Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Equipping. What does that really mean? According to Webster it is defined as...


[ih-kwip] Show IPA
–verb (used with object),e·quipped, e·quip·ping.
to furnish or provide with whatever is needed for use or for any undertaking; fit out, as a ship or army.
to dress; array: He equipped himself in all his finery.
to furnish with intellectual or emotional resources; prepare.
You're on your own with #2, but I can agree with #'s 1 & 3. For some reason I can't seem to get the song "Sharp Dressed Man" out of my head. Anyway, where were we?

Ahhh Yes, EQUIPPING. A big part of what I do around here is raising up others & equipping them to do a good work for the Lord & His church. Because we deal in the most beautiful of gifts...music (in my humble opinion), I've had several music theory related questions as of late. Okay, for those of you who have taken music theory classes, you may have thoroughly enjoyed them. However, for some of us, it was like getting a root canal...several of them. Especially us math challenged folks. So, in an effort to provide teaching in a more palatable way, I have scoured the world wide web in search of some lessons that should help each of you get a better grasp on the often complex subject of music.

In my search I came across a father, son teaching duo out of Cincinnati Christian University. These guys caught my immediate attention. They are really funny! I have to admit, at first I thought, are we ever going to get to some useful information? But it didn't take long for me to find myself laughing & learning at the same time. There are 27 videos total & they are each roughly 10 minutes in length. I will try to post a couple of videos every few days. I promise, the little extra time you spend on watching these will pay off in the end.

So, before we get to the videos, there's one crucial tool that you should all know about before going any further, THE CIRCLE OF FIFTHS.

Understanding how to read the circle of fifths will help you understand the relation between music's major keys and their relative minor keys. A major key and its relative minor use the same key signature, which means they use the same sharps and flats in their scales. When you read the circle of fifths, you'll notice that the major keys are on outside of the circle. Opposite them, inside the circle, are their relative minor keys.

At the top, you have the key of C major, which has no sharps or flats in its key signature. Each stop on the circle as you go clockwise from C is a key with one more sharp than the previous key. Each stop as you go down counter-clockwise from C is a key with one more flat than the previous key.

So, if you have the circle of fifths memorized (or have a picture of it handy), you can easily figure out what key a song is in. Simply count the number of sharps or flats in the key signature, and then move that many spaces around the circle of fifths, starting at C. Move clockwise for sharps, and counter-clockwise for flats.

For example, if you see three sharps (F#, C#, and G#) in the key signature, start from C and go clockwise three places, and you'll find that the song is in either A major or F# minor. Similarly, if you see five flats (Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb) in the key signature (not a nice thing to do to a guitarist), you start at C and go five places counter-clockwise; that puts the song in either Db major or Bb minor.

Without further ado...On With The Show!

"May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, EQUIP you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. -Hebrews 13:20-21


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