December 13, 2010

Creaking Worship, Air Kinnor & Hurdy Gurdy Solos

Please understand I am embellishing this story a little for the purpose of humor. I have taken certain liberties in writing and added in a little (okay, a lot of) hyperbole. This is in no way meant to insult the most awesome worship band on the face of the planet (my church) but rather to draw attention to my complete lack of musical inclination. It also brings attention to my startlingly poor song lyric retention and atrocious audible tone recognition (tone deafness).

I was in church last Sunday and as the pastor wrapped up his sermon and launched right into his closing prayer the worship band took the stage behind him. The guitar player obviously hadn't turned down the gain on his amp so when he picked up his guitar by the neck he apparently struck a chord. WWWUUNNNKKKKK!!! I personally wasn't looking at the time but for a second I thought that (1) The Day of Judgement had come in the form of sonic distortion or (2) someone decided to start playing The Star-Spangled Banner a la Jimi Hendrix circa 1969 (or at least a heavier Jeremy Camp song). It was at about this point where I began to stare into the distance and started daydreaming. After having had an "E" power chord blasted through the amp that was about twenty (20) feet from my head I had totally lost my concentration and digressed from prayer. Not to mention that everyone within a 20 or 30 foot radius of the Peavey PVi Amp had instantly switched from praying for others to praying for healing of their own eardrums and for frayed nerves.

During my daydream which was about worship of God, I started thinking (which is always dangerous and gets me in trouble) about alternative forms of worship. Why don't we see some of the older instruments played for the worship? What comes to mind for me is the Kinnor/Lyre (Harp of David) or perhaps something Medieval like a Hurdy Gurdy? I see that you can actually by a Kinnor on and I find that totally fascinating. It is probably a genuine harp of David too, direct from China. You can also find a rather complete tutorial on this web site:

As for the Hurdy Gurdy...well it has to be seen to be appreciated.

Now I figure we could dress this band up with some vigorous double bass drumming and some major cowbell and you could have a really kickin' rendition of Handel's Messiah or Rock of My Salvation. Or you could have a complete train wreck. More cowbell please. Cowbell anyone?

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music ~Psalm 98:4

Come on people, it didn't say it had to be in tune, it said to make a noise. I can make noises. I can make them really well too. It says to make a noise with the intent of being jubilant in your heart. THAT I can do, make noise for God and be happy doing it. Jubilant noise properly understood in Hebrew was ranan/ורננו and its primitive root means to creak (or emit a stridulous sound), i.e. to shout (usually for joy): rejoice, shout. PEOPLE! I can creak. I creak well. Rejoice and shout too. Let me creak, please! Just don't ask me to sing real well or I'll be heading for the snack table out front to hand out cupcakes and be a muffin cutter.

How about another one of my favorites Psalms...

"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands." ~Psalms 100:1

A joyful noise, Ruwa/הריעו in Hebrew literally: "Raise a shout you!"- to mar (especially by breaking); to split the ears (with sound).

Maybe we could have a section of the in the congregation set aside for those of us who are musically illiterate that want to play air guitar? There could be another area set aside for those of us that can't sing very well or have real poor memory when it comes to lyrics. You know the type (me)-we are really good at singing the chorus boisterously and with bravado and then the unfamiliar verses come up and we just begin mumbling in tune.
AMAZING GRACE, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me...
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

Hhhmmmmm hmm hmmmm hmmmm hmm hmm
uhummmmmmm eemmmmm mmmmm uu mmmm
hmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
[followed by wild gesticulation in a windmill fashion pretending to play guitar or maybe air kinnor?]

Because some of us want to praise God and still fit in with others but have absolutely no musical talent and are completely tone-deaf. Please note I said we, myself included.

I guess it's why I still volunteer for the collection basket :/ make amends for the disaster I cause in my quadrant of church during worship. I figure those around me are just glad to get me out of their area so other people will stop staring back in their direction wondering how a howling dog got into church.

I'm thinking now, after having proofread this, that maybe it was all just a product of sleep deprivation from studying nonstop and cramming for my Greek final which was the next day? Perhaps I should just stick to interpretation and writing?

Well, off I go to play air kinnor and continue creaking...

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