Music Theory 1B (Psalms 25:4-5)

During my senior year in college, I attended a class in music theory. My background in classical and jazz guitar and violin had prepared me well but because I did not play piano, I did not meet the entry requirements to take the music theory class that all music majors were required to take. Thus, I was quite pleased that my college offered a music theory course for non-music majors who could read music and play a musical instrument. There were frequent assignments that critically analyzed great classical compositions. I was elated, thankful to learn to properly evaluate these great works of music.


One assignment analyzed a symphony written by an obscure composer. With dissonant harmonies and odd time signatures, it was difficult to identify and follow the theme. Disheartened after several hours of analysis, I sought the tutelage of my professor. He kindly ushered me through the first few measures of the composition. “Look at the bass line. See the movement?” I nodded. “It continues in the melody a few measures later.” The light was beginning to go on. “See now it is in the harmony, displaced by a few beats.” Whoa!


That was the theme!


The theme was subtly reworked and reimagined, brilliantly knitting the entire composition together. As I re-listened to the recording while analyzing the orchestral score, it became glaringly evident.


Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.

Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation;

for you I wait all the day long.

Psalms 25:4-5 (ESV)


Do I allow God to lead me when the path is not a straight line and filled with seemingly dissonant choices and off-beat displacements? Many times I grow frustrated, losing sight of the path that God has prepared for me. But what I perceive as distractions and roadblocks are part of a far more intricate and beautiful plan. The providence of God is masterfully woven into the fabric of my life. Like a complex musical composition, the theme may not be immediately obvious but it is always present, leading me to a triumphant and glorious finale in the presence of my Lord Jesus Christ.


Lord Jesus, please increase my faith and help my unbelief!


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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