Music & Time – Reflections on Jeremy Begbie

4 08 2009

One of my biggest musical challenges in recent months has been time. Leading worship from guitar has so many innate challenges, especially for one who is only new to playing an instrument whilst leading. Communicating the lyric melodically through the voice is obviously essential for a worship leader. Combine this with musical direction of a band and team of singers and providing solid rhythmical drive on guitar and there is a definite challenge. At the same time, one is listening to guidance from the Spirit for His plan and direction during a time of worship.

 

Hence my challenge of playing ‘in time’ with the rest of the ensemble, particularly the drummer is evident. Time is so important to music. I have recently been reading through a book by musical theologian Jeremy Begbie called “Resounding Truth – Christian Wisdom in the World of Music.” This book is a ‘must-read’ for anyone interested in music and theology. In his writing, Begbie travels with ease through these two realms, establishing amazing and insightful links between the two. Begbie is quickly developing into a popular commentator on Theology and the Arts and after reading this book it is easy to see why. Begbie focuses one section of his book on time and here are a few quotes that stood out to me about time:

 

“The world is created not in time, but with time; time is a dimension built in to the way things are. And here music comes into its own, for, more than any art form, it is bound up with time, time being part of the sonic order.” (p. 219)

 

And another great biblical idea:

 

“Musical experience, in other words, can serve to remind us of what is arguably a profoundly Christian insight: that time belongs to the very fabric of the good creation to which God is committed, something confirmed and sealed in the life, death, and raising of Jesus Christ” (p. 220)

 

I really enjoyed this comment as it has great links to my recent study on worship languages, particularly the language of Time& Space. God’s endorsement of time as a good part of His creation is evident and puts an understanding and consideration of time into perspective.

 

 

“In any case, what we are driving at should now be clear enough: music can be one of the most powerful and wonderful ways we have of enjoying, discovering, exploring, and interacting with the time and the time patterns God has imprinted in his physical world. And as such, it can play a part in reminding us of the reality and goodness of time (and thus, in turn, of the reality and goodness of physical things in time).” (p. 221)

 

I found these quotes to be great reflections on the importance of time, not just to music, but also in God’s created order.  Let’s be thankful for time when we play, hear and enjoy God’s great gift of music.

 

As for me and my time ‘issues’ – back to the practice room and metronome me-thinks!!!

 

Jeremy Begbie (2007), Resounding Truth – Christian Wisdom in the World of Music (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic)


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22 04 2012
churches

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