Friday, August 19, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Team


All the way from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Olympic Games have been raising a world-wide ruckus—even deflecting social media interest from the presidential race in the USA! Imagine that! I haven't been watching, but the team spirit necessary to participate in many sports just may be the reason Kate gave us team for our Five Minute Friday prompt.

cathedral bells
Campanile at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles,CA.
Photograph ©


As a performing musician and as an enjoyer of most types and eras and genres of music, I know music always includes groups or teams of sounds, instruments, and performers that each do their own things, but at the correct times, rates, levels, and intensities. Even the audience for a musical performance needs to gear up and team in correctly—have you ever been at a symphony concert where newcomers to symphony hall do not realize one does not applaud between movements of a symphony that's in two, three, four or more movements?

Part of making music is discerning how to get from one note to the next; just as much, the rests or breaks or silences between notes in various parts of the performance team are as vital to the whole as the notes that sound and resound. In some ways a symphony orchestra – whether small classical size from Haydn or early Beethoven, or majorly mega post-Romantic size as from Richard Strauss – is the ultimate music team. But then again, The Symphony Orchestra performs from a carefully rehearsed, fully notated score, so a jazz ensemble may be even more or at least as much a team endeavor, because each instrumentalist needs to listen and be exquisitely aware of their time to blend, to riff, or to shine in silence.

"If we have no silence, God is not heard in our music." Thomas Merton


Writing about teams and music reminds me of The music of the spheres from the hymn, "This Is My Father's World." God coordinates all movements and actions of every part of creation to score a perfect ensemble, better than any Olympic, HS or pro sports team, better than the most highly acclaimed world-class symphony orchestra, jazz band, or vocal choir. God is free enough not to interfere with what's happening; God is resourceful, grace-filled, and creative enough to redeem and reconcile mistakes and mishaps.

five minute friday team five minute friday button


  1. Your post brought to mind the only symphonic 'big ending' that I think really works - that of Howard Hanson's second symphony, which builds to a false peak, has a small denouement, and then achieves the musical and emotional release for which so many have striven.

    #2 at FMF this week.

  2. This is Your Fathers world is such a great hymn. Great post friend.


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