Sunday, September 07, 2008
The spirituality of music
My writing of late has been a little scarce, I will try to get back into it again.
I have some seed thoughts about music. Simply put, the voice is the most basic and primitive form of music. It is when the voice is stretched and abnormal frequencies are made that the building blocks of music are created. I have no doubt that the most ancient and primitive forms of music were voice only. Rhythm would have followed next, followed by impromptu percussion. But already in the primitive growth of music, percussion and rhythm were accompaniment for singing.
Later on, many discoveries would have been made that created various frequencies, not unlike singing. I wonder then if early instrumentation was not then a mimicry of singing. The development of instrumentation is a means of embellishing the environment for the voice.
True, much music is now completely absent of voice altogether. But in many ways this music is searching for deep gutteral ways to articulate what words fall short of doing. Words can be mistakingly seen as synonymous with voice, but they merely overlap.
Instrumentation is a wonderful thing and I enjoy it. It enables a musician to express themself, in the security of the "other" without necessarily shining a spotlight on the soul. But I find the voice the most naked and vulnerable of musical expressions, one that can never be truly matched by a musical instrument.
The voice expresses the deepest yearnings of the soul. We all have a voice, and whether we admit it or not, we can all sing (even if we do not want others to hear us!). When we sing out loud we open our soul up to breathe and we can call out to the deep. When we direct our singing towards the Creator God, it can become the purest of prayers, especially if we don't know the words, but simply sing.
Give it a try, open your mouth and sing out loud to your Creator. He just might answer you.