Once again, I must apologize for the extended time I've gone without posting to this blog. As always, of course, I have a good excuse! ;-) This time it really IS good: I've been putting together a new blog--not to replace this one (how can you replace the irreplaceable?), but to complement it. The new blog is called Songs of Praises (here's the address: http://songsofpraises.blogspot.com/), and it's all about one of the most precious things in life to me: sacred music. The name of the blog is taken from a line in the magnificent hymn Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah: "Songs of praises, songs of praises, I will ever give to Thee . . . " And that's what I aim to do: give praise to our God by sharing with others the wonder and joy of all the great music, composed over the centuries, that reflects or inspires faith in or devotion to Him, or a sincere seeking after Him.
I'm not a musician; I can't read music; I've never studied music theory; and as a singer I can barely carry a tune. Nevertheless, I have passionately loved good music ever since I can remember. In the last few years "build-it-yourself" music technologies like Pandora have increased my knowledge of the sacred music tradition many fold, and my faith and happiness have grown likewise. It would please me so much to help others have the same experience!
Songs of Praises explores hymns, gospel songs, "spirituals," liturgical music, anthems, oratorios, "contemporary" Christian music, and other forms of religious expression set to music. A typical post provides historical background on the piece's writing and composition, including the writer and composer; the text or lyrics of the piece, if any; sheet music and links to one or more videos of the piece's performance, if available; and my own reflections on the piece's meaning and significance. Some posts may focus on the life and works of a particular writer or composer, and others on some theme or passage touched on in many works of sacred music. Often, posts will correspond to holidays or seasons, or other events in the calendar. I hope to post on three or four pieces a month.
Please visit Songs of Praises and let me know what you think--and tell others about it too!