When our children were young, one of the books my husband and I used to read to them was Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin! by Lloyd Moss with illustrations by Marjorie Priceman. The storyline introduced, with a flair that was intriguing, ten instruments that make up a chamber group. The words and illustrations used to describe each instrument with its different look, sound, and feel, awakened the imagination and the senses. By the end, one could easily envision being in the audience, attending the performance.
Each instrument is capable of creating sound on its own; acceptable maybe even wonderful, but one-dimensional. When together, embraced and celebrated along with the others, different as they may look, sound and feel they are so much more. They are enhanced not only by the existence of the others, but also by the cooperation and co-laboring with them. The brass, string, and woodwind instruments are all necessary parts to create the movement, the music…the melody and harmony of the chamber group.
While there is a conductor “running the show,” he or she is not the one who brought the group of musicians together. It was love of music that brought the entire group, conductor included, together. It all started with Love…it all started with a Word.
It is what binds the group together and propels them forward. It is what enables them to sit side-by-side, working together with respect, courtesy, and dignity, listening to each other, adjusting to each other, and allowing each other to play their individual instruments together, making music instead of cacophony…Taking all that came before and making a bridge from the past to the present as they move toward the future…Taking all that they have learned and experienced, making room for the new and/or different that each has to offer, becoming stronger, better, and richer in sound, and in character.
Any one musician can use his or her instrument to make noise, but for the chamber group to make music everyone in the group needs to be in sync with each other. Everyone in the group needs to be guided more by their love of music than their love of their particular instrument.
“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.”
– John 1:1