I finally picked up my guitar and started playing it intentionally. Learning new chords , strumming patterns and how to play my favorite songs is such a wonderful experience. Fingers may hurt at the beginning but you will be just fine after a couple of practice sessions if you are thinking of trying it.
When you are learning how to play a song on any instrument, you put most of your focus on the chord progressions . On the guitar , more attention is payed on the chord transitions and strumming patterns. It’s how you grow in it . The lyrics to the song may jump in later when you are reaching the successful level .
While at it , I have been getting deep into the stories behind some of my favorite songs and understanding what every word means. Discovering that most hymns were originally written as pieces of poetry or letters has been fascinating .There is so much behind the lovely melodies we enjoy every day. This slowly brought me to the conversation on melodies, lyrics and worship music .
First of all , music is generally vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion. To many , music helps in expressing their emotions.
Melody is a linear sequence of notes the listener hears as a single entity. The melody of a song is the foreground to the backing elements and is a combination of pitch and rhythm. Sequences of notes that comprise melody are musically satisfying and are often the most memorable part of a song.
The reason that melody is so important is because it is the part of a song that people will remember.
There is clearly no arguing with experts that the melody, that famous sequence of musical tones or notes, is the most important part of any song. Lyrics come close at second place .
Each Sunday as we come together to worship the Lord, music frames our services. It serves some distinct purposes in our lives and especially within our Christian tradition. Melody and harmony bring us together in a unique way.
Music that honors God will cause our hearts to sing. And when our hearts sing, worship happens. Singing is the highest form of human expression and it’s well advocated for in the Bible.
The role of music in worship is biblical. After escaping from the Egyptians and crossing the Red Sea, the people of Israel sang a song to the Lord. Speak to “one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord” Ephesians 5:19 clearly states.
On Hillsong Worship’s 2016 movie , worship leader Taya Smith speaks on how enormous the responsibility of a worship leader is .Its such a serious undertaking, and a high calling.
She says ‘Some people don’t know how to Worship God or they have not encountered him before .Sometimes all they need is someone to lift their hands for them’ . She speaks on lifting hands as a sign of surrender and standing in the gap for all those who need more revelation on worship during a service.
At its best, worship music should be all about God. In worship, one role of music is to help express emotion. It’s a two-way exchange of feelings.
It explains why songs like The Blessings by Kari Jobe and Cody Cranes or Too Faithful by Moses Nliss have been held dearly this year . Oceans by Hillsong Worship remains a huge hit because of its instrumentation, arrangement and on top of the list , it’s lyrical weight .
It resonates with every person who spares a moment to let it sink in their hearts . People just get lost in worship when they listen or experience such songs anywhere.
Music allows the songwriter to connect with the listener, affecting a person’s mood or spiritual energy. Worshiping through music , for me , is like reading the Bible with a piano playing in the background. It’s connecting with God through words and melodies.
Speaking of words , can we talk about the importance of the lyrics in a song?
We all appreciate the value of a well-written song because it allows you to truly connect with the lyrics. They matter because they have the influence to bring a change and impact your life negatively or positively. If the songwriter’s lyrics are relatable they will resonate with you and become therapeutic. It’s very natural sometimes
If written powerfully the lyrics can refresh the memory of the past and will tell a story of the songwriters’ thoughts. The amazing grace or what a friend we have in Jesus , even though they weren’t written entirely as pieces of music, share the songwriter’s thoughts on something they were experiencing.
As a consumer of music, sometimes its good to be aware of the meaning or purpose of the song. A deeper understanding, beyond the synthesizers opens up our minds to the different aspects and realities explored by the song writer.
Three wooden crosses by Randy Travis is a an example . While it contains a great country music instrumental , the story written in the song is touching. Deborah Evans Price, of Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, calling it a “beautifully written tale of faith and redemption.”
You will have to pay more attention, away from the melodies for you to understand the story of the farmer ,teacher, hooker and the preacher. Here , lyrics is king .
It’s so easy to get blown away by melodies that we miss the sincere prayers that might resonate with us in some songs. While Oceans , for example , has an intimate tone and will surely grasps your heart , its a whole prayer that reiterates on the Spirit leading us where our trust is without borders based on the story of Peter walking on water .
To be honest, I have been blown away with melodies so many times . It could be because I love getting the nitty gritty of the whole song . These days , I intentionally google the lyrics of a particular song and I am certainly enjoying it . I am discovering well written prayers turned into songs that resonate with me .
Now I am more interested in the value that is placed on the lyrics of a new song as opposed to the general “sound” that the song lies on . Music in worship gives us the vocabulary and actions to express praise and worship to God , a role that is rarely highlighted on. The Golden Bells , for example, is a whole prayer book in it’s own way . While it gives the believers a common bond of music , the songs in it resonate with individuals differently.
When you want to pray but you lack the words, you can sing to God that song that completely speaks your mind. It’s a wonderful way of connecting with God , praising and Worshipping him with songs .You can also pray through the scriptures. If you ever lack the strength to do any of the above , I want you to rest with an assurance from Romans 8.26. That In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words
As usual, I have tagged three songs below. Don Moen’s I will sing is a prayer to God , assuring him that even in our darkest nights we will still sing and praise him . It can be a very hard song to sing while in moments of affliction, but the thought of God listening to your sincere cries while singing to him is worth it .
Peace in the storm by Sinach is relatively new but it’s such a wonderful song . While it may not be a global hit like Way Maker , it’s a well written piece with a great melody that can calm you down . On top of the melody is a well written piece about God’s nature . He is the peace in our storms.
Wanishangaza is by Kenyan sensation Eunice Njeri. I once posted the lyrics on my Facebook page and it clearly resonated with most people around there . A mix of English and Swahili, Wanishangaza is that song that you sing when you look back at God’s faithfulness in your life . It’s a confession on how God’s work and miracles are amazing.
Thank you for reading.