Music and the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Music and the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Music, Art, and Media Series

Ezra Taft Benson:

We seek that which is praiseworthy, lovely, virtuous, and of good report; and we salute Beethoven, Shakespeare, Rembrandt, and Michelangelo. In due time, we will also have more of our own giants–particularly great father-patriarchs and noble companions and mothers of men. There is certain music heard and art seen and clothes worn on this campus [BYU] that must pass away–not because the styles change but because our standards will be Continue reading Music and the Knowledge of Good and Evil

A New Approach to Scripture Study: Day 4

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Creative Study

Tab flat1. Read the scriptures as if reciting a monologue.  Find a place alone where no one will hear you.  Read the verses aloud with as much feeling as you can, keeping the context in mind.  In the war verses, read them quickly as if telling a frightening story.  On the spiritual parts, read them as if giving a fantastic fireside talk, or as if you were the prophet speaking to the people.
Tab flat2. Find a quiet place where you can concentrate well without distractions.  Then begin reading slowly, picturing the scene in your mind.  Work hard to get a detailed picture of the scene in your mind, including the faces and expressions on each of the people in the verses (perhaps put appropriate actors faces on the characters).  Then read as if watching the movie in your mind. notice every movement.  Don’t rush through.  See every expression, every arm movement, and a detailed background.  Remember, when reading the scriptures, you don’t have to get through entire chapters.  Take your time, and enjoy the movie!
Tab flat3. Open your hymnbook to a favorite hymn, or else one you sang recently in church.  Read through the words, and then look up the scripture verses at the end.
Tab flat4. Write a hymn, with the scriptures as a guide.  Keep it as scripturally based as possible.
Tab flat5. Consider one of your favorite hobbies, such as music, art, or athletics.  See what you can find in the scriptures about your hobby.  If it is a constructive hobby, then it has a place in God’s plan.  Use the scriptures to try to learn that purpose.  Once you’ve learned some things, commit to the Lord that you will more fully use your talent for the purpose that He has ordained.
Tab flat6. Listen to audio scriptures while doing a creative activity, such as drawing, sculpting, or sewing. If the activity is the type of activity that doesn’t distract your thoughts, it will likely help you concentrate better.
Tab flat7. If you play an instrument, listen to audio scriptures, and try to play in order to match the mood and message of the verses.
Tab flat8. Listen to instrumental music while you read, and try to read with the pace of the music so the music matches the words.
Tab flat9. If you enjoy drawing simple quick cartoons, read the scriptures, looking for places that you might draw simple cartoons of the subject (such as paths, people, wars, plates, temples, etc.) next to the verses that you like.  This will have the same effect as simply underlining a verse, since the next time you’re looking for the verse, you’ll be able to easily locate it, and the cartoon will help you quickly identify the subject of the scripture.

Scripture quote of the day:

President Kimball:

“I ask us all to honestly evaluate our performance in scripture study. It is a common thing to have a few passages of scripture at our disposal, floating in our minds, as it were, and thus to have the illusion that we know a great deal about the gospel. In this sense, having a little knowledge can be a problem indeed. I am convinced that each of us, at some time in our lives, must discover the scriptures for ourselves—and not just discover them once, but rediscover them again and again”

(Ensign, Sept. 1976, p. 4)

Suggested talk: Likening the Scriptures Unto Ourselves

Ria’s Podcast: Meaning in Art

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Meaning in Art

My sister, Maria Hathaway, is an AMAZING artist. She has sold many paintings, won 1st place and best of show in the state fair, and has had her art in galleries throughout Utah.

We started a podcast for her, and I decided to post the first entry here as well, since the subject was creating meaning in art. Since we are discussing art in general, music was a major topic as well. Be sure to check out her art, too.  Especially The Soldier’s Father picture we discuss in the show.  We would love to hear your feelings, either here or on her site.

My Grandma: On Writing

My Grandma: On Writing

My Grandma was an amazing woman.  She died about 16 years ago, but she left some tapes behind for her posterity.  She was a writer, and a very talented one.  Here she speaks about it, and though writing is the subject, her words can apply to any art.

I have the same feelings toward music.

Create

I think we all have a deeply embedded desire to create. And no wonder. We are children of the great Creator.

Rain – with Words

This is the song Rain from Dayspring. Maria Hathaway, my sister, wrote the words, and Shelly Hathaway, my other sister, is the singer. I highly recommend that you take a look at their blogs and websites. Both are incredibly talented individuals. In addition to being an amazing singer, Shelly designs incredible websites. In addition to being an incredible poet, Maria is an amazing artist.

Shelly’s blog: http://shelly.hathawaymix.org/weblog.htm

Shelly’s web design site: http://creocan.com/

Maria’s blog: http://maria.willowrise.com/

Maria’s art Site: http://www.riafineart.com/

The Fair

the-fair.JPGI love going to the fair. It’s such an interesting experience. All the people in the state are invited to participate by submitting something. Perhaps many of those projects represent a good part of their interests and skills, and yet few, very few, do it for a living. I’m sure they’d love to. In fact, if the opportunity presented itself, I’d bet most contributers to the items at the fair would far rather follow their interests instead of their present jobs if they could have the same basic pay and benefits.

But then again, perhaps if that were the case – if everyone did their hobby for their occupation, perhaps the individual works would not mean as much to the artist. As it is, people create what they create for the sake of creating; for the joy and fulfillment that comes of expression and creativity. There is a pureness to a piece that was created for the sake of the end product. When someone creates something for money or position, the art is merely a means, and not an end of itself.

There is just as much to be said for a piece that is created for the sake of a principle, idea, or message. Art gains its meaning in the intent of the author and in the reception of its audience. But when something is created only for money, the piece is only worth its monetary value. It can only be worth that amount, and rarely more. The remarkable thing is that there are some artists (and musicians and authors) that are able to put infinite meaning into their work, and still use the piece to make a living. Those are the real professionals. Those are the people that can carry emotion, meaning, and purpose in a frame, as it were, and share those gifts with the world. This may be a difficult balance for creators to find, but certainly the truly passionate will come through, and will make the world a far more beautiful place for the rest of us.

I believe that many of the truest and greatest authors and artists will never be known, because they are too busy living to put their art on paper. Many of the deepest thinkers and the greatest ‘live-ers’ have not the time to immortalize their compositions by putting them on paper, because to do so might take time from the glorious day to day experiences that make them the great artists that they are.

Gratefully, painting, music, poetry, and all of the great arts are products of the mind and heart, so they do not vanish with death. This life is only a grain of sand on the beach of eternity, and the greatest masterpieces will not show up in mortality.