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It really is a good question.

Music is a good in itself, because it channels the creative energy which God has put inside our hearts.  It changes noise and vibration reverberating inside empty tubes, flat wooden sticks, long strings and on top of thin, flat surfaces.  It makes those noises into a sound which is not only pleasing to the ears, but pleasing to the soul.

rockerMusic takes loud banging which is made with specific time intervals, and turns it into rhythm.

Music is a mysterious power which we all understand, but really don’t understand all at the same time.

And so the question stands up for itself – what should we use it for?

I believe music can and should be used to change our communities for the better.

Science, Music, and New Ideas

Great thinkers in the scientific world are praised when they ask questions which have never been asked.  And more importantly, when they find answers which have never been found.  New applications.  New uses for mankind.

With music, it really is the same thing.  Music doesn’t ask questions through facts or evidence.

Though it is still curious, the same.

Music asks questions through emotion.  And its answers are found in our feelings.  Through music, we communicate with each other across language barriers and socioeconomic barriers.

And music has the ability to ask new questions and find new answers.

#Music asks questions through #emotion. Click To Tweet

Music in America

American culture is imported globally today, but it did not start that way.

After the civil war, we began asking the question if we could continue to survive together as a nation.  We asked what pains we suffer through.  We started to answer those questions with bluegrass in the south and the midwest.  We spoke of love and tradition and the perseverance of our spirits.

trumpetAnd later on, a different form, a different question, came on scene in the deep south.  The blues.  And man, was it blue.  We experienced love and loss, pain and hopelessness, and divisive racism.  And we suffered sweetly with soulful strings.

The blues and the bluegrass came together later on, and became rock and roll.  It was loud and powerful.  We were asking about revitalization and a newness of spirit.

And in New Orleans and Kansas City, we spoke jazz.  It was spontaneous, cool, and smooth.  Jazz made us put on our sideways berets and play stand up bass with new scales.  We were living out a good life.  The Count showed us the way with Ella, Miles, and Ol’ Frankie Blue Eyes.

In the Northwest, we tore our jeans when we became disillusioned.  Alternative rock came from our hands and voices like a dying swan – beautiful and filled with sorrow.  And isn’t it ironic?… And yeah, I really do think…

Both coasts took R&B which was developing and brought in hip-hop, rap.  NWA spoke of the violence, pain, and foolishness of our people.

We spoke #jazz. It was spontaneous, cool, and smooth. Click To Tweet
Not every genre of American music is listed here, not by a long shot, but with every phase of our society, the music asked new questions and communicated new answers.

Creativity for Change

playing guitarIt’s through these major movements in American society that we can see that people’s creativity certainly changes communities.

New rhythms, new instruments, new styles.  All these things added together, and you’ve got a different story.  And when the people listen, they begin to sing along.

It’s no coincidence that each genre of music began regionally before it expanded nationally and sometimes globally.  The people in those areas were experiencing creativity in a very specific way – specific to their experiences, specific to their collective emotions and moods.

And through their music, they changed the course of history.

Music and Your Community

So finally, we ask the real question – how can you change your community through music?

What are the issues your community faces?  Apathy?  Hedonism?  Violence?  Crime?  Gentrification?  Unemployment?  Continued racism?  Drugs?  Breakdown of the family?  Identity crises?  Mental Health?

Use your music to speak to the people.  Ask the right questions, and offer comfort, solace, understanding through your emotive answers.

Lift up the people, make them aware, and speak the truth with rhythm and melody.

God has given you a very wonderful and curious gift – music.  Worship God with it, and help the people to see God through it.


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