps to ultimate peace and fulfillment: coming to Jesus!

June 22, 2014
  1. John Dunstable's  Agincourt Hymn
Today's Postlude is based on an English melody dating from the fifteenth century. The tune is a commemoration of the British army's victory over the French in Normandy about 1415.  The text of Agincourt Hymn concludes with  the words "Deo gracias" or "Thanks be to God."  Listen for a pompous, stately feel and for a ternary form within the organ registration: trumpets- full organ without trumpets- trumpets. E. Power Biggs shares the following about Dunstables's music: "He was the first to write music of clear and pleasing contours, and we may credit him with the evolution of a melodious style and successful harmonic punctuation of musical sentences."

June 29, 2014
  1. What is A Rigaudon?
Today's Postlude encourages us to be joyful in our faith and is reminiscent of the preceding  Hymn of Dedication, which is a prayer that rests in the promises of God's love, power and presence. The rigaudon is of French descent and was developed during the Baroque period. Its structure includes predictable eight bar phrases within a duple meter.  The style characteristic of the concerto grosso (larger group)  and concertino (smaller group) can be identified within Böhm's dance.  Listen for the difference in dynamics while pondering this thought: Is God calling us to a big challenge within our faith or is God challenging us with a small step? And even more vital; what is our response to the words of our Shepherd, are they joyful like our postlude? 

July 6, 2014
  1. Hymn History: We Gather Together
The author of "We Gather Together" remains unknown, however the background of this text can be traced to the Netherlands in the first quarter of the seventeenth century.   According to William and Randy Petersen, the Dutch at this time were praying for freedom from Spanish oppression and the hymn text was a written statement of proof that victory was almost in sight.  William and Randy Petersen continue stating: "For these Dutch believers, "the wicked oppressing" were the Spaniards, who would "now cease from distressing," because there was no doubt that God should receive the glory for the victory."  And interestingly enough a golden age of prosperity followed for Holland with gifted people like Rembrandt and Leeuwenhoek. Today, as we commemorate the birthday of our country, this hymn encourages us to give thanks and continue to pray for the phenomenal blessing Jesus has for us in the eternal kingdom-a place free from distress and oppression!

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