Some of my earliest, happiest childhood experiences centered around music… My mother had a pleasant voice and loved to sing. She taught me basic truths and behaviors through songs. Do you remember these words?… same notes… different songs…
A B C D E F G…
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Bah, Bah Black Sheep, have you any wool?
What I heard had meaning to me… The sounds attached to music ‘pitch, rhythm, meter, dynamics, intervals, chords and harmony’… could make me happy… sad… were funny… or comforting… made me laugh and dance or think and ask questions… a wondrous cacophony of emotion and significance that has definitely shaped me over the years.
I also learned, as I grew and studied, that music had rules. The more I knew about the rules, the easier it was to communicate with others about the process and the product of making music with others. Knowing the rules didn’t make the music. You had to learn the rule, practice the skill, repeat it over and over so that it was second nature (subconscious) to you. That’s when you can count on connecting to the creative forces of UNIVERSAL mind.
Dad could barely carry a tune in a bucket!
I come from a family with six kids. We are all ‘mature’ now…maybe I should stick with ‘ much older ‘… Mom sang to all of us as kids. Good thing, because Dad could barely carry a tune in a bucket! We all liked to sing. We could all hear harmony… notes that were pleasing together. A few years ago, for my Mom’s 95th birthday, we got all six of us together in one spot and at the same time for the first time in 22 years, and we started to sing some of the old songs we used to perform together. About half way through the first verse we realized something was wrong. We had beautiful three part harmony… with no melody line. We all loved singing harmony. We fixed the problem, applied the rule of having a root note in the chord so that the harmony made sense. We laughed about how that could happen so easily and were pleasantly surprised that we ‘still had it’…
One of the rules I learned as I sang in various choirs and groups was to sing out, with enthuuuuusiasm. That way, when you made a mistake, you heard it right away,(frankly so did everyone else) could correct it quickly… and when you were in harmony the sound was beautiful. Harmony actually has a feeling to it. Harmony of live voices is a spiritual experience for me. Listen to the great choirs of the world or the amazing A Capella groups that are everywhere today…Love it.
About a year ago, my brother Les, his son Chris and I recorded a song,Prayer of the Children, originally written about the children of Kosovo by Kurt Bestor. Our version was actually recorded in a bedroom and mixed by my mastermind partner and writing partner, Larry Thompson. The song makes me think too of the countless innocents who are displaced by the Syrian conflict. Thought I would share some ‘harmony’ with you here.
Prayer of the Children
I have experienced time stand still while working in the recording studio. Time-stopping, creative experiences are deeply anchored in the flow from UNIVERSAL Mind through the subconscious to the conscious. Those are moments of profound harmony.
When Truth meets Truth,
there you will find HARMONY
I have spent large portions of my life seeking, creating and enjoying harmony. I have also spent portions of my life in disharmony… feeling bad…not playing well with others…I sometimes learned the hard way that Truth doesn’t conform to your way of thinking. You must come into harmony with the truth you know. Haanel teaches in 12:9: ‘You cannot change the Infinite, but you can come into an understanding of natural laws… a conscious realization of your ability to adjust your thought faculties with the Universal Thought…’
Someone once said, “You don’t break the Ten Commandments, you break yourself against them.”
When two truths meet they form Harmony. They resonate and strengthen each other. Our opportunity is to come into harmony with the truth. Integrity is largely internal unity between what you know and what you do. Sounds like HARMONY to me…
May our service to others lead us to greater Harmony in 2016 and well beyond.
Live well while doing good.