Asaph’s to seer of the King: move from being lost in problems to lost in God, Ps 77

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whirlingmerc

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Asaph’s instruction to the seer of the King: Help people move from being lost in their problems to being lost in God, Psalm 77

Dear Jethunah, seer of King David, Dean of musicians
As you helped arrange the music for one of David’s Psalms in the first and then the second books of Psalms, a third book is being made and therein a Psalm that your gifts would be most helpful with. Your name means praise and I need your help musically turning being lost in their problems to being lost in God. Turning confusion to praise.

On the subject of names. My name, Asaph, means gather and I am gathering about a dozen Psalms for the new 3rd book of Psalms. They all concern the judgments of God and are usually focus on a historical event. I would like your help with one to go roughly in the middle of my set, the Psalms before and after reinforcing the thoughts of this one.

This psalm is intended move the hearers from wrong thinking to right. Self focused to God focused. I have some ideas you and your sons will be perfect for. You prophesy to the harp as do your six sons. You fit perfectly.

I see four sections.

The first is very short and prelude. First section begins with you, Jeduthun, in front of the congregation alone. Begin with you playing the harp crying out the first short section

“I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me.”
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without
wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints.

In fact if you need moved just say the words at first, then after a line or two sing.
Emphasis on words involving trouble, pausing, playing your harp. Stretch out your hand to God.

Pause a moment in silence with your sons stepping up besides you.
Selah !

Second section:

Now your sons each play their harps one by one with a statement to cry, Six statements of people lost in their problems with wrong thinking. Six solos. Each of the couple times a word synonymous with trouble is used perhaps have all play their harps, In this section, each sing solo, and each play harp solo.

Make a sorrowful, use of strings to portray depression

“You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I consider the days of old, the years long ago.”

Briefly use of flutes for an attempt at faith, but have it fade: This can be sung more softly
“ I said, “Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” Flute fade... strings only now. "Then my spirit made a diligent search: “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable?”

Back to strings, back to louder, relentless questions, strings only. Perhaps before each question and solo, all six harpists strum.

All six harps Strum , one then sings and plays
" Has his steadfast love forever ceased? "

...and so on...
"Are his promises at an end for all time?"

" Has God forgotten to be gracious? "

"Has he in anger shut up his compassion?”

Pause a moment while the flute choir joins
Selah!

Third section:

Moving to a more hopeful sound add flutes to the harps. There are six more statements. Your sons will sing and a single flute will join. The first sings solo as before, only flutes will join them with their harps. Have another son join in with each statement to make it expand. Have another flute join in with each son so at the end it sounds more expansive.

" I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High."

Add a flute. Add a singer.
" I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. "

Add a flute. Add a singer. And so on...
All through this keep adding flutes and singers; grow in volume.

" I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. "

" Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? "

" You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. "

" You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. "

Pause a moment while the cymbals and trumpets join
Selah!

Last section You and your son’s sing in unison. There will be 21 references to God and no references to self. The hearers should be moved form being lost in self to being lost in God. Consider how to convey that musically.

All seven of you sing and play your harps.
“ Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen.”


Notice the verses of the Psalm greatly lengthen… sing slowly and expansively… make the volume high Walk out among the people and sing in the congregation. Add trumpets. Add cymbals. As my name is Asaph, gatherer, I have gathered 24 divisions of helpers. Have one or two of the singing divisions of Asaph start to sing with you in the crowd, gradually adding singers so at the end the volume is high. Ovr the course of singing in the midst of the congregation, add other singers to the seven of you from the divisions of Asaph. expand it.

Be very generous in the use of cymbals. Continue expanding the sound.

“ The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook. When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side. “

End with very generous use of trumpets.

“You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”

May he who has unseen footprints lead you.
Thank you dear Jeduthun, fellow musician and seer, in service of the Lord
And afterwards, lets all get together and have a feast !


Asaph
 
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