Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Dogmas and Half-Baked Gospel Music

Every religious belief is a closed system, so other philosophers argue.
Being such, it has its bedrock on a specific dogmatic belief. This is the reason one can neither question nor disagree with church authorities.
Christianity or Islam tells us that God created us even when we know we were born from our mothers and fathers. This parenthood knowledge has therefore compelled most of us to question our parents who God’s mother and father are, when we are at a tender age.
While the explanation is that God is Omnipotent, He was there and shall always be there looks like enough, it still has holes, which fail to hold together even a child’s credulity.
This is where a belief will use its ‘closed system’ which simply shut-up you by saying it is the evil powers of Satan that drives a person to ask such questions and this snaps any desire to ask more. This approach is what is usually looked at as a dogmatic slumber, where you wake up at your own peril.
This frame is unfortunately one which most of Gospel musicians want to use. They sing very bad songs, which they are not even ashamed to put into compact disks or tapes and call them albums, comfort in the belief that no one will point a finger at their mediocrity because it is the word of God.
Artists that are into gospel take it for granted that since it is gospel music then they could get away with it.
No, I am not going to believe that, this is a big lie. God loves beauty, this is the reason even his creations are a beauty including Lucifer himself – or herself pardon my gender sensitivity here – although in believer’s depiction they will try to show him as a badly horned looking creature.
For every 10 gospel songs produced in Malawi, you find that one will be a hit while for every 10 secular songs produced in the country at least five will become the street anthems due to its popular appeal.
While there is always a listener in the mind of the latter, the former gives it no effort to have quality music because to them gospel is gospel so you do not have to choose what to listen to.
I remember when I was growing up, our family used to pray at one of the world traditional churches The Catholic. There were five choirs at the church, which used to alternate during mass services. Of the five, only two practiced so hard and every time it was their turn to perform during the mass, no one wanted to leave the church.
The other three had a careless approach and on their worst days, they could even clash with lines of their songs not to mention starting off-key where the choirmaster would then struggle to make them start repeatedly as if they are practising when it was a mass service.
We thought we were the only ones that witnessed this middle-of-the-road act, but lo! The father superior was also irritated, he eventually dissolved the three choirs, and we remained with the two.
This is a clear indication that we cannot go to God with half-baked production just because we are mentioning his name expecting that everyone will let us be.
Every time we launch our gospel musical career, we also need to be so creative to captivate even the non-believer to turn to God. It is wrong to conclude that Malawi although a God fearing nation does not promote her gospel artists. Gospel music should entice not dispel!
Much as it is a necessity for churches or any other beliefs to keep tight their dogmas, it would be wrong to use the same as a yardstick when producing music that sing about the very belief and approach it with a laissez-faire attitude.
It is a pity that some churches will even generate so many resources for say their pastor or evangelist to produce a musical album, not because he is talented but because he thinks he can do it since resources are available.
The best way to do it, if congregations have resources they want to waste on any musical production, is perhaps to identify a few talented individuals within the congregation who should be supported to produce music.
Today, I do not want to mention any names, but I should believe that we have amidst us gospel musicians that are worth the name while others are not only a shame to humanity but also their music stand blasphemous in the presence of God because of its mediocrity.
There was a time when this pen drummed something that echoed ‘quality control’ believe you me, quality control would be more useful in this respect than in any other type of music because those that sing gospel music take it for granted that our radios will make their listeners listen to their underdone work because it is for God.
Only if they can be made to listen to their badly produced music themselves and never allow it to reach to anyone else in the name of quality control, can we stop those using dogmatic beliefs to produce mediocrity.

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