Monday, September 18, 2006


Most people nowadays like music, though interests on what type vary. Yes, one way or another, we are influenced by music. It has been very popular since ancient times. As an art, a tool and as source of entertainment, music has played those parts well.

As the time passes, music evolves. And new genres of music was born as the times goes by. And ordinary people with no formal music training can enjoy playing and making music nowadays.

Popular music changes, from classical, to folk, to jazz, to rock n' roll, to pop, to R & B… It has continuously, and still, changing.

Though changes are not always for the good. As David Scruton said in his article "The Song Is Ended - analysis of pop music today" published in National Review in September, 2002, "Rhythm machines, synthesizers, and mixing have changed the sound, filling up the holes in the music and making a continues background carpet in place of the measured stepping stones of the twelve-bar blues. But the raw materials are the same. Every now and then someone hits on a melody and finds a group of teenagers to mouth it. Subtract the work of the engineers, however, and the tune will turn out to have been done to death in several previous incarnations."

Sadly, I agree with this guy. Computers has been replacing musicians. And hip-hops are guilty of this. I am not saying that the lowest type of music is the rap and hip-hop R & B and other made by the hip-hop kind. I still appreciate some of their music. But music made by computers are cold. Those who use only computers to create music for the vocals are missing the point in music. Sadly, still, this kind of music is the most popular type nowadays. And music is beginning to be nothing but a technical wizardry. I appreciate more the kind music that are made by true musicians; from bands.

But I have complains, too, in punk rock bands. Again, I am not saying that I don't like punk rock and think of it as the lowest kind of music. But sometimes, punk music has been rather monotonous, simple and noisy. All you need to do this kind of music is a heavily distorted guitar and a fast drumming and rolling drummer, and you have yourself punk rock. However, punk rock has some merits, I have to admit.

To the other type of music, well, I am glad that this kind of music still exists. To other kind of rock, like slow rock, rock n' roll, pop rock and alternative, I have not much complains. Jazz and Blues are still among the highest kind. Pop, well, pop nowadays are mixing with rock or hip-hop, and I prefer the pop that affiliates with rock. Classical maybe old-fashioned but they are still great. Country or folk is fine. Reggae is popular again nowadays, but no complains from me. Well, there are other kinds, more, and I appreciate them, too.

It's still up to you what you think about music, and what kind you prefer. But we should not stop with good music, we should also look into the lyrics. It is positive or negative. Wholesome or evil. Constructive or destructive. And it can sometimes be dangerous. Music is a great gift from God. Music is very influential. Very powerful. And as Spider-Man says, "With great power comes great responsibility."

* * *

I love music. Yes, I listen to most kind of music. Hearing music makes me feel good. Especially, if I am the one who makes the music.

I am blessed to play some musical instruments, and I am thankful for that. But what I really love to play most is the guitar. Acoustic and electric. I love both kinds. And playing with a band or playing alone does not matter to me. I just love all about guitars.

I remembered how I decided to play the guitar. It was years ago, and I was on my late elementary. I prayed a prayer to God. I asked God that if He gave me the talent to play the guitar, I promised to use it for His glory.

Well, after I self-taught myself to play the guitar (after many blisters), I finally found myself one day that I can play the guitar. But I did not stop there, I continue to self-study and practice, and as time goes by, I found myself improving and improving.

Well, I kept my promise to God. I dedicated the talent to Him. For Him first, before personal interest. Though, I also played outside church activities, like in some gigs and in some school activities, but my priorities are on God first. I'm lucky that my band mates also have the same perceptions as mine. Yes, we sometimes play outside church activities, but we put God first.

I'm thankful for my musical gift. For the chances given unto me. And the exposures, yes, I am having more fun playing for the glory of God than if I used it for playing for my personal glory. And I'm thankful for the rewards. Any personal gain or glory I got from my talent, I thank Him.

In the back of my acoustic guitar, I put a sticker to remind me of my promise. It says, "Jesus First. Time, Talent, Treasure" (Matt. 6:33). It reminds me of my promise years ago.

I love playing musical instruments, especially the guitar. And what I love to do, I want to share and dedicate to those I love. And I'm telling you, that any hobbies, interest, works, etc. that we love to do, we should do it for those we love - not for our personal interests. And I hope that at the top of the list of those we love, is the One who loves us so much.

"Jesus First. Time, Talent, Treasure"

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