Sunday, August 30, 2020

"THE MUSTARD SEED" Uga: An Ecclesial Cell in a Local Church - MSGR. PROF. J. B. AKAM

 

Solfa Notation's A.B.C. has been published as the companion of choirmasters and choristers. I have tried to provide the answer to one of the problems that many choirmasters and choristers, as well as composers and music lovers face as far as possible.


"Sing after me, and be sure to sing exactly what I'm doing. If your ears aren't open enough to hear what I'm saying, then leave the chorus. Bad Chancellor!! He taught the Choir for an hour and a half a piece of music consisting of four stanzas, but there was no headway. He tried to teach the vocabulary explicitly in Solfa Notation, but the music couldn't rhyme. Hence its anger!

A music enthusiast once said: "I wrote seven hymns but in Solfa I can't write them." What a deplorable obstacle to progress! The airs he has for those seven hymns are still in the "land of ideas," thus inhibiting his unique and native ability!


It is to help overcome those difficulties I set out to write Solfa Notation's A.B.C. Thus in this work I have dealt with the key points of Solfa and Staff Notation reading in sight within limits. That I did by giving some preliminary words meanings and explanations.


Treatment is provided in Solfa Notation to Punctuation, Accent and Time and to accidentals.In addition, the booklet privileges several Solfa Reading Drills and exercises, and the use of the Tuning Fork.


Some of the pages are punctuated with the meaning of such words that can put off in public an amateur musician.

Indeed, this little job is "a kind of scratch on a bite of a mosquito that constantly demands a second scratch." (Cf. Music's A.B.C., Part One, p.(i).

My readers, I wish you careful and assiduous reading, theoretical grasp and practical application.


The longevity of a book of this kind in print for almost ten years will appear to the reader as flattering for the "vanity" of the author and beneficial to his wallet.

But it poses some problems when he is faced with the demand for yet another edition, at the span of time from the original release. Without a certain pain, no one whose mind has not fully atrophied can read what he wrote ten years before.


Indeed, I described the First Edition as "a kind of scratch on a bite of a mosquito that endlessly demands a second scratch" (cf. Solfa Notation A.B.C., 1st Ed., 1979 p.iv). And here I am on the "second scratch," after the first edition has been retouched, re-modelled and extended.


The second edition came from a series of lectures I gave at All Hallows' Seminary, Onitsha from 1977 – 1980, my Louvain music classes –Belgium, and privately studied. The distinctive feature of this edition is the introduction of staff notation sight-reading. This I found worth the while because notation of staff seems to be the easiest and simplest form of writing music. More significant is the fact that everywhere in all of the countries I visited in Europe and America, from the moment I left Nigeria in 1980, until my return in 1986. The most common form of writing Music is staff notation!


I tried to put this work into practice – no matter how much theory one memorizes, he's still not a musician if he can't put the theory into effect.

Since the book deals more with the practical than with the theoretical aspect of music, I leave the reader to put what he finds in the few pages ahead into effect. Should the reader bear in mind that the only way to identify the one who has "understood" the substance of this work is the sight singing of solfa and staff notation.


Rev. P. Dr. John Bosco Akam, with a masterly hand of an expert scholar, and a philosopher's perspective, created the image of Uga, one of the most densely populated towns in the Anambra State Local Government Area of Aguata in Nigeria. He has carefully demonstrated the link between the Catholic Faith, traditional religion and Igbo culture.This is a city's Christian religious background – Uga, not of a area or nation, as has been the tradition amongst historians of the Nigerian and West African Churches. Thus Rev. Dr. Akam introduced a new dimension to the writing of the Christian history in West Africa. This work is both a revelation and a roll-call in Christian faith and evangelism: a revelation because it gives Uga Catholics' genealogy and family tree – lay and cleric, a roll-call for tabulating and addressing other Christian sects and denominations in the region.

After many years of study and interviews, Dr. Akam has most faithfully depicted the minute yet most revealing mosaics that marked the history of the city of Uga, tracing the origins of the people in the Christian religion and the role of African culture in establishing the Christian faith, the generous response of the Uga people to Catholicism, the remarkable growth of the Church and the recent tendencies.

It was Dante who ordered man to reflect on his heritage over two centuries ago, for he was not created to live like brutes but to seek virtue and wisdom.

With exceptional insight, Friedrich Nietzsche also noted that the first indication that an animal has become man is "when its movements are no

Longer designed to the gratification of the moment, but to what is perceived to be useful in a lasting way. Hannah Arendt thus joins these great thinkers in calling back modern man to his exalted self and integrity, sadly lost when the ideal of "food workers" becomes the ideal of effortless consumption and abundance, the ideal of person and society as a whole. Arendt is definitely not against the work of man as such, but his futility and disgusting end to which his behavior leads man to the life of vulgarity.

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