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Face the Music

January 24, 2017

Powerful and Prophetic, Ronnie!

Ronnie McBrayer

faceSome say the phrase “face the music” originated within the British military. If an officer were court-martialed, the charges against him would be read publicly, with the condemned man standing before the military band, the drummers tapping woefully on their drums. Incidentally, this is also the origin of the phrase, “drumming out” or “drubbing out,” and also gave rise to the expression of “drummed up” charges.

Others say “face the music” came into recognized use when describing a musical soloist, particularly a soloist in an orchestra pit. At the moment of the solo, the performer would have to turn and face the audience, revealing either his or her talent or faults. But one of the longest traditions of this phrase goes back to ancient China.

A Chinese emperor, so we are told, had assembled the most talented musicians he could find from across all of Asia. Regularly they would play…

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