Welcome to MUSIC MAN TOM’S blog!
Welcome to MUSIC MAN TOM’S blog! WE SHIP MUSIC EQUIPMENT ALL ACROSS THE UNITED STATES! WE ALSO APPRECIATE LOCAL BUSINESS!
Looking for a music instrument store near Shreveport, Louisiana? We are a online only music store located in Bossier City, Louisiana. We appreciate local business. If you are from the greater Shreveport, LA surrounding area, please contact us regarding any music equipment needs you may have. We sell music instruments and accessories all across the USA
as well as to local friends & family from Red Chute, Princeton, Barksdale AFB, Blanchard & Willow Chute. We look forward to serving local churches, schools &
organizations as well.
Thanks and God Bless.
Tom Harvey is our owner. Tom is pleased to offer quality music equipment at discount prices. Here is are a few words from Tom himself.
I was blessed in that I was born into a Christian family. I was the middle child of three. I had an older brother and a younger sister. I grew up going to church and did everything that a good church-goer should do. At age nine I went down and shook the preacher’s hand and got dunked in the baptistry. That made me a Christian, or so I thought. But the truth is that I lived a lie for eight years. But praise The Lord, because I continued to read the Bible and memorize scripture(it was a competition for me) the day came that The Word bore its’ fruit. Jesus came alive to me and I committed my life to Him. I became a new creation in Christ Jesus. Fifty-three years later He is even more alive in me now than He was at seventeen.
When Jesus changed my life, He changed my desires. Instead of perusing athletics I now wanted to pursue praising my Lord through music. That has been my joy. Though I have much training and degrees in music it has not been the means by which The Lord chose to bring finances to me until now. After graduate school, through unexpected avenues I became a carpenter-builder and was in the building business for thirty years. It turned out to be a great mission opportunity. I thank God for it. Through it all I never stopped singing for my Lord. Now, I get to spend the majority of my time singing for Him, literally.
EXCELLENCE OF MUSIC
Music has been a part of my life since I can remember. I was exposed to music almost from birth. The church, then school and then college and graduate school and then participation in local productions and church and individual opportunities. Lately I have come to the understanding that what I consider “music” carries a little bit different definition that what the average person does.
As I mentioned above, the church had great influence in my participation and understanding of music. I do not speak of merely the sacredness of it but of the quality of the composition and the presentation thereof. Much of today’s music, sacred or secular, has neither quality nor (as we learned in Music 101) substance. Most of today’s secular music is more about the manufacturing of the sound (compressors, reverbs, limiters, gates, etc.) than about the preparation and presentation of the artist. Along with this goes the “hype” and social pressure that producers put out to make the masses think that what they hear is “great”. It produces the mob mentality that says, “If you don’t go along, then you will be left out”. In this day and age there are many who find their sole identity in being accepted as one of a crowd or group. There are very few individuals.
I was blessed in that the music training I received from the very beginning was from people who loved music and who were diligent in the knowledge, preparation and presentation of their music, whether instrumental or vocal. Excellence was always the goal of what they prepared. The highest goal was not always achieved, but it was always the goal. Psalm 8:1 always comes to mind as I think of that time, where it says, “O LORD, our LORD, how excellent is Your Name in all the Earth.” Excellence is something that has always been identified with The Creator. In Genesis 1:31 it says, “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” His finished creation was excellent.
If one does not start from a Biblical foundation in one’s reasoning, then there will be no guide posts by which comparisons may be made. So, I shall be making my presentation from the viewpoint of one who believes the Word of God(The Holy Bible) is the inerrant Word of God. And on this foundation our reasoning shall be established. If one does not use the Word of God as a beginning foundation then one will be using the humanistic approach from which no foundation can be established. Humanism allows each to choose for one’s self what is right or wrong and when it is right or wrong. There is no foundation in humanism.
So, I look forward to sharing in the coming days and months and years. I hope that all who read this will feel free to share his or her thoughts on what is said.
THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS
In my first blog I stated that this presentation would be based on the foundation of a Biblical world view. That foundation being the principles set forth in the Holy Bible. That being said, we now have a starting point from which all arguments may be compared. Any other starting point would be nebulous and would lead to erroneous and non substantial conclusions.
The Bible concludes the six days of creation with The Creator declaring it to be “very good”, or excellent. Even the ancients, Eudoxus, Aristotle and Ptolemy realized the beauty and balance of the creation. It had such harmony and beauty in its’ balance that the term “music of the spheres” was its’ description. Even they realized that there is beauty in balance and harmony. Balance may be described as how an entity relates to its’ self and its’ surroundings. Whereas harmony is how and entity relates to other entities in its’ environment. It is quite evident in science that if certain factors in creation were off by miniscule amounts that catastrophe would be the outcome, the least of which would be the non-existence of life as we know it.
Being that balance and harmony determine life itself, would we be willing to allow “music”, one of the most moving and influential entities in humankind, to be controlled by happenstance and undisciplined blindness. As stated earlier, all of creation is finely tuned and all relates perfectly to one another or catastrophe is the result. I set forth for your consideration that much of the ugliness and lawlessness we see in our world today is because of the lack of beauty and balance and harmony found in our music.
What would happen if we, especially those of us who call ourselves musicians, would return to the foundation of true music and set for our goal that all our music would truly “worship The Lord in the beauty of holiness”.
RUN THE RACE
In Blog 2 (The Beauty of Holiness) I noted that early on men of science likened the structure of the Solar System and other entities of the universe to music. It was due to the balance and the harmony observed in all of them. Even as scientists delve into the nano structures of the universe(atoms, electrons, protons, neutrons, quarks, etc.) they are noticing the same balance and harmony there. So, throughout creation it is evident that for there to be a creation there must be balance and harmony. For life as we know to exist there must be a “finely tuned” universe. To be finely tuned denotes a discipline of preparation and presentation which cannot be excluded. When The Creator finished His creation, His perception of it was that “it was very good”. It was excellent! It was perfect!
We, as human beings, can not attain the perfection that our Creator demands, because of our fallen nature. However, that should not license us to settle for mediocrity. Such seems to be the norm in western society today. We applaud mediocrity. Rather than recognize it for what it is and then encouraging one to keep on striving, we affirm them and perpetuate the mediocre. In doing that I think we may be excusing our own mediocrity.
Our Creator gave us music to enhance our being. He enjoys music so much that it is one of the major tools that He instigated to bring glory to Himself. True musicians should follow the scripture where Paul the apostle states, “ I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” It seems that the “Body of Christ” has abdicated the position which Jesus paid the price that we might have as being seated at the right hand of God. (We may not think of ourselves as perfect, but The Creator looks at us and sees Jesus and His shed blood and He declares us “Perfect”.) Let us therefore lay aside the sin of mediocrity and run with patience (and excellence) the race that is before us.
THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE
In the Old Testament, which traces our Creator’s plan of bringing about salvation to humankind, we see a liturgy of sacrifices that were carried out. The sacrifice, no matter for what it was, was to be perfect and without blemish. We, who operate under the New and better Covenant, do not bring animal sacrifices. We bring the sacrifice of praise. Much of that praise is through the avenue of music, vocal and instrumental. Under the Old Covenant no sacrifice which had a blemish would be accepted for a sacrifice to God. There is a place in Leviticus where two of Aaron’s sons offered “profane fire before the Lord”. When a sacrifice was burned it was to be done in a specific manner which God had given to them. It is apparent that Nadab and Abihu were somewhat lax in their presentation of the fire to burn the sacrifice and it cost them their lives. The reason for the precision surrounding the sacrificial system was the fact that these rituals were setting forth a type of the sacrifice that God Himself would make for all mankind when the perfect sacrifice of His “only begotten Son” would pay the price for the sins of all mankind. It should not be taken light heartedly. Though it be a serious undertaking, it is a most joyful task.
We, who through music bring the sacrifice of praise, should be serious about our preparation. Just as the Israelites had to search out and find and then prepare in a specific way the sacrifice which they presented to the Lord, so should we, who are musicians, search out and prepare the presentation of praise (sacrifice) which we bring to our Creator. Apparently The Lord blessed the Israelites with many unblemished sacrifices because we read of times that thousands of animals were sacrificed at one time. In Malachi 3 we read where God says, “I am the Lord, I change not.” He still expects the sacrifices we bring to be unblemished and worthy of His acceptance.
At this point we need to step back and ask a question. Can any human present any praise which would be worthy of The Creator? The obvious answer is, “No”. Well, should we even try? The best example of praise in the Old Testament was the man David, the son of Jesse. He did many great things and he did many terrible things. But God accepted him. He even called him “A man after God’s Own heart.” God is looking on the heart. All the preparation in the world will not bring about a perfect “sacrifice of praise”. But when a heart is perfect(totally surrendered) toward God, God counts that sacrifice holy and without blemish.
The grace which God, The Father, expressed through Jesus, The Son, has caused us to be declared “perfect” before God. Such all powerful grace as that cannot but cause one to desire to study and prepare to present to his Creator the glory and beauty which He so perfectly deserves.
Let us bring with joy the sacrifice of praise to our God.
IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH
On our site we sell musical instruments of differing kinds. There are wind instruments. There are percussion instruments. There are bowed instruments. There are plucked instruments. Of themselves they produce nothing. They only become musical when put in the hands of a being created in the image of the Creator of all things. What comes out of the instrument is a reflection, or better yet, a projection of the one emoting it. I thank God that at the age of seventeen He revealed Himself to me through His Son, Jesus; and He indwelled me with His Holy Spirit. Such majesty and glory and beauty has affected my life ever since. In Galations 5:22 and following we read:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
This is the fruit that The Holy Spirit bears in the life of one in whom He lives. The music of the Body of Christ(The Real Church) produces fruit that reflects, or projects this product.
Even in the Old Testament it was born out.
1 Chronicles 16:29 (KJV)
29 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Psalm 29:2 (KJV)
2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Psalm 96:9 (KJV)
9 O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
The instrument can only project that which is in the producer of the music. Truly The Holy Spirit produces His fruit. It is He that enables us to truly worship our Creator in spirit and in truth(the beauty of holiness).
O LORD, OUR LORD
HOW EXCELLENT IS YOUR NAME
Excellence in music comes from preparation. Musicians call this practicing. There is another area that describes itself as practicing. It is the area of medicine. For some reason we tend to elevate medicine practicing as a great calling. Should we not realize that practicing music should be so elevated also? Yet another comparison; “practicing medicine’s” goal is to promote good health and healing. Should not our practice of music bring about healing? Excellent music brings about healing of the mind, soul and spirit. In contrast, music of mediocrity brings about sickness of the mind, soul and spirit. Contrast the effects of listening to a loud raucous “rock” concert to a magnificent Beethoven symphony. It is total contrast: night to day, darkness to light, anger to peace.
To remain neutral on this issue is to give in to mediocrity. To not take a stand is to take a stand. It is like Jesus stated about one’s salvation in John 3:18: “He who believes on The Son is not condemned; but he who does not believed is condemned already.” So, to not take a stand against the cancer of mediocrity is to take a stand for mediocrity.
Many will say that they have no training in music. That is OK for a beginning. But that does not have to remain. Back to the church; Jesus commanded His followers to go and make disciples. The term “disciple” means “one who is disciplined”. When we look at people who excel in a given area we note the “discipline” that they had to exercise and still do exercise to get there. That is the job of a true Christian, to train others in the discipline of a follower of Christ(Christian). ( If one is not disciplined one may not be a disciple.)
One of the greatest areas of discipline in the Body of Christ is in the area or worship. Worship is when we proclaim our God’s worthiness. Music plays a major part in this proclamation. If one has ever experienced the glorious presence of the Living God, one will not settle for mediocrity. Excellence will always be the goal.
Choose today. Choose EXCELLENCE!
O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your Name in all the Earth!
The following is taken from the Creation Ministries International web site and expresses so very well how music is such a dynamic force in our being. It is penned by Jonathan OBrien and is a scholarly presentation of the spirituality of music in human beings’ lives. You may find their site at www.creation.com.
MUSIC: A CRUCIAL GIFT
by Jonathan OBrien
Published: 6 February 2018 (GMT+10)
Scientists recently discovered that our brains are made for music—that a deep musical appreciation is a foundational aspect of being human.1 Why do we have this special relationship with music, yet apes and other large-brained ‘higher’ animals don’t make, or even desire, music as we do? Like speaking and writing in grammatical language, music is a peculiar and distinctive trait of human beings only. Where did this mysterious habit and liking of ours come from?
A new study
The scientists found that people with advanced dementia can suddenly and markedly improve in cognition when music they love is played back to them. Even when much of the brain is gone, music can wake it up, sometimes with truly ‘magical’ and inexplicable results. The sufferers ‘come back’ for that moment. The scientists who made this finding described music as like an emotional proto-language—for instance how a mother and father talk with their baby. The results were in many cases so astounding that the researchers themselves were readily swept up in the powerful emotions expressed.
Interestingly, music appreciation appears to be embedded or wired into nearly all regions of the brain. The scientists found that music seems to be tied in closely with love and relationships—that there is a clear, powerful physiological effect of music on social bonding. They concluded that music is so important to our brain’s physical makeup that it is an indispensable part of what makes us human.
The meaning of music
Harmony and melody both involve unchanging scientific and mathematical laws,2 thus written into the very fabric of the universe—but it is only human beings that are capable of caring that this is so. Since Darwin’s evolutionary theory became popular, scientists have tried to come up with solutions to the mystery of why man finds meaning in music, and why he strives for it.
A common theory first raised by Darwin was that males used melody to woo females. Despite the paucity of evidence for it, the idea resurfaces from time to time, along with other unsatisfactory proposals to try to solve the mystery.
There is simply no evidence that the striving for art and music has anything to do with the pragmatic requirements of survival and reproduction. Our music serves no purely functional, biological purpose, and is a truly creative endeavour, unlike the preprogrammed learning of songbirds.
It is only people who pursue music, and while we can adapt music to communicate—e.g. an army bugle—we overwhelmingly engage in it for emotional, spiritual and artistic reasons.
Emotion and soul
Darwinism, being a materialist philosophy and not a science, is powerless to explain the meaning of music. Music is capable of overwhelming us with emotion because it is linked with our spiritual side, and is good evidence for the existence of the soul. If we were merely soulless biological machines, as evolutionary science claims, why would we care for music, or indeed cry with emotion or laugh with joy? We care because we are in part spirit—made by God, who is spirit (John 4:24).
Many people, of all backgrounds and beliefs, have spoken of music’s ‘soul’. Bono, the lead singer for popular band U2, has said that “music is a matter of the spirit.”3 Itzhak Perlman, the famous classical violinist, said, “When you’re dealing with music, you’re dealing with the soul of a society.”4 And the Christian writer Vishal Mangalwadi noted, “Denying the reality of a spiritual core as the essence of every human being makes it hard to make sense of music, because music, like morality, is a matter of the soul.”5
The human body
The human body is as if made for music. As bipedal, upright creatures, our hands are freed for skilful and creative work—a desire for which is driven by our minds and hearts. We play difficult instruments such as the violin, guitar and piano, compose complex music, and sing, because our brains and our personalities strive for expression in this spiritual format of music.
We play difficult instruments such as the violin, guitar and piano, compose complex music, and sing, because our brains and our personalities strive for expression in this spiritual format of music
Our hands are miracles of design, perfectly engineered for the finest movements and most sensitive of touches, and are marvels of “ingenuity, flexibility and mobility, with fingers built and set in an ideal way” for playing musical instruments.6 E.g. simply tapping then pushing takes very fine nerve and muscle control, to switch quickly from motion to force just before contact.7
For instance, the violinist must perfectly coordinate the movement of the bow with the note-forming fingers and get the pitch and timing exactly correct, in order to create something beautiful, human, powerful and meaningful. This would be impossible if the hand were poorly formed for making music.
Our ear is also an expertly-designed precision instrument for receiving and transmitting musical sounds. Its intricately-connected bones form a delicate drum mechanism, with acoustic chambers perfectly engineered for the shaping of fine tone. We also have vocal cords that are capable of the best musical tones imaginable. Much of instrumental playing is inspired by, and seeks to emulate, the human voice.
Music is a special gift for people, all made in God’s image. It is meaningful because originating from a source much greater than ourselves, it transcends our being in a way that even unbelievers can perceive. Famous musician Ray Charles said, “I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me—like food or water.”8
Music is an ineffable thing. Perhaps Victor Hugo said it best: “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”9
The Bible says music was already there on the first day of creation,10 even before Adam and Eve were made, as the angelic hosts expressed their rapture at Earth’s formation when “the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7).11 In many places the Bible tells us that music is very special: “Raise a song; sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp” (Psalm 81:2).
It’s plain for all who care to see it that music is physically and spiritually part of God’s wonderful design for the creation.
References and notes
1. See the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Catalyst TV episode Music on the Brain; youtube.com, accessed 2 January 2018.
2. Fauvel, J., Flood, R., and Wilson, R. (eds), Music and Mathematics: From Pythagoras to Fractals, Oxford University Press, New York, 2003. See also Reilly, R.R., The music of the spheres, or the metaphysics of music, home.isi.org, 2001, and also Rehmeyer, J., The geometry of music, sciencenews.org, 4 March 2008.
3. Mangalwadi, V., The Book That Made Your World, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, p. 7, 2011.
4. In the Fiddler’s House (DVD), EMI Classics, 2006. Return to text.
5. Ref. 3, p. 7.
6. Gerle, R., The Art of Bowing Practice, Stainer & Bell, London, 1991.
7. Ainsworth, D., What gives us fingertip dexterity?, University of Southern California—Viterbi, School of Engineering, viterbi.usc.edu, 6 February 2008; Catchpoole, D., Fingertip control, Creation 31(2):31, 2009; creation.com/fingertip-control.
8. Charles, R. and Ritz, D., Brother Ray: Ray Charles’ Own Story, Da Capo Press, Cambridge MA, p. 8, 2004.
9. Hugo, V., William Shakespeare (essay), Part I, Book II, Chapter IV, 1864. Return to text.
10. Or maybe the third day, if the erets was referring to the dry land called ‘earth’.
11. A classic example of Hebrew parallelism, both lines say the same in different ways; the ‘morning stars’ are also the ‘sons of God’ (bene Elohim = angels elsewhere in the OT) who, as created beings (Exodus 20:11), were made earlier that day.
I just read an editorial in the newspaper which decried anything that hinted at the existence of a god, especially the God of the Bible. One of his arguments was that a god is not necessary to instill morality in children. He says, “The very concept of morality is based on reducing harm and suffering.” That in itself is a moving target. Who determines harm and suffering? For whom are harm and suffering reduced? In the end, it is whoever has the power determines what harm and suffering is and who is being harmed.
The writer goes on to state, “So, let’s not promote or deter religion in students, but let us help children to think freely and to use their critical thinking skills while in school and the rest of their lives.” The statement sounds very nice, but is lacking in rationality. As far as religion goes, there is no such thing as a middle ground. He had earlier stated, “We cannot and should not rely upon a supposed god to do our thinking for us. This, by the way, is a basic foundation of humanism.” Now, he does not let the readers know that the real foundation of humanism is atheism. To be able the analyze an argument critically, one must hear both sides of the argument. What the writer insists upon is that the Biblical view not be presented. But he fails to inform us that the only view presented in the governmental sponsored institutions is the humanistic view of evolution. That view is never questioned or analyzed from a critical view point. It is assumed without any scientific backing. Therefore, in the truest sense, it is a religion.
I have never heard a critically thinking creationist say that evolution should not be presented in our educational process. It should be. But then it should be critically analyzed using logic and science. The science I speak of is “observational” science, not “historical” science. Observational science can be reproduced (a principle of true science). Historical science contains many assumed entities unless there is an eyewitness account. Evolutionists NEVER include scientific proof of evolution. They assume evolution and move on. There is no science to prove evolution.
The God of The Bible promotes critical thinking. If one reads the Bible critically and logically, one will find it to be on sound logical and scientific ground. Morally it is a standard that does not change with changing societies or political rulers. It is founded on the God Who said, “I am the Lord, I change not.” His standards of morality are the same today as they were the day He created the heavens and the earth.
So, do not be swayed by someone who tells you that humanism will promote critical thinking. The writer said it well when he stated, “We do and should continue to use our reason (imperfect as it might be) to think about complicated moral questions.” So, why use an admittedly flawed system when there is a tested and proven one that is available.
I encourage you, be critical, in the good sense. Weigh both sides on the scales of logic. Then shine the light of Biblical morality on them and see what they produce. All true morality is based on Biblical principles and they do not change.