300 Years of Bach’s St. John Passion

This year we celebrate the 300th anniversary of Bach’s St. John Passion. It was first performed on April 7, 1724 at the Good Friday services at the St. Nicholas Church in Leipzig, Germany. It was revised and performed several times during Bach’s lifetime and is still widely performed today.

Reflections on the Nunc Dimittis

In the past few weeks we have taken a closer look at three of the great Biblical songs: the Magnificat, the Benedictus, and the Gloria. These are among four of the songs bestowed to us by the Holy Spirit through Luke’s account of the Christmas story. To conclude this series let us consider the last of these, the… Read More »

Reflections on the Gloria in Excelsis

Throughout history, the Almighty chooses individuals who are otherwise ordinary and unremarkable to fulfill His divine purposes. Such was the case that Christmas night over 2,000 years ago. Dedicated, sleepy shepherds simply fulfilling their God-given vocation were surprised by a heavenly encounter. At first, one angel appeared announcing the birth of Jesus, the Savior. Then the night sky… Read More »

Relections on the Benedictus

This week I would like to offer some reflections on the Benedictus, the song sung by Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. The Benedictus is the second of four songs that Luke records as he narrates Christmas story for us in the first two chapters of his Gospel.

Reflections on the Magnificat

From Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus come four important songs that have been sung now for over 2,000 years: the Magnificat or Song of Mary; the Benedictus or Song of Zechariah who was the father of John the Baptist; the Gloria in Excelsis or Song of the Heavenly Host; and the Nunc dimittis or Song of… Read More »

The Meaning of the Name of Jesus

Standing at the beginning of another liturgical season, it is good for us as musicians to consider the name of whom, to whom, and for whom we sing, namely the name of “Jesus.” This name was chosen not by Mary or Joseph, but rather by God Himself. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, he revealed the name… Read More »

Jubal’s Lyre Top 20 Blogs

I was recently reminded by my web hosting service that it has been slightly over 10 years since I started this little blog. How time flies! Thank you for subscribing. Please join us on Facebook or on Twitter if you haven’t already. I had been writing occasional newsletter articles for the churches I was serving to help my… Read More »

Celebrating 300 Years of Bach in Leipzig

300 years ago today (April 22) the Leipzig Town Council unanimously selected Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) to become the 17th Thomaskantor and the world of sacred music has never been the same. This appointment sparked a period of unparalleled creative activity that left the world with some of the most meaningful, sublime, and joyful music ever composed. Below… Read More »

Happy 338th Birthday to J. S. Bach!

Today on March 21, 2023 we celebrate the 338th birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Among other things he has been called “The Fifth Evangelist.” What does that mean? Of course, the Four Evangelists are the disciples of Jesus who wrote the Gospels, the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Bach has… Read More »

Why Study Music?

A couple of months ago my wife came across a meme on Facebook entitled “Reasons to Study Music.” With compelling graphics, it offered six to eight benefits that studying music provides. I’ve seen similar lists before, but all are derived from a secular viewpoint. I was led to come up with a list that also provides a Biblical… Read More »