Different Voices is a quarterly magazine about church music in Scotland. It is for all those who sing in choirs, congregations and praise groups, play organs or other instruments, and all who plan, lead and choose music and hymns for worship.
Having launched our video special in the last issue, here is another selection of treasures for you! This month’s theme is ‘the power of music’ and looks at how music is a fundamental part of being human, and how it has the power to change lives both individually, and nationally.
Inside this issue we have a wide range of articles to point you towards people, events and musical offerings that will hopefully resource and inspire you.
Mark Cameron is back with another insightful album review; Clarsach player Eildh Munro shares a bit about her fantastic musical gifts and how they might be of use to your church; Robin Hill reports on the Heart and Soul Swing Band; and Russell McLarty explores how to manage conflict whilst making changes in worship. Further into the magazine you can feast your eyes on contributions from Noel O’Regan, Seonaid Knox, and Irene Bom telling us about the Wode Partbooks, Heart and Soul event and a new musical creation ‘Send us a friend’.
Last of all Jane Bentley rounds things off with some jaw dropping YouTube videos that simply must not be missed. Check it out!
First three videos which point towards our instinctive musicality
Bobby McFerrin came to fame through his 80s hit ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’, but has since forged a career turning his vocal range to classical, jazz, and religious music. In this now legendary video, he enables an audience to spontaneously reinvent the pentatonic scale, in front of some very impressed neurologists.
Heading more towards the origins of music now, with a video which claims ‘There is no movement without rhythm’ – following the activities and culture of the Malinke people in West Africa, where rhythm pervades the most everyday tasks, and is inseparable from daily life – it’s slightly longer at nearly 11 minutes, but every one of them a fascinating window on to another way of life.
There is no movement without rhythm
Just to prove that you’re never too young, or old, to be affected by music, here is a couple of entries covering both ends of the spectrum.
Firstly, three-year-old Jonathon conducts the 4th movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony displaying real musical understanding – and a powerful argument for why we really shouldn’t sit still in classical concerts.
At the other end of the spectrum, here is a very moving clip about the effects of music on someone near the end of life.
Gladys Wilson seems unreachable at the start, but returns to life through the song ‘Jesus Loves Me’ – hankies at the ready!
If you’re interested, and have the time, here’s another music project having a similar effect for residents in a nursing home, this time involving listening to an iPod.
Finally, a trio of videos looking at music on a bigger scale.
Firstly, a short introduction to the work of Harmony, Hope, and Healing – an exemplary music project work.
Secondly a short story of hope from a wartime trumpeter.
And finally, a whole nation! The Singing Revolution documents how the people of Estonia demonstrated peacefully against Soviet occupation through the medium of song achieving non-violent revolution.
Hope you’re inspired.. if you have any favourites of your own to share, don’t forget to send us your suggestions by email