Unconditional – the type of love only God can give

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:10)

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

Unconditional love is certainly an interesting topic for a pop princess to sing about. I’ve written before of the way Katy Perry’s lyrics often contain (perhaps) unintentional references to the wisdom and character of God. He is the God she was brought up to know and though she has now clearly denied him, he still speaks. (See a previous post:  ‘Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam, or maybe a Firework). Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally” expresses a commitment to live out the type of love that has no strings attached. It’s the sort of inspiring song that would well suit a marriage ceremony of committed Christ-followers, those who know God’s unconditional love in Christ and desire to minister to another person’s needs, in love, regardless of their response.

Here are some of the lyrics (chorus and verse 2)

Unconditional, unconditionally, I will love you unconditionally
There is no fear now, Let go and just be free, I will love you unconditionally

Come just as you are to me, Don’t need apologise, Know that you are worthy
I’ll take your bad days with your good, Walk through the storm I would
I do it all because I love you, I love you”

Thanks to Katy people are now singing along to a song about the type of love God shows us in Christ! (though the visuals of the film clip don’t seem to illustrate that too well :))
But in thinking this through I just have to ask: how unconditional can our human love really be? Despite our best intentions, if our partner were to suddenly start abusing us or our children, or blatantly breaking all social or moral laws (including their marriage vows) would we stick by them – really? We could work to resolve issues, but how well would we love if we received nothing back, or worse? We cannot love perfectly or unconditionally because we are not perfect.

Katy no doubt experienced this harsh truth in her failed first marriage, and no matter how much she sings about it, only God can love unconditionally. No matter how much we declare it, our sinful pride will overrule our best intentions. It is only the power of the risen Lord Jesus living in us which allows us to reflect God’s unconditional love in any way. It is his strength in us that helps us choose to keep loving, regardless of the response. Let’s pray that Katy and her fans will come to know the truly unconditional love of Christ, in the freedom and power of the Gospel.

Here is a song from Casting Crowns which I think does a much better job at describing the brokenness of human relationships, and the way we can love and accept each other, in our brokenness:

BROKEN TOGETHER (Casting Crowns)

What do you think about when you look at me Casting-Crowns-PR-Image
I know were not the fairytale you dreamed wed be
You wore the veil, you walked the aisle, you took my hand
And we dove into a mystery

How I wish we could go back to simpler times
Before all our scars and all our secrets were in the light
Now on this hallowed ground, weve drawn the battle lines
Will we make it through the night

Its going to take much more than promises this time
Only God can change our minds

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and Ill bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way well last forever is broken together

How it must have been so lonely by my side
We were building kingdoms and chasing dreams and left love behind
Im praying God will help our broken hearts align
And we wont give up the fight

The amazing grace that justifies the ungodly – that’s me!

all of graceToday I was exploring my Olive Tree Bible app (on the ipad) and discovered a library of free books, from Piper to Edwards to Spurgeon and more! The excerpt below comes from Spurgeon’s “All of Grace“.  Though he was writing in the late 1800’s he is direct and bold in his writing – you can’t run and hide. He offers us salvation, by grace, through faith. I trust you will find it an encouragement – a reminder of the grace that saves. (You can find the book free on many places on line as well.)

“If God justifieth the ungodly, then, dear friend, He can justify you. Is not that the very kind of person that you are? If you are unconverted at this moment, it is a very proper description of you; you have lived without God, you have been the reverse of godly; in one word, you have been and are ungodly. Perhaps you have not even attended a place of worship on Sunday, but have lived in disregard of God’s day, and house, and Word- this proves you to have been ungodly. Sadder still, it may be you have even tried to doubt God’s existence, and have gone the length of saying that you did so. You have lived on this fair earth, which is full of the tokens of God’s presence, and all the while you have shut your eyes to the clear evidences of His power and Now, while this is very surprising, I want you to notice how available it makes the gospel to you and to me. If God justifieth the ungodly, then, dear friend, He can justify you. Is not that the very kind of person that you are? If you are unconverted at this moment, it is a very proper description of you; you have lived without God, you have been the reverse of godly; in one word, you have been and are ungodly. Perhaps you have not even attended a place of worship on Sunday, but have lived in disregard of God’s day, and house, and Word- this proves you to have been ungodly. Sadder still, it may be you have even tried to doubt God’s existence, and have gone the length of saying that you did so. You have lived on this fair earth, which is full of the tokens of God’s presence, and all the while you have shut your eyes to the clear evidences of His power and Godhead. You have lived as if there were no God.
Indeed, you would have been very pleased if you could have demonstrated to yourself to a certainty that there was no God whatever. Possibly you have lived a great many years in this way, so that you are now pretty well settled in your ways, and yet God is not in any of them. If you were labeled
UNGODLY
it would as well describe you as if the sea were to be labeled salt water. Would it not?
Possibly you are a person of another sort; you have regularly attended to all the outward forms of religion, and yet you have had no heart in them at all, but have been really ungodly. Though meeting with the people of God, you have never met with God for yourself; you have been in the choir, and yet have not praised the Lord with your heart. You have lived without any love to God in your heart, or regard to his commands in your life. Well, you are just the kind of man to whom this gospel is sent- this gospel which says that God justifieth the ungodly. It is very wonderful, but it is happily available for you. It just suits you. Does it not? How I wish that you would accept it! If you are a sensible man, you will see the remarkable grace of God in providing for such as you are, and you will say to yourself, “Justify the ungodly! Why, then, should not I be justified, and justified at once?”
Now, observe further, that it must be so– that the salvation of God is for those who do not deserve it, and have no preparation for it. It is reasonable that the statement should be put in the Bible; for, dear friend, no others need justifying but those who have no justification of their own. If any of my readers are perfectly righteous, they want no justifying. You feel that you are doing your duty well, and almost putting heaven under an obligation to you. What do you want with a Saviour, or with mercy? What do you want with justification? You will be tired of my book by this time, for it will have no interest to you.
If any of you are giving yourselves such proud airs, listen to me for a little while. You will be lost, as sure as you are alive. You righteous men, whose righteousness is all of your own working, are either deceivers or deceived; for the Scripture cannot lie, and it saith plainly, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” In any case I have no gospel to preach to the self- righteous, no, not a word of it. Jesus Christ himself came not to call the righteous, and I am not going to do what He did not do. If I called you, you would not come, and, therefore, I will not call you, under that character. No, I bid you rather look at that righteousness of yours till you see what a delusion it is. It is not half so substantial as a cobweb. Have done with it! Flee from it! Oh believe that the only persons that can need justification are those who are not in themselves just! They need that something should be done for them to make them just before the judgment seat of God. Depend upon it, the Lord only does that which is needful. Infinite wisdom never attempts that which is unnecessary. Jesus never undertakes that which is superfluous. To make him just who is just is no work for God– that were a labor for a fool; but to make him just who is unjust– that is work for infinite love and mercy. To justify the ungodly– this is a miracle worthy of a God. And for certain it is so.”

A great way to search for songs

sg-ministries-bannerI’ve recently discovered a great search tool for Sovereign Grace songs at their website. Though I’ve been using Sovereign Grace for many years (as a source of good biblical, singable songs for church) I had not noticed the menu that allows you to search for songs by theme, tempo, key, genre and keyword. It’s especially useful if your church sings many of their songs. But even if you don’t it’s very easy to follow links to the songs, listen to samples and download the music for free. Sometimes even the suggestion of song titles can help point you in the direction of songs you do know (with similar titles).

Here is a link to the search page:
http://www.sovereigngracemusic.org/Songs

Make sure you scroll down when you get to the page. The top half is all about style, but the bottom section has an immense number of themes you can select in your search. I found it best to tick just one or two boxes at a time. (If you choose too many you will get results ‘zero’.)

Here is my shortlist of the most congregation-friendly Sovereign Grace songs:

1. Jesus Thankyou (Pat Sczebel)
2. O Great God (Bob Kauflin)
3. Let Your Kingdom Come (Bob Kauflin)
4. I will Glory in My Redeemer (Steve & Vikki Cook)
5. The Glories of Calvary (Steve & Vikki Cook)
6. O the Deep Deep Love of Jesus ((Bob Kauflin arrangement)
7. Unashamed (Mark Altrogge)
8. Show us Christ (Bob Kauflin & Doug Plank)
9. Through the Precious Blood (Mark Altrogge)
10. Hope has come (Stephen Altrogge)
11. How high and how wide (Mark Altrogge)

Why We Should Keep Waiting For God

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Why We Should Keep Waiting For God.

 
Sharing this post from The Blazing Center today:

Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the LORD is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.

(Isaiah 30:18)

The ESV Study Bible comments on this passage:

“Note the amazing logic of grace: God’s people forsake him for a false salvation (vv. 1–17); therefore, he is gracious to them (v. 18). But he waits, for the Lord is a God of justice, i.e., he knows the perfect way to achieve his purpose, the perfect time to go into action, and the perfect disciplinary process that will awaken Judah.”

Judah had taken refuge from her enemies by turning to Egypt for protection – “a false salvation”, rather than turning to God. But God wasn’t finished yet. He was waiting for the perfect time to be gracious to them, the perfect time to “awaken” them, the perfect time to pour out his mercy. And when he did be gracious to them, he would “exalt himself” – he would display his glory.

Are you waiting on God for something? Praying and praying yet the answer seems to not be coming? God has a perfect timing. He is waiting until the perfect time to be gracious to you. The time that will be best for you and bring the most glory to him. He is a God of justice – he won’t fail to answer prayer. He won’t fail to treat you justly. He won’t fail to be true to his promises. He would be unjust if he told us to trust him and wait for him, then fail to be gracious. But blessed are all those who wait for him.

Why should we keep waiting for God? Because he is waiting for the perfect time to bless us. He has bags and bags of grace stored up for us. He’s just waiting for the absolute best time to heap them upon us. So keep watching for the One who plans to be gracious to you. Keep asking, seeking and knocking. Keep trusting him. Keep your mind stayed on him. Don’t go running to Egypt for salvation. Don’t go running to the world for relief. “Blessed are all those who wait for him.” When God does pour out his grace you’ll appreciate it more than ever. Who knows? Today might be the day he answers your prayers.

Our Church Song list for 2014

spotify ARPC 2014It’s always really helpful when you can get hold of lists of songs other churches are singing – so I’m reciprocating the favour (perhaps in advance). Here is our church songlist for 2014. If you follow the Spotify link, or click the picture, you should be able to find all the songs on our to do list at Acacia Ridge Presbyterian. Below I have included a few key points about each song and some of the stand-out lyrics:

All I have is Christ (Jordan Kauflin, Sovereign Grace – key C).
This is top of the list because we never got to it last year! The song is full of great truth about our redemption in Christ.  The song moves us to know that Christ (who saved us from our “hell-bound race”) is indeed now our only boast. He is all that we can count on in this world! Hallelujah! The song works well with many instruments or just one. Here is verse 3:
Now Lord I would be Yours alone And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands could never come from me
O Father use my ransomed life in any way You choose
And let my song forever be ‘My only boast is You!’

It is Well (Todd Fields – Music at North Point)
Some hymn revamps don’t work well, but this one does! The verse melody is exactly the same, and the chorus is new. The monotone melody has been replaced by one that is far more uplifting, and some additional lyrics have the same effect. It creates an effective crescendo. Here is the chorus:
It is well it is well, Through the storm I am held
It is well it is well with my soul
It is well it is well, God has won, Christ prevailed
It is well it is well with my soul

Made Alive (Citizens)
Last year my family came back from a week-long youth camp singing this song. I have already written a post about it here. The great thing is that when you sing this you commit to memory so much scriptural truth (particularly Romans 3:20-12 and Ephesians 2:8-9).
Here is verse 1 and the chorus:
I once was dead in sin, Alone and hopeless,
A child of wrath I walked condemned in darkness,
But your mercy brought new life And in your love and kindness,
Raised me up with Christ and made me righteous.
Chorus:
You have bought me back with the riches of,

Your amazing grace and relentless love.
I’m made alive forever, with you, life forever
By your grace I’m saved, By your grace I’m saved.

Overflowed (Trevor Hodge)
We have been singing this one for a few months already and it has really caught on. It is a lively song with a pretty simple melody (some syncopation, and also some very straight rhythms). But I think the best feature is the carefully crafted chorus, which effectively sums up the glory of forgiveness and grace:
In Christ Your love has overflowed
The debts we owed have been all wiped away
And now the riches of Your grace
Have raised us up to live in Him always
And bring You praise

Praise to the Lord the Almighty (Hymn – Christy Nockels arrangement)
As I have been looking for Psalms to sing, this hymn fits the bill, drawing on Psalm 103.  I’ll use this arrangement as the chord structures are a little simpler and it has a gentler feel, but the melody is the same. There are a few extra Praise Him’s and Hallelujahs (for a chorus of sorts), which could be omitted. Verse 1:
Praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of creation
O my soul praise Him for He is thy health and salvation
All ye who hear now to His temple draw near
Praise Him in glad adoration

The Perfect Wisdom of our God (Getty music – key A)
This song is a gentle prayer, for understanding of God’s wisdom and ways in Creation and in the workings of his sovereign hand in our lives. Here is verse 3:
Oh grant me wisdom from above, To pray for peace and cling to love,
And teach me humbly to receive the sun and rain of Your sovereignty.
Each strand of sorrow has a place within this tapestry of grace;
So through the trials I choose to say: “Your perfect will in your perfect way.”

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/keith-and-kristyn-getty/perfect-wisdom-of-our-god-lyrics/#ekHjSB39hg9BPA1q.99

Grace has now appeared (Rob Smith EMU music – key C)
Grace has indeed appeared – in the person of Jesus Christ! This song is quite syncopated, but predictably so, making it singable. It has a catchy opening riff, and a lively tempo. More information here.
My favourite lines of this song come in verse 3:
He has come to dwell within us, Bringing us from death to life,
Giving us the hope of glory, Making us like Christ, Shining forth his light.

Oh the Deep Deep Love (Bob Kauflin – key E)
Some of you may know this hymn by Samuel Trevor Francis, but you should definitely try the beautiful melody and tempo of this tune. I think it suits the lyrics far better than other tunes used in the past. Sheet music here
VERSE 1
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me
Is the current of Your love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Your glorious rest above

The Glories of Calvary (Steve and Vicki Cook, Sovereign Grace – key F)
This has been one of my favourite, lively, grace focused songs for many years, but I just haven’t got a round to it. I can’t even chose just a small excerpt of the lyrics, so here is verse 1 and chorus. Sheet music here
VERSE 1
Lord, You’re calling me to come and behold the wondrous cross
To explore the depths of grace that came to me at such a cost
Where Your boundless love Conquered my boundless sin
And mercy’s arms were opened wide
CHORUS

My heart is filled with a thousand songs Proclaiming the glories of Calvary
With every breath, Lord how I long to sing of Jesus who died for me
Lord, take me deeper into the glories of Calvary

Unashamed (Mark Altrogge – key G)
This is a older Sovereign Grace song, but it is catchy with a fast tempo. It brings a timeless challenge to be unashamed of Jesus as Lord, since he was not ashamed to bear our disgrace and sin, for our eternal good. Sheet music here
Chorus:
Let me be unashamed, Jesus, to speak Your name
For You were the one who came, The Savior of the world
Let me be unashamed, Jesus, to speak Your name
Let me be bold to claim You as my Lord

The Father’s Embrace/Psalm 27  (Stuart Townend – key A)
This song reaffirms who God is, a God we can trust as he calls us into relationship with him. I have included this one because I’ve enjoyed it personally for about a decade – also because the lyrics are so close to the original Psalm 27 (and as you know I’ve been searching for singable Psalms).  Verse 1:
You are my Anchor, My Light and my Salvation
You are my Refuge, My heart will not fear
Though my foes surround me on every hand
They will stumble and fall while in grace I stand
In my day of trouble You hide me and set me above

Christ is risen Indeed (Keith and Kirstyn Getty – key A)
This song is about the disciples, and we are now his disciples. I especially like verse 3:
Once bound by fear now bold in faith,
They preached the truth and power of grace.
And pouring out their lives they gained
Life, life everlasting.

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/keith-and-kristyn-getty/christ-is-risen-he-is-risen-indeed-lyrics/#ClvIvl347Eg4xdvw.99

You can see last year’s list here:
https://sevennotesofgrace.com/2013/02/06/praise-the-lord-new-song-list-ready-for-2013/

Blessings, Ros

The Music Exchange from Richard Simpkin: Pet sounds

It doesn’t matter what instruments you use, but the humility, sensitivity and the servant heart of the player does! I enjoyed the challenge of this post for music directors.

Evangelicals Now

Music ExchangeIt’s strange how some instruments go in and out of favour in church music groups.

Our ears seem to be drawn to the same kind of instrumentation that we are used to hearing in mainstream popular culture. For example, in the 80s and 90s we were used to lots of saxophone: Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty), Careless Whisper (George Michael),Poirot (I mean the signature tune to Poirot, not that Poirot played the saxophone onCareless Whisper). But the sax has now largely disappeared from the pop scene. I’m sure that this is the reason that the sax has also disappeared from featuring on today’s Christian music CDs, leading it to being side-lined in church bands too.

A few strings

At the moment, the only classical orchestral instruments we hear on Christian music CDs produced in the West are a few strings. Everything else is electric or closely tied to…

View original post 571 more words

What should your congregation hear in the mix?

If you are limited to just 3 things?

“Last week on Facebook I posted a bit of a loaded question;

List, in the order of importance which voices/instruments in your worship team you think the congregation needs to hear the most (with 1 being the most important). Then, if they could only hear three things what should three things those be?

What I was most interested in was which three instruments the worship team thought the congregation needed to hear. And by need to hear I mean what best helps them follow the song and sing along. Most people agreed that number one priority was the lead vocal but the rest of the answers were pretty jumbled up. Some folks said the next most important thing was the lead instrument, maybe keyboards or acoustic guitar, some folks said BVs, some said drums, some said voice, voice and voice as options 1, 2 and 3 and of course guitarists said guitar, guitar and more guitar. (And as a guitarist and it being God’s chosen instrument perhaps they have a point? I digress.) But ladies and gentleman of the jury I’d put it to you the very things a congregation needs to hear are often the very things that are not prioritized in most church mixes.

The full sonic spectrum

As we know, a basic song arrangement needs to contain melody, harmony and rhythm to sound like it covers the full sonic spectrum. But I’d say, for most people, in order for them to follow a song they need to hear melody, rhythm and harmony in that order.

So I’d say the order should be 1 lead vocals, 2 drums and 3 bass…

Vocals are obvious, drums should be second because people need to hear where melody fits into rhythm and especially where beat 1 is to understand it in context, but bass? Why bass?

Why on earth do they need to hear the bass?

The bass’s role is actually where rhythm and harmony cross over so it helps pin down the rhythm and identify the melody as it should generally be playing one of the notes in the chord which the melody defines. Also because it generally plays in an octave lower than where the guitar and keyboards generally play (which happen to be in the same range as the vocals too) so by hearing lead vocals, drums and bass the listener or congregation perceives there to be more space in the mix, they perceive the sound to be fuller and actually they perceive the overall volume to be lower if they can detect less instruments fighting for ‘space’. All in all as long as there’s a clear sense of the melody this space makes it easier to follow and sing the song.

Don’t fear the lower end

Have you ever listened to a mix and it just sounds ‘thin’? It’s very often because there are too many instruments fighting for space in the same range and nothing is taking care of the low end register. This can be ironic because most churches tend to be afraid of the lower end of the sound. As one commenter David Stewart mentioned:

“And we’re making the case for subs here aren’t we..! So many think they are an optional extra but covering the whole audio spectrum actually makes the sound easier to listen to and reduces the perceived loudness. The bass end should be felt, not just heard. It’s part of experiencing the sound and it leaves the ears free to hear what really needs to be heard. A sub-less mix forces more instruments into the range of the audio spectrum covered by vocals and it makes for a harsh mix. I know it can be an expense, but subs are a worthy investment!”

It’s not about making a bass heavy mix either. I’ve been to loads of churches who for instance have a sub but don’t use it because they perceive it to be loud when in fact it is designed to help to distribute the full sonic spectrum of sound. This idea is fundamental to sound tech/PA training. Ask a quality, pro mix engineer what three elements they’ll work on first in a mix and they’ll say vocals, drums and bass. You can get the sense of a complete mix with just these three elements. Everything else slots in between.

What about keys and guitar?

Now do hear what I’m not saying, I’m not saying you only want to use these three instruments, of course keys and guitar are important, but acoustic guitars for instance should really be doing the same job as the hi-hats and providing those consistent 16th note groove rhythms. Similarly with keyboards, they should be careful not to cut across the bass players role with the left hand.

What if we don’t have a conventional band?

Conversely I’m also not saying that you HAVE to have a 5 piece rock band set up. Far from it – But the very same rules absolutely DO apply. So still think melody, rhythm and harmony in that order. If you don’t have drums what else is going to establish that sense of kick drum groove on beats 1 and 3 or the snare on 2 and 4? If you don’t have a bass can your keyboard/piano make more of an emphasis of that low end bass groove?”

http://www.musicademy.com/2013/11/what-should-your-congregation-hear-in-the-mix/

Don’t reject the Voice of truth (Hebrews 3:16)

voice of truth“And who was it who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Wasn’t it the people Moses led out of Egypt?”
(Hebrews 3:16)

It has been about 5 months since I’ve written a post in the Three Sixteens series. (For my newer readers, this is my exploration of the strangely significant verses that appear in nearly all New Testament books at the point of Chapter 3, verse 16). This Hebrews 3:16 packs a great punch, bringing a serious warning from Israel’s history, that still challenges us today. Though the Israelites were rescued from slavery in Egypt, saw amazing miracles and plagues, pillars of fire and smoke, a sea that opened, Egyptians destroyed, manna from heaven, the tablets of the law – and though they heard the very voice of God – these people persisted in their desire to rebel. They hardened their hearts to their rescuing God. They turned their back on Him, in unbelief.
How then could we who have heard and understood the immensity of God’s gracious rescue in Jesus Christ – how could we persist in unbelief? How do we avoid falling into unbelief and hardening our hearts?
The preceding verses suggest that God uses the encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ to sustain us in the faith:
“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:12-13).

Every day, today, we need to pray for and encourage one another. Sin is deceitful – the Deceiver works to destory our faith.
We must help one another from falling to unbelief (though might I add to that statement, that God is Sovereign and faithful to us. He is committed to his transformation project, making us like His Son. Consider Philippians 1:6 – “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”)
The consequences of hardening our hearts against the One mighty, true and living God are not pretty (to say the least). Let’s encourage one another, that we might keep our hearts and minds softened to the pure grace of the gospel.
Let’s heed the warning of this 3:16, the warning of history.

One Casting Crowns song, The Voice of Truth, reminds me of the need to hold to the truth of Christ amongst all the competing voices that call to us in this world.  We must choose to listen and believe the voice of our Shepherd.

“But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says “Do not be afraid!”
And the voice of truth says “This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.”

You are the Music – Book Preview

You are the Music demy.inddYou Are the Music: How Music Reveals What it Means to be Human
by Victoria Williamson

A deft, unique exploration of how music makes us who we are, throughout our lives.

This looks like an interesting book for anyone interested in music and the power it wields in the human experience.  I don’t yet have a copy, but I will certainly be seeking it out. Here is a little taste of the subject matter (taken from Good Reads):

‘You are the music / While the music lasts’
T.S. Eliot, The Four Quartets

“Do babies remember music from the womb? Can classical music increase your child’s IQ? Is music good for productivity? Can it aid recovery from illness and injury? And what is going on in your brain when Ultravox’s ‘Vienna’, Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht or Dizzee Rascal’s ‘Bonkers’ transports you back to teenage years?

In a brilliant new work that will delight music lovers of every persuasion, music psychologist Victoria Williamson examines our relationship with music across the whole of a lifetime.
Along the way she reveals the amazing ways in which music can physically reshape our brains, explores how ‘smart music listening’ can improve cognitive performance, and considers the perennial puzzle of what causes ‘earworms’.

Requiring no specialist musical or scientific knowledge, this upbeat, eye-opening book reveals as never before the extent of the universal language of music that lives deep inside us all.”

Paperback, 272 pages
Expected publication: March 6th 2014 by Icon Books
original title:You Are the Music: How Music Reveals What it Means to be Human
ISBN13 9781848316539