Music Matters

Sweeney Todd once

I was once again reminded this weekend about the power of music. Its ability to tap into the emotional domain of a person is uncanny, stirring the heart and soul in places that would otherwise go untouched.

Two films viewed this weekend built around song were Sweeney Todd (in theatres) and Once (DVD new release). Both of these movies were very different, yet beautiful in their own right.

Now the issue is this: the stories of these films could have been easily communicated solely through moving image and speech. However, in adding the music it somehow opens soul-like doors into the emotions of the characters. Somehow you can actually feel what they are feeling…and like a divine being is able to read a person’s mind, you are able to read their heart.

In some ways, music can make the listener more “god-like.”

So what role can. or should. music play in the teaching or preaching of God’s story? I am not just talking about a preliminary worship set before a “talking head,” but the use of musical compositions woven throughout a sermon.

The key to effective communication is tapping into the heart of the listener. If music can be one of those essential keys, than how can it be better utilized as an integrative part of the medium sending the message?

  • Will we one day have worship leaders who not only conduct their trendy music set before a sermon, but actually write musical scores for the sermon and story to follow?
  • We say we want our people to have the right orthodoxy (right thinking) and the right orthopraxy (right acting), but what about their orthopatheia (right feelings)? Is it time to be more strategic here?

    ~ by Dave Smith on January 2, 2008.

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