• Cindy Palin

Instruments are Voices


One of my favourite classes in music studies at RDC was 'music appreciation'. We students were to lay our heads down on our desks and listen to different pieces and pick out each instrument. Sounds slack right? More like profound! If memory serves correct Cheryl Cooney was our Instructor, or did she teach 'Composition'?


I was telling my husband the other night, while driving to the city, why I turned the music down so often. I love music, why wouldn't I have it blaring all the time? But ever since I experienced 'music appreciation' my ears are fine tuned to everything that goes into a song. If the song that comes on the radio appeals to me, there I go......off on an adventure identifying every instrument and their role. If I'm not careful my head would leave the road completely. Same goes for having a conversation with someone, or working on a writing project, while a fantastic song is playing. I can't listen to both stories at the same time. Too many voices are asking for my attention.


Instruments are voices. Each voice has something to say. No one knows this more than a music producer. Craig Learmont, out of Calgary, produced my Christmas Hope Album sometime ago. He had a real gift for taking a melody I had written and telling the story as if that was exactly the way it had come out of my soul. It doesn't always work that way. The story of a song can be told in so many different ways.


As I listened to 'Jesus is Here', which is actually written by Jamie Soles, my 'music appreciation' jumped into play, intentionally identifying each instrument, each part - rejuvenated my heart.


As you listen to these first 15 seconds of the intro, what do you hear? What kind of pattern is the piano playing. Can you identify the time signature? Would you have expected a flute to punctuate the journey?


As I continue to revisit this song over the next few days I will talk more about the story Jamie wrote, and then jump to the music finale, and discuss more of Producer Craig's surprises.


Photography by Jordan Whitfield of #unsplash

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