Cease, O Drums, Thy Overwhelming

(if you are viewing this via email, the website has a recording of this poem and commentary; click the title above)


When I posted this on Facebook, I kept having to add comments to clarify my intent:

1. Is there anything more pathetic than an opinionated old audiophile with bad hearing?

2. In my experience, drums can be played in a way that complements the other instruments and voices, or they can be played in a way that draws attention to themselves. That’s just a matter of skill. Additionally, since I’m losing hearing in the higher frequencies, poorly-played drums (with their lower frequencies) can easily dominate and muddy up the whole ensemble. But hey, I torture people in my home with very bad accordion playing, so who am I to talk?

3. I want to be crystal clear…. I have nothing against drums, including as part of worship. As I sit here now, I’m reading theology while listening to one of my favorite Pandora stations. It features electronic dance music by artists like Tiesto, ATB, Armin Van Buren (much of it is built on driving beats). All I meant to say in the poem is “be skillful; be aware of how your instrument complements—or detracts from—other instruments.” One of my nephews is a top-notch drummer. I think he studied under a jazz drummer. When I talked with him about this, he expressed opinions very similar to my own.

(background image adapted from one by Carlos Rocha on Pixabay)

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