Harmony

So call me old-fashioned.

Tell me it’s because I’m fifty.

Point to the gray I see in the mirror every day.

 

I Love Harmony

 

I grew up with it. I couldn’t WAIT until I could find that third part with some degree of accuracy so I could sing with Dad and Mom. When my voice started falling out of the 1st soprano range I had in elementary school I snagged alto and hung on for dear life. But it didn’t last long, and I soon found myself listening for how tenors did things so I could keep singing while my voice decided where it was going to land. Friends in church let me stand by them and learn to sing tenor, so I was able to stay in choir as a Jr-higher, only as a tenor now, instead of a boy-soprano. By High-School I was a bass. I still am. Working to keep my upper register free and natural as a choir director and worship leader has been worth the effort through the years. By rights, though – I’m a bass.

 

But it’s not just that I know all four parts, though I didn’t sing the middle two very long.

I Love Harmony

To me it’s one of the best examples around of how the body of Christ ought to function: Different parts. Different melody lines. Different rhythms. Different volumes. Sometimes even different words, working and moving together under the direction of one who loves a beautiful sound, to bring a smile to all who hear, God-above most of all. The things we learn in blending harmonies together transfer very easily to working together at church.

 

 

Really— I Love Harmony —did I mention that already?

 

I love today’s Christian music too, there are some wonderful things being written and sung right now, and I especially enjoy those with some vocal harmonies (Have you clicked “play” on Abide in Me to the right?  You should.  Some nice vocal harmonies there).  Many, however,  just don’t have harmonies a typical person can sing. Ever notice that?   I miss it.   Songs written with intentional harmony give a guy like me the freedom to sing along on another part when the melody’s just too high for a bass to hold on. Can’t do that as much anymore.  Tell me it’s not just because I’m getting old.  Cuz I’m not.   (Am I?)

—PLR—

 


8 Replies to “Harmony”

  1. Sharla

    Great post. Great thoughts. I agree with this. Each person is so gifted, that when working together, it is truly beautiful to the eyes, to the ears, to the soul.

    I love your flicker photos. I’m going to go see the others you have…

    : )
    Shar

  2. Jonell

    Phil,

    Funny how when you’ve been raised on “harmony” the song doesn’t seem complete without it! I’m like you, I like those songs on which I can harmonize. I would have liked to hear your soprano voice when you were young. 😉 Who did you stand next to in church to learn to sing tenor? I stood by my Mom and my sister! The hardest part once I learned to hear harmony, was when the alto note stayed on the same note for 3 or 4 measures! BORING!!!! Even today Rick and I sing harmony along with the radio or the CD when we are traveling.

    Wish yesterday morning at church could have more harmonious for us, but it was one of those mornings that a few things went wrong and I had to keep saying to myself, “I’m doing this for you, Lord.” and I had to keep praying to keep my attitude right. We will continue to strive for harmony — not only in our music, but also in our actions and our words.

    Thanks for your well-timed thoughts on this subject. Okay, you and I both know God’s timing was perfect as always.

    Jonell

  3. Phil

    hmmmm…tenor? let me think
    that was a WHILE ago!)

    My favorite place (at Aurora Bible Church) was sitting with Clyde, Don(nie) and Brian. Now and then we’d sit in front of Les and Nancy, Joanie and her sister Nancy were usually nearby too. This was risky because they were Clide & Don’s older siblings and didn’t mind finger-thunking us during the sermon when our attention wandered off somewhere. 😉 Joanie was an excellent alto and Les had (has) a smooth, followable tenor voice. Clyde and Don were excellent singers and I could start out on soprano until we started snickering at my cracking voice. I’d move to alto then experiment with tenor. I truly learned by doing.

    I remember visiting friends at Calvary Memorial (LONG before I went there as youth and music pastor), standing next to my good friend Merlin, and singing a rousing gospel hymn Sound the Battle Cry for all we were worth. He sang Bass, I went for the tenor, (of course there were Webers everywhere in that congregation, and others who harmonized well – it sounded wonderful!). I belted out my part, “giving it all” as we sang and worshiped. I felt like a million bucks when we finished the song and sat down, Merlin said under his breath. “MmmmmHMM! Bet the Lord’s smilin’ at THAT one!”

    Wow, the memories!

    When we moved to Gothenburg there was a whole row of guys at Tallin and we loved the song service!
    Donald-Lee, Craig and I took turns rotating between melody and Bass (always spell Bass with a capital B!), Joe sang tenor, his younger brother Mark was a powerful alto. And that was just the guys!

  4. Jonell

    YOu wrote:

    (always spell Bass with a capital B!)

    Is that to distinguish between the the lowest pitch or range — compared to — the numerous edible, spiny-finned, freshwater or marine fish? 😉

    If that’s not the reason why, then would ya spend a few minutes and explain your reasoning?!?

    Jonell

  5. Phil

    Only one reason. Rumor has it God has a sign He keeps on the floor next to Him, and when we sing spirited and fast-paced songs, He often holds it up where we can see. It says

    MO’ BASS 😀

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