Songs and music are almost synonymous with celebration. They characterise seasons and cultural situations. Turn on the radio at different times of the day, week or year and the music varies.
In the kingdoms of the earth at that time the word season had a very different meaning.
The word “season” literally meant “singing-reason”. The words “season” and “sing-song” were often used to mean the same thing. It didn’t make a difference, as some people spoke so quickly that the “g’s” got lost. No two seasons were the same and for every season there was a new song.
At the time of writing this it is Christmas. Growing up in Barbados we remember Christmas as a time of seasonal songs being blasted from stores on Broad Street and Swan Street, enticing shuffling shoppers to come in and relieve them of their “obvious bargains”.
Music transfixes and keeps us locked in to the moment. It glides over us like the wind and warms us like the sun, drenching us like the rain if we do not seek shelter from its downpour.
Songs were very much a part of school and church, as we would practice for choir recitals and Christmas programs, celebrating the birth of Christ. In our culture, there is no other time of the year typified by music that spans generations and ages. We hardly tire of “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World”. These songs remind us of the meaning of Christmas, inspiring and fuelling us for the new year.
Each season would last as long as there was something new to sing about, or until people simply got tired of singing the same song.
Music is not always happy. It can be dark, sorrowful and somewhat depressing, reflecting our current experience. In his book, “This is Your Brain on Music”, Daniel J. Levitin says:
“If music serves to convey feelings through the interaction of physical gestures and sound, the musician needs his brain state to match the emotional state he is trying to express.”
Daniel J. Levitin (Author of This is Your Brain on Music)
In “The Kingdoms of Celebration” the scenes of life are played through music. In future books I will go into more detail about different styles of singing used by the different kingdoms. In the first book the Kingdom of Fragrant Flowers is featured, as this is the home kingdom of the main character, Princess Nia. However, singing and musical styles and genres are not exclusive. They may be birthed in different cultures but beauty emerges from confusion – the initial experimental chaos of fusion – when voices, accents, languages and songs come together.
Music and songs make us as much as we make them. We are reprogrammed every time we sing. We are united and inspired by tunes that don’t just tickle our ears but transform the way our blood flows and our neurones fire; that tune our heartbeats and our thoughts; that reflect and refract the image of our souls.