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Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Storms and Songs

The following excerpt from my devotional, “Streams in the Desert” spoke to my heart, and I would like to share it with everyone. May it be a source of encouragement.

“There are some natures that only a tempest can bring out. I recollect being strongly impressed on reading the account of an old castle in Germany with two towers that stood upright and far apart, between which an old baron stretched large wires, thus making an Aeolian harp. There were the wires suspended, and the summer breezes played through them but there was no vibration. Common winds, not having power enough to move them, split and went through them without a whistle. But when there came along great tempest winds, and the heaven was black, and the air resounded, these winds, with giant touch, swept through the wires, which began to sing and roar, and pour out sublime melodies. So God stretches the cords in the human soul which under ordinary influences do not vibrate; but now and then great tempests sweep them through, and men are conscious that tones are produced in them which could not have been produced except by some such storm-handling.”

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I found the following article to be quite interesting. I believe most people would agree that there is an inherent power in music. It is used in almost every facet of life, from advertising, media, social gatherings to praise and worship. The influence of music is undeniably real. In the Bible, it mentions that when an evil spirit troubled King Saul, it was David, the shepherd boy who played his harp for the King, who was refreshed, and the evil spirit departed from him (1 Samuel 16:23). Another example is found in 2 Chronicles 20:21-25. The dreaded Ammonites were coming against King Jehoshaphat and the children of Judah with a mighty army. King Jehoshaphat was afraid, but he did the right thing. He proclaimed a fast and then turned to God and prayed and sought God’s help. The next day, instead of fighting in a battle, King Jehoshaphat appointed singers to praise the beauty of holiness. And as they began to sing and praise God, The Lord set ambushments, and their enemies ended up destroying each other! The battle was won for Judah without them even lifting a sword. They won by singing God’s praises! I can’t begin to tell you the times in my life where music has lifted my spirits. So is it any surprise that music, especially the kind that praises and worships God, might have healing power? What think ye?

By KAREN MATTHEWS, Associated Press WriterSat May 31, 9:17 AM ET

Noted neurologist Oliver Sacks has found common ground with the pastor of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church: Both men believe in the healing power of music.

Sacks, the best-selling author of “Awakenings” and “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” was to share the church stage Saturday with the famed gospel choir as part of the inaugural World Science Festival, a five-day celebration of science taking place in New York this week.

“It should be an exciting and unusual event,” Sacks said in an interview this week. “I will talk about the therapeutic and beneficent power of music as a physician, and then their wonderful choir will perform. … And the audience will make what they can of it.”

Sacks’ most recent book is “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain,” which examines the relationship between music and the brain, including its healing effect on people suffering from such diseases as Tourette’s syndrome, Parkinson’s, autism and Alzheimer’s.

“Even with advanced dementia, when powers of memory and language are lost, people will respond to music,” he said.

A Baptist church is an unusual venue for Sacks, a professor of clinical neurology and clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center who was brought up Jewish but is not a religious believer.

But the central role of music in church makes Abyssinian a good place to discuss the myriad ways that music affects the human brain, said Sacks, who was played by Robin Williams in the movie version of “Awakenings.”

Abyssinian’s pastor, the Rev. Calvin O. Butts III, said the choir is looking forward to performing with Sacks. He noted that music plays a central role in the healing power of prayer.

“What we have been studying … is that when you pray, there’s actually a physiological change in the body,” he said. “Music is very much a part of this. There are certain notes that generate in the human body a kind of peacefulness.” Click Here to read the rest of this article.

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