Wednesday, April 13, 2011

There Are No Pianos In The Bible

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘You have seen all the calamity that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the cities of Judah; and behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke Me to anger, in that they went to burn incense and to serve other gods whom they did not know, they nor you nor your fathers.’”

Jeremiah 44:2-3

Today is another day where I’d intended to put up something but I never actually got around to creating what I wanted to put up. Ooops.

So I’ve got a couple of random things for today, things that I’ve been meaning to work into a post but never got around to doing.

God and Keyboards

First of all, that quote from Jeremiah—and, in fact, many of the Bible’s passages about people falling away from true faith and worshipping strange gods, gods “our fathers never knew”—always makes me think about keyboards. (Keyboards were invented relatively recently, set against the long sweep of history, and keyboards are things, again, set against historic time, “our fathers” never knew.)

I know it’s absurd, but today is a kind of random day.

The thing is, the Bible speaks about many kinds of musical instruments. Percussion things, stringed things, horns of various kinds. Here’s a great reference to Bible passages about music:

What Does the Bible Say About . . . Music, Songs and Musical Instruments

But the Bible doesn’t have much to say about pianos and synthesizers and keyboards in general. Of course, keyboards weren’t invented until just about three hundred years ago so that probably has something to do with their omission from scripture.

But I wonder if God does have an opinion about keyboards, and what His opinion would be?

The way I look at this is that all the kinds of instruments the Bible speaks about—classical instruments—create sounds directly from human exertion. Hands bang drums. Lungs blow into horns. Fingers pluck strings.

So, if a person wanted to get absurd, a person could say that modern guitars, for instance (and, of course, I’m speaking from the perspective of a guitar player who is learning keyboards) modern guitars could be seen as elaborations of harp-type instruments.

But keyboards are quite different. Keys are mechanical devices which separate human activity from the actual creation of the sound. Pianos even have “escapement” mechanisms which separate fingers even farther from the sound creation than synthesizers.

So, you know, in a stupid kind of way, I’ve always wondered if God frowns on keyboard players but smiles on guitar players?

Synthesizer Book and Metronomes

I’ve mentioned the book “Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer” a couple of times. I liked this book a lot. It was really fun to read, and, for me, really thought-provoking. So today I went over to Amazon and bought myself a copy.

This weekend I’ll be reading through the book again so next week I’ll probably be doing some more posts about synthesizers.

While I was over at Amazon a few days ago looking at music books and stuff, I saw this thing.

Holy cow! It’s a metronome that costs about $150!

WTF? Now, I don’t much like metronomes but I was struck by the fact that everybody seems to love this wildly expensive device. All the reviews except one rave about what a great device this thing is. Some people have bought more than one!

I didn’t buy one, but now I’m wondering if maybe I should. I mean, maybe I don’t like metronomes because I’ve just never used a really good one? I mean, maybe I don’t like metronomes because I’m lazy and a really good metronome would inspire me to buckle down?

I have no plans to give in and buy one of these things, but having seen it, and read all the wildly positive reviews, I’m having trouble getting this thing off my mind.

I wonder what God thinks about a metronome that costs $150?!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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