My friend Bob recently posted a video on Facebook of the Bee Gees singing on a show called Midnight Special. Midnight Special was a musical variety show in the 70’s that prided itself on playing music LIVE. At the time most television musical acts were lip-syncing to background music.
Say what you want about disco but the Bee Gees had it going on when it came to harmonies. When I finished watching “Nights on Broadway” I got sucked in the vortex of watching videos of several acts I grew up with. As I did it occurred to me that a lot of the bands I grew up with had phenomenal harmonies: Simon and Garfunkel, CSN&Y, Eagles, Pure Prairie League (You know that’s Vince Gill on the high harmonies in Amie, right?)After about the 50th time I listened to Dave Mason’s “We Just Disagree” I started thinking about “harmony” in general.
har·mo·ny noun \ˈhär-mə-nē\ the combination of different musical notes played or sung at the same time to produce a pleasing sound : a pleasing combination or arrangement of different things
The musical definition is easy to grasp but what does it mean to have harmony on our teams at work, in our family or in our friendships? What’s the key to making beautiful music together?
Sing your part –Your part falls within your vocal range. Do you know your range on your team? What is your equivalent on your team of being a baritone? A soprano? Sometimes we spend all our time wishing we were the lead singer and ignoring the beautiful, unique song God has placed in all of us. What voice have you been given to blend with others to create even a more beautiful tone?
Balance the tension– “Harmonization sounds pleasant when there is balance between consonant and dissonant sounds. In simple words- a balance between “tense” and “relaxed” moments.” We’re all aware of the tense moments, but how often do we intentionally build in the relaxed ones. My husband and I have had ridiculous schedules lately. I didn’t realize the toll it had taken until we both heard words coming out of our mouths we would never say. In that moment we were determined to get away and just be together– clear the calendar, turn off the cell phones and regain our balance. (4 days away!)
Don’t fake it! I hate lip-syncing. Since I’m married to a musician I understand the challenges of live performances but what I like about LIVE is it’s not perfect, not produced- it’s real. One of the biggest challenges to harmony is when we give “lip service” and aren’t really bought in to what we’re doing. In friendship sometimes it’s holding back and not being honest. Most people don’t like conflict but the “song” on the other side is worth it. Have the real conversations. Become a “pleasing combination!” And to quote Dave Mason “There ain’t no good guys. There ain’t no bad guys. There’s only you and me and we just disagree”.