What Is Song Interpretation And Expression?
SOL-R, by the way, is the acronym for Spirit of Life Recording Company. We just said a while ago that song interpretation relates to the purpose of the song, the setting, the intended target of the song as well as the mood with which the song is to be sung. We just talked about the place where we are really singing our songs in worship.
Even though we are here on earth physically, when we worship, our spirits are having a dialogue or some form of interaction with the Creator so that we are here, but not here, we are “there”, you know, at the throne of God. That is why worshippers become transformed to become like Him, since, after all, you spend time with Him. This mystery is explained in 2nd Corinthians 3 especially verse 18.
The target audience is important to song interpretation
Let me just give an example of the point I made about intended target of a song. If you are a husband, you should know by now that women are built to hear words of love and that they love to hear them repeatedly. Husbands may not need to hear as much as women do since they are built differently. Now men, your wives would complain bitterly if you tell her “I love you, honey” in a flat voice, and with an expressionless face. This is not a secret, women all over the world are like that. Your wife would expect to “feel” the emotion behind the words and see some sort of expression, excitement and interest when you tell her that you do love her or she will tell you that you don’t. You can keep romance in the marriage if you tell her daily that you love her and act it out even when you don’t feel like it.
God is like that emotionally and He put that part of Himself into women. It is important to know the target of your song since it indeed relates to song expression. The ability to sing expressively will therefore emanate from a personal relationship with God in worship. Enoch the prophet was such a worshipper that he was taken away from the earth. Yes, Jude says he was a prophet and quoted one of his prophecies. He had a relationship with God that was unparalleled since God did not repeat this snatching away except in the case of the Prophet Elijah. He won’t do this again until the rapture of His saints, so be in tune always.
By the way, if you can’t hear His voice as a believer, how will you hear His shout and the sound of the trumpet when He returns (1 Thes 4:16)?
This is a heavenly sound, so it would behove you to get acquainted now in the spirit (some people really do hear them with the natural ear) with the sounds of heaven so that you won’t be left behind. You need to feel the mood of the song in order to express it vocally. Songs to the Lord are rarely sad. He may want meditation (as in Ps 5), jubilation, a celebratory mood, softness, crescendo, loudness, inflections into certain words or phrases that express the word or phrase accurately. For example, if you want to say “sweet”, you will want the word to sound like “sweet” means. Husbands, here are some tricks of the trade, especially when you want to create “The Atmosphere”.
How to create an atmosphere or mood for your song
Check out the application of Ephesians 5. Moods can be created by the application of musical dynamics, attention to diction and phrasing, inflections on words and the anointing that is on the singers as they sing (the latter is another topic in its entirety). When we sing “who is the king of glory?” it would help if one understands the events and scriptures behind the words. Even if one does not, kings are to be applauded greatly. Most of us have never seen a King, so we really do need the scriptures on His kingship and authority.
If He puts a hedge around me, I am yelling in my spirit and singing jubilantly to celebrate triumph over my enemy the devil. My fists will be popping. I will be leaping etc because that is the way my spirit will respond (usually). My physical response to the song depends on the emotion that I am downloading in my spirit as I sing the song. Now I have only used two examples and want you to remember that principles still apply. This is not an attempt to stereotype anyone’s response to the song.
Instructors of song and dance need to study their song and dance as if preparing for an examination. Song instructors should feel out the song, sing it out before teaching it, underline the words and phrases that you want to emphasize. Get the feeling of the song at the throne room. If you are a worshipper, this would not be difficult. Where do you want to express the different musical dynamics? What are they? What mood do you want to create by their usage?
Most of all, one should willingly submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit if He chooses to lead you in another direction or do something new that did not occur to you while the song is being rehearsed.
I have personally found that this is usually the time when much creativity comes and when the greatest anointing and blessing flow. Next time we will talk about biblical examples of song interpretation and expression if the Lord permits. How about telling me about some of these?