sounding like a brass musical instrument; harsh and loud.
tastelessly showy or loud in appearance or manner.
When a brass section plays along in harmony with a band, it can be a magical, musical experience. Those bold, brassy tones blending together in tight harmonies, complimenting the melodies and, sometimes, doing the solo thing – at the right time of course – are beauty in sound.
Everything is beautiful in its place, and its time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Musicians will affirm that “chemistry” is important in a musical group. Each person must be attuned to the other and to the whole and, at the same time, be focused on his or her own contribution. This is multitasking at its finest! When the chemistry is there, it is a wonder to behold. When it isn’t, it just falls flat.
The difference is the ability and the willingness of each member of the group to recognize his or her own place in the group and to compliment the other members of the group for the betterment of the whole. Each member has to play his or her own part and play it in such a way that it fits in to the whole. If each member was competing with the other members of the group, it wouldn’t work. It would fall flat.
When it all comes to together, it can be magical, but it doesn’t just happen. Every member of the group has to be “on the same page”, playing the same piece of music (duh!) and playing it in the same rhythm and timing and style and tone and composition and …. There are lots of moving parts, even to a simple arrangement of music.
The group also has to practice together and spend time together. They have to get to know each other and learn each others quirks, weaknesses, strengths and personalities.
They have to be willing to pick up the slack for each other’s weaknesses. It doesn’t do the group any good to complain or to let a member flounder in his weaknesses. It pulls the whole group down.
Groups really shine when they work so well together that they appear to be a seamless whole, kind of like one body with all limbs and parts working together in unison, but each contributing her own amazing part, so that something much greater than any one part emerges. Simon was never as good as Simon and Garfunkel. The Civil Wars were much greater together than Joy Williams and John Paul White apart.
When the brass section plays well together in harmony, each part playing its own contribution to the whole, the whole truly is much greater than the parts. (Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?) But, when the members of the group aren’t on the same page, are not complimenting each other, and not playing in the same key, rhythm timing or tone, they will just sound brassy.
A musical group is a good allegory for the body of Christ. Harmony is another way of describing love.
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:1-7)
We are meant to live together, not alone. But we can only do that in a way that is beautiful, in the way that is intended for us, if we love each other.
When we compete with each other for attention, affection, things, place/position, money acknowledgement – whatever we seek for ourselves – we become brassy. We lose the harmonies; we lose the chemistry; we lose the beauty in which we have the ability to live together with others, each playing our own parts, compensating for each other’s weaknesses, complimenting each other’s strengths, allowing each other to shine in our own ways as parts of the whole, together making the whole much greater than the sum of the parts, living together as one, as Jesus is one with the Father and we are one with Jesus.