Vocal Harmony in Worship: Jessica Rollins

Here's the first of a few posts from our friend Jessica Rollins. She is a great musician and artist who really understands harmony and has made these posts both practical and theological. Enjoy! 

My name is Jessica Rollins.

I honestly don’t feel like I have much proof to share with you that would help make my words hold much clout. So, I’m hoping my upfront honesty about that is what might catch your attention enough to read this little blog post. I really think that I haven’t done anything to gain any glory for this information I’m sharing with you.

It is God who graciously caused me to be surrounded by some pretty awesome musicians in my life, for which I am extremely thankful.

The people that surrounded me encouraged me to first brave the stage and sing a solo in front of people when I was 7 years old.

From there the passion for music grew stronger and stronger with age and experience.

My only claim to fame is that I have been extremely blessed to rub shoulders with incredible people who’s passion for music has somehow rubbed off onto me.

I am an artist in every sense of the word.  I love anything and everything creative, especially writing and making music.

I was born and raised in the south, I love to cook and in addition to being a song writer/musician, I also paint art for a living.

So, the analogies about southern country cooking and painting that I use below, are not as random as you might think;)

I was asked to specifically talk about harmony and its role in the corporate worship song setting.

I thought I might begin with a brief description of how I view harmony related to melody.

Harmony, when done correctly, is a beautiful thing.

The opposite is unfortunately true, when done incorrectly, it is far from beautiful and I dare say it is not harmony at all. Harmony, within its very definition, means to be in one accord and agreement.  When talking about music, It is a simultaneous combination of tones pleasing to the ear and tasteful to the soul.

Simply put...

Harmony is to melody….like sweet and salty honey butter is to a warm homemade biscuit right out of the oven.

Just think about that for a minute.  

Now that I’ve made us all totally hungry for a yummy sweet and savory breakfast, let’s eat…for real, let’s chow down on the thought of something that makes the heart salivate for more.

This is what harmony is to me; an extremely tasteful and desirable thing for which my soul grumbles.

If you also have tasted its goodness, you know what I’m talking about and will agree.

Anything that doesn’t fall within this description, is not harmony at all, but more like a sour dill pickle on a chocolate brownie. Which does not make sense and would taste horrible.

So, coming from a genuine southerner who is politely comparing good music to good food, let us all prefer honey butter and biscuits please;)

To Be Continued…