Brahms “Lullaby” Double Strung Experiment #Music

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“Wiegenlied” (Lullaby or Cradle Song) was written by Johannes Brahms and first published in 1868. You probably know the melody, but stay tuned!

This arrangement is an experiment, in which I play the lyre and zither at the same time, in real-time. My left hand plays the bass notes, or accompaniment, on lyre, and my right hand plays the melody on zither.

Why 2 instruments?

Because I’m proving that if and when I’m able to acquire a double strung harp, I will indeed be able to play it!

A double strung harp has 2 parallel rows of strings that are typically (but not always) tuned the same. Having 2 rows of strings gives each hand more options for accompaniment. The hands don’t run into each other in more wide-spread arrangements, because each hand has its own separate row of strings.

Double strung harps also open up a world of effects that cannot be played on a single strung (regular) harp, lyre, or zither. You can double the melody, or, as I do here, play melody and accompaniment in the same octave. This is much easier heard than explained!

In this arrangement, I first play a standard accompaniment on lyre. I.e. the left hand plays bass notes below the right hand.

The second time through, I play the lyre accompaniment up an octave, with my right hand on zither, playing the melody in the same octave. Essentially this means the melody and accompaniment overlap and sometimes play the same notes at the same time. You can understand why this cannot be done on only one set of strings.

Finally, you’ll hear the zither arrangement with bass and melody.

If you’ve read this far, I thank you! If your head is spinning, I apologize and simply ask that you listen to the music and hear just a little of what can be done on a double strung instrument. It’s fascinating!

Blessed Assurance #Music

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In 1873 beloved American hymn writer, Fanny Crosby, dictated the lyrics of “Blessed Assurance.” Phoebe Knapp composed the music that brings “Aunt Fanny’s” comforting words into hymnals, homes, and hearts to this day.

I hope you enjoy hearing “Blessed Assurance” played on lyre!

Pink Flamingo #Writephoto #Poem

When reality is an illusion,
And you’re fretting and full of confusion…
Simply take a deep breath,
Go deep into yourself
Where the Light gives you calm and conclusions!

Pink Flamingo

On Ukulele

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I wrote this song 4 years ago. It was inspired by an inflatable flamingo my parents had in their pool, and something my nephew said about hiding sins. It has nothing to do with this week’s photo, but just the word “fantasy” in Sue Vincent’s
Thursday #Writephoto Prompt, Fantasy.

This is the closest thing I’ve had to a hit song so far. It was much requested when I performed at nursing homes, rehab centers, etc, and a few listeners would sing the refrain! What an honor for a songwriter! 🙂

“The Nightingale” by Deborah Henson-Conant #Music

“The Nightingale” is a very popular piece by harpist and composer
Deborah Henson-Conant.
Written in memory of her mother, this piece is included in Deborah’s symphonic theater experience, “Invention and Alchemy.” You can find many beautiful solo harp, harp and vocal, and chamber music performances on Youtube. As far as I know, this is the first performance of “The Nightingale” on zither. I hope you enjoy it, and also take some time to click over and enjoy Deborah Henson-Conant’s many wonderful videos as well!

Send the Light #Music

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Charles H. Gabriel wrote this hymn in 1890. The melody is a tune he entitled “Mccabe.” With its march tempo and evangelical lyrics, “Send the Light” is one of the most popular missionary hymns of all time.

Personally, I marched down the church aisle as a child, singing what lyrics I knew with the rest of the congregation, during the Alabaster Offering. Alabaster is an offering specifically designated for building mission churches around the world and is participated in by many traditional Christian denominations. I don’t mind admitting that as a 3-5-year-old, it was more of a play break from the usual order of service. 🙂

As time passed, I, too, had an Alabaster Box containing whatever change I had to contribute. I put my little box inside the one shaped like a church building and marched back down the aisle to one of the 2 back pews that my parents, grandparents, siblings and I filled to capacity.

Besides the marching, the most memorable part were our pastor and a young man who played trumpets, and the 2 ladies who played piano and organ. Needless to say, the semiannual Alabaster Offering became a treat of sorts, that I still remember many years later.

I’ve come to realize that “Send the Light” is not all about money. It’s about sharing whatever you do, whatever you have (your time, talent, and treasure), and above all, whatever you are. It’s not for their conversion to your belief system, but for the love of other people. We are all God’s creations, whether we want to admit it or not. Because God loves each and every one of us equally, the same Presence within us can help us love ourselves and others as much, if we invoke the Spirit of Healing and Love to work through us.

I hope you enjoy hearing this hymn on lyre! More importantly, I pray you send your own light to those you know, those you love, and those you haven’t met yet! We are all eternally connected in the Light of God, and that will never change!