Tag Archives: Music

Ode to Joy

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To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here Ludwig van Beethoven is back in the news – an impressive feat, given the fact that he died almost 200 years ago. Historians have long wondered why the composer was afflicted by so many chronic illnesses. During the last half of his life he suffered the gradual loss of his hearing… Read more »

The Art of the Struggle

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To listen to today’s reflection as a podcast, click here Great musicians write killer songs. One of history’s greatest musicians wrote a composition that almost “kills” those who are courageous enough to try to play it. We’re talking about Ludvig van Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata, arguably the ultimate piano masterpiece from the man who almost singlehandedly defined the technical possibilities of the keyboard.  Beethoven wrote 32… Read more »

Good and Beautiful Gifts

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To listen to this reflection as a podcast, click here During a memorable episode of his long-running radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor recounts a quarrel in his fictional hometown of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota. It isn’t a garden variety disagreement.  The local pastors have had a serious falling out.  The very souls entrusted with bringing peace, unity, and purity to the… Read more »

Colossians 3:16

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To listen to this reflection as a podcast, click here. Every day during this season of Lent we’re looking at one of the “3:16” verses of the Bible, spotlighting some of the significant theological statements that happen to fall on the 16th verse of the third chapter of a number of Old and New Testament books.  “Let the message of Christ dwell among… Read more »

Something Beautiful

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Ugliness can give birth to beautiful things. It’s difficult to overstate the ugliness of the Caribbean sugar cane plantations of the 18th and 19th centuries.  African slaves were forced to work in brutal conditions so middle-class Europeans could spoon sugar into their cups of coffee and tea.  The slaves clung to as much of their indigenous culture as they could.  That included… Read more »

Finding Our Way Home

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In the musical The Sound of Music, the Von Trapp children beg Fraulein Maria to teach them how to sing. She insists that it’s easy.  She introduces the basics of harmony, rhythm, and tonality – the building blocks of Western music for the past thousand years.  Maria teaches the notes that make up the classic octave.  We begin at Do. … Read more »