Sound Theology by Colleen Butcher

E Flat Major

As we wind our way toward the end of the liturgical year, and the end of our tour of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s 2013 Signature Series broadcasts, we have come to the key of E flat major.

E flat major is the key of heroes. Inspiring, courageous, gritty, and gallant, the music of E flat major calls us to action. It lifts our spirits, acknowledging the struggle, but never abandoning the adventure. It includes some of the best-loved melodies in classical music, from the expansive, breath-taking melodic line in Nimrod to the frenetic, rhythmic brass of the Jupiter movement of The Planets. It is definitely a key of perseverance and rising to the challenge. read more…

G Major

This is the second-last week of music inspired by the CBC’s Signature Series: a collection of stories told about music in different keys. Pietropaolo, the producer of this series, calls G major the Trusty Sidekick, and identifies Samwise Gamgee as an example of the ideal traveling companion, because of his loyalty to the task of the shared journey. read more…

F Major

This week’s Signature Series key is F major: The Perfect Companion.

Today in worship we remembered saints, both gone and in our midst. We spoke of companionship and camaraderie, mutuality and mentorship, sorrow and joy. We lit candles and listened as the bell tolled. Most importantly, we prayed. read more…

F Minor

This is Reformation Sunday; the 500th anniversary of the reformation! And this week’s signature series is F minor – The Fighter.

Martin Luther was determined and persistent, a fighter in the best sense of the word. Luther did not see the long-term implications of his courageousness at the beginning, but he took a step that he was compelled to take. And then the next, and then the next. His understanding developed, his resolve increased, and his courage was fortified.

F minor is music for the determined and persistent. It’s music that inspires courage, calls forth the best, and embodies the energy to create change. read more…

A Minor

This week’s playlist features a sweet soupcon of early 20th century Viennese violin music, surrounded by bold, yet familiar, piano works. Movies and modern concert halls have made almost all of these works hummable.

Beethoven’s chromatic motif from Für Elise appears in almost a dozen movies, including Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The 18th variation in Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Variations is in Groundhog Day and the TV series The Good Wife. Grieg’s music from his A minor Piano Concerto first appeared in the movies in 1939. And 514 episodes of ABC’s hit TV show Peyton Place, featured excerpts from Schumann’s Piano Concerto. read more…