Skip to content

Reflections Of The Winter NAMM Music Trade Show Anaheim Ca. January 2016

The National Association Of Music Merchants (NAMM) held it’s annual trade show last weekend…

 

The art of a hand hammering a cymbal

The art of  hand hammering a Sabian cymbal to perfection! Just give this gentleman a tree stump, a hammer and a raw cymbal!

 It was at the Anaheim Convention Center and surrounding hotels January 21st – 24th 2016. This years trade show was the largest in NAMM’s 115 year history with 125 countries and regions represented from around the world! Every music related product you can think of was on display, with a record of 1,700+ exhibitors showcasing 6,000 brands of great musical products to attendee’s from around the globe.

I’m always amazed by the carnival atmosphere generated by the vibe of this four day music love fest…

It’s not because Disneyland is just across the street, but the sights, sounds and smell make this a music lover’s paradise with instruments of all genres of the music industry on display. Every vendor’s booth showcases their beautiful musical instruments, tempting each attendee to not only have an up close look, but to touch, lust and play to your heart’s content (or at least until the convention doors close at 6:00 pm!)

The NAMM trade show is is not open to the general public, only NAMM members with a ticket and a valid ID will get you in the door…

A NAMM ticket in is always a hot commodity, so for those who weren’t fortunate to make it to this year’s 2016 Winter NAMM, here’s a few picture highlights of some unique musical instruments from the event!

IMG_20160124_134929_295

Different sized djembes when mounted around a rack can make for a unique sounding drum set!


IMG_20160124_131247_415

Mid-East Manufacturing introduces a new line of Tongue Drums!

IMG_20160124_132846_620

The world’s largest djembe? Ask Tycoon Precussion.

IMG_20160124_124935_006

The Gu Zheng, from China, offers beautiful harp-like tones!

The Benefits Of Music Therapy For Autistic Children – Article From The Nurse Journal

By Brittney Wilson BSN, RN

 

Understanding Autism

Autism can usually be noticed within the first three years of our lives and is recognized as a highly complex disability that affects development of our social, verbal and cognitive abilities. This disorder can affect the way that we communicate with other people, and although there are similarities between different cases of autism, it’s difficult to narrow down a specific sign of cause or symptom.

Approximately one in sixty-eight of Americans will have a form of autism, and it is not something that we can outgrow, although being diagnosed early means that there is a better chance for treatment.

Autism Association of America
National Autism Association
Autism Treatment Center of America
American Autism Association
Educating Children About Autism in an Inclusive Classroom (PDF)

How Music Can Make a Difference

One of the reasons that music has quickly become a tool used in autism therapy is that it can stimulate both hemispheres of our brain, rather than just one. This means that a brain can use a song or instrument to support cognitive activity so that we can build self-awareness and improve relationships with others. Music encourages communicative behavior and can encourage interaction with others, which is something that autistic children have great difficulty with.

If we look closely at the way that a band works, it is obvious that the instruments must all interact with one another, but the player only needs to interact with the instrument at first. For children dealing with autism, interacting with others can be difficult, but through introducing an instrument to their therapy, they may bond first with the object and then open up to others interacting with their instruments as well.

Music and Autism Research
How Music Therapy Helps Learners with ASD
Autism Science Foundation
American Music Therapy Association Fact Sheet (PDF)

Listening and Singing Support

Our interpretation of music, both in lyrics and in sound can greatly assist in teaching us to communicate. For children with autism, this could mean learning a new word from a song, or better understanding how to act in a social situation based on the messages that a song is expressing. We know that autism can create barriers for children in social settings, but small groups of children listening to music together may feel confident and comfortable enough to comment or sing along with others. Dancing exercises can also help to stimulate our sensory systems, and allow us to enhance fine motor skills.

The Voice of The Child Behind Autism (PDF)
Listening, Dancing, and Singing
Motivating Autistic Children
Singing for Autism
Deep Soul Singing for Autism

Early Intervention Studies

Studies of early intervention have shown that if we learn together with our autistic children through gentle play, fun musical activities, and non-invasive games then we can create a supportive environment where parents and children can bond in a healthy way. The reason that we use music therapy is to help our autistic children learn to relate to us and to others; other family members may be invited to participate after children become accustomed to one on one sessions. Aside from the sensory of dance, verbal advancement of lyrics and the social dynamic of learning an instrument, rhythm can help to motivate impulsive play time that involves our entire brains and body as one.

Early Intervention
Review of Early Intervention Processes
What Our Research Means For Early Intervention (PDF)
Helping Children With Autism

What To Expect in Music Therapy

Music therapy is beneficial to us all, not just our children, and the sessions usually involve crucial communication building exercise as well as relaxing playtime and motivation. Most therapists will give us the chance to develop these new skills slowly by introducing one thing at a time whether it be singing, dancing, listening, or playing our own sounds on an instrument, but each class or program should offer patience, and a safe learning environment.

Music Therapy
What Can I Expect?
Getting To Know Music Therapists
What is Music Therapy

Medical News Today Article – Music Therapy Improves Coping Skills In Young Cancer Patients

marc

A new study has found that a form of music therapy, which involves writing song lyrics and producing videos, is beneficial in helping young cancer patients develop coping skills.

Being diagnosed with and undergoing treatment for cancer can be a very traumatic experience, especially for young people. But fighting to maintain a positive outlook and having strong family and social relationships is known to have a beneficial effect on treatment.

So it is important that distressed adolescents and young adults are able to access support that can promote coping strategies and enhance social interactions while undergoing cancer treatment.

The type of music therapy examined in this study – called Therapeutic Music Video – is designed to help patients reflect on their experiences.

The patients are encouraged to identify what is important to them – whether that be their family, their religion or the relationships they have with friends and the medical professionals treating them.

This reflection occurs through a series of phases in the project, during which patients will make sound and video recordings, and storyboard ideas. The patients are also able to involve their health care providers, friends and family in each step of the process.

At the end of the therapy, the videos made by the patients are shared through video premieres. The therapists think this allows other people – such as their parents and health care providers – to get a better understanding of how the patient feels about their treatments and illness, and also how they feel about the future.

What does the new study say?

The study – which is published in the American Cancer Society’s journal, Cancer – looked at 113 patients undergoing stem cell transplant treatments for cancer, who were aged between 11 and 24. The patients were randomized into either the Therapeutic Music Video group, or a control group that received audiobooks.

A child playing a recorder
Young people who completed the music therapy program coped significantly better during their cancer treatment than patients in a control group.

The researchers found that the young people who had completed the Therapeutic Music Video course were reporting significantly better results for coping. The study also evaluated family environment 100 days after treatment and found that the music therapy group was reporting significantly better results for social interaction.

From the results, the researchers identified several protective factors that promote resilience in young people undergoing cancer treatment. These included spiritual beliefs and practices, a positive and adaptable family environment, and feeling supported by peers and health care providers.

Dr. Joan E. Haase, one of the authors of the study, says that these protective factors influence how young people “cope, gain hope and find meaning in the midst of their cancer journey.”

“Adolescents and young adults who are resilient have the ability to rise above their illness, gain a sense of mastery and confidence in how they have dealt with their cancer, and demonstrate a desire to reach out and help others,” she adds.

As cancer therapies – such as the stem cell transplants that the patients in the study were undergoing – are high-risk, high-intensive cancer treatments, arming young people with positive coping strategies is vital.

Co-author Dr. Sheri L. Robb hopes that the results of this and other similar studies will improve patient access to music therapy programs:

“One of the challenges in health care today is making sure that research findings from studies such as ours are used to inform healthcare practices and service delivery.

One of our team’s next steps is to disseminate findings, train professional music therapists on this intervention, and then conduct an implementation study to examine how the intervention may change as it moves into the standard care setting and whether, in the presence of these changes, patient benefits are maintained.”

Music therapy has also been examined in recent years as an anxiety-reducing treatment for patients on ventilators and as a post-surgery recovery aid.

Written by David McNamee

World Music In Worship – An Article From Worship Leader Magazine


Author: Tom Sullivan

 

“Go into all the world” …

The recent years have produced an interesting phenomenon. We have watched as other nations like China have become the growing Christian movement and to our shame the growing area where missionaries are being deployed – sometimes even to the Unites States. We sometimes forget that whole world outside the United States until we speak of foreign missions. But, for a few of us … maybe we need to look musical foreign missions. Don’t start packing up your guitar to get out before I ask you to go to Africa or Columbia! I’m not talking physically, but musically!

Consider the musical influences of this country over the past 100 years or so and how it has shaped our worship. Slaves brought in gospel and blues was borne out of the south. Elvis Presley shifted early rock and roll to include blues and gospel elements. Musicians from the British Isles made their impact on the American music scene with artists like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Musicians like Tito Puente, Santana, and others brought in the Latin influence, and other musicians have inserted other elements of their cultures. We have become a huge musical melting pot. We can look at how American music utilizing all these forms has truly changed the world and how people live.

In our churches, we have seen some of these influences brought into our music, especially gospel, rock/pop, and the Latin influence, but how far have we used these elements? We do insert pieces of these styles into our own forms of worship but generally we enter only toe deep, choosing to stay in the shallow end. We send missionaries, money, and supplies to foreign countries. We are called to go out into all the world and present the Gospel to people where they are. What if we were to send out worship music in the style of the country receiving it?

This consideration is not for the faint of heart! We tend to remain in our own tonal and stylistic comfort areas. Taking this step will require you to adjust your hearing, preferred styles, focus, and possibly even your instrument.  What if we were to study external influences that so changed our American music and use them to return new worship songs to areas of the world that are Latin, Asian, African, Middle Eastern or otherwise influenced? What if American missionaries could take music that is – dare I use the word “relevant” – into the mission field?

 

Where do we start?…

The harmonium is being used in contemporary worship at many local churches.


Many worship songs already employ elements of other worlds. For example, Afro-Cuban percussion instruments are used in today’s worship teams as a side instrument. We hear the Latin influences in some worship songs and often hear blues, rock or gospel influences. What if we mix elements and nodes that appeal to multiple styles, genres, peoples?

Use in the mission field may require further study. A study of musical modes, scales and styles can help us learn the styles and how to embrace it. Music outside our normal world may use scales we don’t know or play. We may need to adjust instruments, modifying tunings, add something to the instrument to change the sound, or even add a new non-traditional instrument.

When exporting music to the field, we may need to consider instrument availability. Music that uses synths, electric bass, and full drum kit here won’t necessarily be usable in foreign worship. So, we should focus on worship music that can be presented in any form – acoustic or amplified – to meet multiple needs and to allow the electronics to be “additional layers” where available. Stringed instrument players may consider adding non-traditional instruments like Russian Balalaika, Japanese Koto, Zithers, or differently stringed Latin guitar. Wind players might consider wind flutes or pipes, didgeridoos, ocarinas or whistles, and keyboardists could consider melodicas, harmoniums, or accordions. For lyrics, we might start with translation tools, followed by validation of the translation and pronunciation. Also, in many world cultures, songs may include sounds other than words – whistles, humming, clapping, or other sounds.

The more difficult part might be the change in style and thinking. Start with learning the rhythms, styles, modes and scales of each culture. Use these influences in your own music or alter existing music with these influences and then shape new music that will fit world areas. The easiest entry may be into that of Latin influence as it often shares the same instruments and scales and is a large mission area. What influence could we bring to the Middle East if we were able to bring the Christian message to that region in a style they already accept? What if just a handful of those songs reached lost populations and drew them to our God? What if a small group were so impacted by our desire to reach them for our God through our pitiful efforts that they recognized just how valuable and wonderful the Christ must be for us to do this? Would anyone be able to stop them from taking this worship and Christ’s message forward?  What if in singing that music in our local churches helped convert more Hispanics, Asians, Muslims, and others?

The Mridangam is a two headed drum from Southern India.

The Mridangam is a two headed drum from Southern India.

This is not a simple change to us or our ears, and we do not know what the impact could be. It seems likely that a God who would create such a wide range of people could use a well-trained and furnished people to help meet those others where they live. I hope some of you are encouraged to take this new road to expanding your music, and God’s Kingdom, by allowing Him to use you in different ways and expanding your abilities. If you consider God’s leading in this, you may want to start with browsing the internet for sites that provide samples of world music instruments or songs, purchase a soft synth that includes world music samples, or begin a study of musical styles. One useful book is “Contemporary music styles (The worship band’s guide to excellence)” by Bob Barrett and can currently still be found used on sites like Amazon and provides a very nice introduction to other styles. God has called us all to worship Him and has provided many languages and styles to do so. Pick your language and style and worship the Great I Am!

 

Tom Sullivan lives and worships in the Richmond, Virginia area. He enjoys writing and arranging, and has played trumpet, bass, keyboards, and percussion over the years. Tom is a member of ASCAP, has written for the CCLI.com Worship Corner, and is thankful for a forgiving, gracious God.

 

 

The Birth of the Ukulele – Ukulele Magazine Article On The Origin Of This Unique Stringed Instrument

By Sandor Nagyszalanczy

The Birth of the Ukulele

 

“When did the Hawaiians invent the ukulele?” a friend of mine asked as I was giving her a tour of my collection of 430-plus vintage ukes…

The belief that Hawaii lays sole claim to the ukulele—the instrument that would seem to have grown up over centuries in relative obscurity among the descendants of the Polynesians—is a widely held misconception, and one that I’ve often been obliged to dispel. In fact, I informed her, the earliest ukes only date back to the mid-1880s. Then, pausing for effect, I added: “And they weren’t invented by the Hawaiians.” Looking like a six year old who has learned that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, my confused friend furrowed her brow and considered the ukuleles hanging on my wall anew. True, the actual history of the ukulele begins on an island, but not one in the Hawaiian chain, nor one in the Pacific Ocean, for that matter. Madeira, a small mountainous speck of land in the Atlantic southeast of Madeira, about a 350-mile swim from the coast of North Africa, is the actual birthplace of the beloved uke.

Not unlike the Hawaiian Islands, Madeira has a tropical climate and is part of a volcanic archipelago. The heavily forested island (Madeira means “wood” in Portuguese) once had a thriving timber industry and a long history of furniture making. But it’s probably best known for Madeira wine, the fortified, sherry-like beverage that became popular because it didn’t spoil on long sea voyages. Grape growing and wine making have been a staple industry there since the 16th century. 

Two centuries ago, Madeira was also a popular tourist spot for European visitors who were drawn to its picturesque landscapes and exotic flora. Visitors were often entertained by music played in the streets of Funchal, the island’s bustling port city. Because there were no encased windows on the houses in this hot climate, it must have been difficult to not hear strains of music, both day and night. Local musicians strummed waltzes, mazurkas, and folk tunes on the Spanish guitar and a small, guitar-like, four-string instrument called the machête (pronounced “ma-CHET”), also known as the braguinha or the “machéte de Braga” after the city in northern Portugal where the instrument originated.

Unfortunately, by the mid 1800s, Madeira wasn’t such a great place to be. Poverty, famine, and a series of natural disasters that led to the collapse of the wine industry made the island a better place to escape from than to. Scores of unemployed Madeirans sought to leave their overcrowded homeland and launch a new life elsewhere. It just so happened that as things were going wrong in Madeira, life was flourishing half a world away, in the Sandwich Islands—as the Hawaiian Islands were commonly known then—where the sugar industry was booming.

In 1874, Hawaiian planters shipped 25 tons of sugar to the mainland alone. But there was a problem: After decades of European colonization and introduced diseases, the native population was in decline, so there weren’t enough workers to man the plantations and factories. Desperation led planters to a worldwide search for labor, a search that eventually reached the Portuguese islands. Madeiran officials had no trouble finding men and women who were willing to sign three-year contracts to labor in the fields. In addition to wages of $6 to $10 a month, indentured emigrants would be provided room and board, as well as sailing passage to their new Pacific promised land.

Among the more than 25,000 Madeirans who came to Hawaii in the late 1800s, there were three woodworkers from Funchal: 40-year-old Manuel Nunes, 37-year-old Augusto Dias, and 28-year-old Jose do Espirito Santo. Joined by their families, the men packed aboard the 220-foot-long British clipper ship SS Ravenscrag, and embarked on the arduous four-month-long, 12,000 mile ocean journey to Oahu. Little did they know that this new adventure would not only bring them prosperity, but would lead to the creation of a new instrument.

Manuel Nunes, Maderian woodworker and one of the pioneers of the Hawaiian ukulele

The poor, sea-weary immigrants finally arrived in Honolulu Harbor on a quiet Saturday in August of 1879. No sooner had they docked, when one of the passengers, an accomplished musician named Joao Fernandes, launched into a joyous song and dance to celebrate the ship’s safe arrival. Fernandes, a talented player who could reel off any song he’d heard only once, performed on a machête borrowed from a fellow passenger. He had also entertained the passengers during the long sea voyage, plucking out each song’s melody while the strumming the chords. Evidently, he wasn’t the only one who could play the instrument. Just a couple of weeks after the Ravenscrag’s arrival, the following item ran in the Hawaiian Gazette on September 3, 1879: “…Madeira Islanders recently arrived here have been delighting the people with nightly street concerts. The [m]usicians are fine performers on their strange instruments, which are a kind of cross between a guitar and a banjo, but which produce very sweet music in the hands of the Portuguese minstrels.”

Nunes, Dias, and Santo went to work on sugar plantations on Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai. After they’d fulfilled their contractual obligations, all three headed straight for Honolulu, the kingdom’s capital and center of commerce, with the ambition of returning to their former professions in woodworking. Fortunately for them, Honolulu had a flourishing furniture trade at the time, with more than a dozen local woodworking businesses. Nunes and Santo got jobs at Hawaii’s largest furniture store, the Pioneer Furniture House. Dias set up his own small woodworking shop in 1884, settling in Honolulu’s seedy, low-rent Chinatown district. He made not only furniture, but also musical instruments.

Within a year, Nunes had opened his own shop just three blocks away and both Diaz and Nunes were advertising their businesses in the local newspapers. Dias described himself as a “maker of guitars, machêtes, and all stringed instruments.” Nunes announced his business as a “cabinetmaker’s shop of stringed instruments, guitars and machêtes.”

A machete made on the island of Madeira by Octavianno Joao Nunes da Paixao (1812–1874), one of Madeira’s most accomplished instrument makers

Santo soon followed suit, opening his shop just a few doors down from Nunes.

In addition to building instruments, all three eked out a living by reselling commercially-made instruments, doing repair work, selling strings, and so on. Dias even gave music lessons.

How did these three simple Madeiran woodworkers suddenly become luthiers? It’s unclear whether any of them had ever even built an instrument before coming to Hawaii. There’s some speculation (but no evidence) that Nunes may have been related to Octavianno Joao Nunes da Paixao (1812–1874), one of Madeira’s most accomplished instrument makers. The most likely explanation is that Nunes, Dias, and Santo all started building instruments while still pursuing general woodworking jobs, probably as a side business to earn extra money. Despite their lack of formal lutherie training, it’s clear from the quality of the instruments they built that these Madeirans knew what they were doing.

The first printed mention of an instrument clearly identified as a ukulele came just a decade after the Ravenscrag came to Oahu. So who actually built the first one? The honest answer is no one really knows! All three woodworkers built machêtes that looked a lot like ukuleles, and Santo advertised that he could “make guitars of all sizes.” Nunes claimed that he had invented the ukulele, boldly announcing this in newspaper ads and on his instrument labels.

Whatever part Nunes or Dias or Santo may have had on the creation of the uke, it’s most likely that the first true ukuleles were hybrid instruments: a mash up of the machête and another smallish Portuguese instrument, the five-string rajão (pronounced rah-ZHOW). The petite size and body outline of the machête, as well as its 17-fret fingerboard provided the basis for the ukuleles’ overall shape and configuration. But the machete’s D-G-B-D tuning wasn’t used. Instead, the ukulele employed the tuning of the rajão’s top four strings: G-C-E-A, minus its fifth string (a low D).

Why use this tuning?

“When and why [the tuning] was changed to my-dog-has-fleas is one of those little mysteries that always leads to more questions than answers,” the late-great musical historian John King wrote in his 2012 book The Ukulele: A History (University of Hawaii Press). Another important element that distinguishes Hawaiian ukuleles from their Portuguese brethren is the material they’re made from. Machétes and rajãos are typically built with spruce tops and bodies made of juniper and other light woods. Virtually all early ukuleles were made entirely from koa, a golden honey-brown wood prized by the Hawaiians and traditionally used for furniture and all manner of quality goods. Ukuleles, such as the one made by Jose do Espirito Santo, were, by and large, crafted from highly figured koa, and often had the same kinds of ornate decorations found on machêtes. Their tops and bodies are so eggshell-thin that these ukes are incredibly light and produce a great deal of sound for their diminutive size.

Read more here: http://www.ukulelemag.com/home/the-birth-of-the-ukulele

Reformed Worship Article – Drumming to the Heartbeat of God

By Eric Nykamp

pan1

The sixty people gathered for worship had been drumming together for nearly forty minutes, occasionally enlivening the rhythm with songs, shouts, or movements cued by the worship facilitator. At times people offered their own prayers to God over the sound of the drumming, or spontaneously danced, or sang a song that percolated out of their hearts. As the facilitator moved to the center of the circle, signaling to bring the drumming down, the room became quieter until eventually the drumming faded to nothing. The circle of drummers basked in the silence, aware of their connection to each other and to God. It was a holy moment.

While some Christians who traditionally worship to the sound of an organ, piano, or guitar may at first find the pulsing patter of dozens of hand drums “foreign” or “exotic,” others find these same sounds culturally affirming and deeply worshipful. But Robin Harris argues that “all people should have the opportunity to worship God in their own heart languages and music” (Worship Leader, Nov/Dec 2009). That’s true for Christians in Western as well as non-Western contexts. We too may have an undiscovered or long-neglected “heart language” that could be rekindled through drumming as a way to creatively connect to our Creator.

Worshiping with a drum set is no longer seen as out of place in worship traditions influenced by urban gospel or contemporary Christian rock music. However, traditional hand drums such as the djembe, which carry stronger ethnic associations, are only recently appearing in Western Christian worship, though these instruments have been used in non-Western Christian contexts for a long time. I have been worshiping with traditional hand drums in my church for many years. Drum circle worship, I’ve discovered, makes sense in the context of worship in general and of Reformed worship in particular.dcs3

Drumming is rooted in our earliest biblical worship traditions. The frame drum (Hebrew tof) mentioned seventeen times in Scripture is commonly mistranslated as “tambourine” or “timbrel.” The jingly instrument we know as a tambourine today did not come into existence until the Roman period, according to archaeologists and biblical scholars. The instrument referred to in the Old Testament is a large frame drum, about twelve to twenty-two inches across its face. It was most often played by women in both secular and religious contexts (see sidebar). Hebrew women, such as Miriam (see Ex. 15:20-21) appropriated this same drum in the worship of Yahweh, continuing to do so at least until the period of Babylonian captivity, and possibly beyond. The sound of drumming, in combination with the blowing of hollow rams’ horns (shofar), cymbals, and dancing were among the earliest ways our spiritual ancestors worshiped God. So the sound of drumming reminds us of our roots as Christians.

Drumming connects us with Christians around the world. Hearing the sounds of instruments from around the globe, playing them with our hands, and seeing the carving and craftsmanship all are ways in which we identify with, and are reminded of, being part of the worldwide body of Christ. Using these instruments in worship reminds us that we do not worship a God associated with one ethnic group or tradition but the One who loves people of every tribe and nation. Drums symbolically “stand in the place” of our brothers and sisters from other lands, reminding us that we are all united by faith in our one shared-in-common God.

Drumming is an accessible way for congregations to participate more fully in worship. In many Western worship traditions, congregational participation is limited to verbal expression, which often relies on the ability to read. That makes worshiping difficult for small children (who are pre-literate), those unfamiliar with the language of the host congregation (immigrants, non-native language speakers, or those who are illiterate), and those who have visual impairments (the elderly or those who have visual difficulties). It not only restricts participation in worship, generally speaking, to the healthy and the well-educated, but it limits the range of human expressions in worship, which is affirmed and encouraged in Western worship.

Congregational drumming also invites intergenerational participation in worship in a way that is particularly helpful for people who worship best through musical and/or kinesthetic styles. Drumming requires minimal training, and while experience allows a greater range of sounds and rhythms to be played, most people can play a drum in a way that sounds good without any previous experience, allowing both children and the elderly to worship with expression and joy.

Drumming affirms our “bodyliness.” The hallmark of the Reformation was the idea that Christians should be able to read the Bible for themselves and pray to God on their own behalf. This democratization of faith and religious tradition resulted in a return to studying Scripture. To this day, many Christians spend a great deal of time reading to deepen their understanding of the Bible. This heavy emphasis on words may have the unfortunate effect of implying the Gnostic idea that our intellect (maybe even just our left brains!) is what God really loves.

Yet if we believe that God calls Christians to transform culture and our world as a sign of our gratitude to God for redeeming us, by necessity we must do so with our bodies and with action. The sound waves of the drum pulsating against our skin invite us to respond with our bodies by moving our feet, bobbing our heads, swaying our limbs, and spinning our bodies. The word “hallelujah” itself (Hebrew hallel) describes the spinning dance of praise, affirming these God-inspired bodily responses to sound. This is not a response of the intellect; rather, it is a response of the body to truth encapsulated in sound! In some cultures, if you can’t dance in response to what you believe, it is a sign that the belief has not yet penetrated the heart. Worshipers in the Reformed tradition need to relearn not only how to walk and talk with God but also how to drum and dance with God!

Drum Circle Video

See a slideshow of a drum circle in action duringa worship service here.

Read more here; http://www.reformedworship.org/article/december-2011/drumming-heartbeat-god

Stradivarius Also Made Drums? – NPR Article – A Sale Is Booming: Rare Stradivarius Drums Up For Auction

Timpani are also called kettledrums. These instruments crafted by Antonio Stradivari were, for a time, more kettles than drums.

Timpani are also called kettledrums. These instruments crafted by Antonio Stradivari were, for a time, more kettles than drums.

DEA Picture Library/De Agostini/Getty Images

By Mark Mobley NPR Classical

Museum curators, instrument dealers and some of the world’s most esteemed musicians will be clutching paddles today at Cloiduff’s auction house in New York…

They’re gathering for what is expected to be an eight-figure sale of perhaps the rarest instruments ever to appear at auction: a pair of lovingly restored Stradivarius timpani.

The instruments — also known as kettledrums — were lost roughly a century after they were built by Cremonese master luthier Antonio Stradivari, whose violins, cellos and especially violas now sell for millions or even tens of millions of dollars. The drums were rediscovered late last year at the by Cardinal Johannes Feddersen during a routine inventory of kitchen equipment.

The two copper bowls, 26 inches and 29 inches in diameter, were secreted for decades behind a vast array of pasta-making and cannoli-filling machines. Apparently the vessels had been used to make not music but soups favored by early 19th-century Pope Honorius V, a native of Tuscany affectionately known to the masses as Il Papa Zuppa, The Soup Pope, due to his love of tortellini in broth and pesce d’aprile, a cold dessert soup containing Swedish Fish.

“It’s an astonishing discovery,” said Metropolitan Philharmonic Principal Timpanist David Sheppard, who supervised the cleaning and restoration of the instruments…”

“Once we were able to remove the remaining traces of pasta and parmesan, all we needed to do was stretch calfskin for the heads. We actually found cattle grazing in the same forest where Stradivari sourced the wood for his violins.”

The Fiemme Valley in the Italian Alps is known to historians as Il Bosco Che Suona, or The Musical Woods.

The mysteries that have perplexed musicologists since the unlikely emergence of these drums include: Why did Stradivarius make timpani? Did he make any more? And why did they fall out of use? Some answers appear to have been hidden in plain sight — in a piece that has intrigued scholars since the beginning of the Baroque revival nearly a century ago.

For decades, musicologists had assumed that one of the most unusual of the more than 500 concertos by Vivaldi, “Il Cammelo” (The Camel) in G major, was for double bass. Its most curious feature is a solo part that consists of only two notes, G and D, played over and over and over. Vivaldi’s biographers have long assumed he composed the piece for a Venetian nobleman and amateur bassist of modest gifts named Gianluca Wimpani. It now appears the W on the title page was erroneously substituted for the correct T by a copyist long ago.

“This shows the piece in a whole new light,” Sheppard said. He will play the work on the Stradivarius timpani with the Metropolitan Philharmonic during the Governors Island Beach Bach Brunch in June. “And it explains the subtitle. Back in the 1400s, Mongols and Turks had armies with timpanists riding on camels. Those were the days.”

The piece also contains the key to its composition and first performance. Thanks to markings etched on the drums, scholars now believe Stradivarius crafted them especially for Giorgio Della Giungla, an adventurer, strongman and musician whom Stradivarius referred to in his diary as “amico per te e me” (friend to you and me).

“Della Giungla played a number of instruments, and quite well, but he was best known for riding elephants,” said Yale University symbologist B. Reid Morris. “There is no record of him on camelback.” The Stradivarius timpani appear to have fallen into disuse when, after repeated collisions while swinging from tree to tree on vines in the instrument maker’s beloved Musical Woods, Della Giungla had a fatal encounter with an heirloom spruce. “People tried to warn him,” Morris said, “but as usual it was too late.”

How the Vatican came to acquire the Stradivarius drums is unknown…

What is certain is that they were put away after the death of Honorius V and the election of Pope Honorius VI, who preferred the more substantial cuisine of his native Milan.

The key questions that remain are: Do the Stradivarius timpani sound as beautiful as the Stradivarius violins? And are they worth the $10 million or $20 million or even $30 million or more that they could fetch at auction?

“You just have to hear them,” Sheppard said. “When I play Also sprach Zarathustra with the Philharmonic, I swear I feel like I’m Itzhak Perlman. Only louder. And in the back of the orchestra.”