MUSIC--The language of the soul


By Al Hughes

    Music plays an important role in most of our lives. Music surrounds us all. We thrive on it. Music is a force that energizes and compels, makes chill-bumps rise to the surface of our flesh, and gives comfort to the broken hearted. In movies, music links our emotions to otherwise emotionless images on a screen. It tells us when to be thrilled and excited, tense or sympathetic. Without it, we are, in a sense, like those projected images.

    Brain Wilson said it well in his musical composition "ADD SOME MUSIC"--
      You'll hear it while you're walkin' by a neighbor's home;
      You'll hear it faintly in the distance when you're on the phone.
      You're sittin' in a dentist's chair,
      And they've got music for you there;
      To add some music to your day

      Your doctor knows it keeps you calm;
      Your preacher adds it to his psalms;
      So add some music to your day.

          When you're alone,
          Is like a companion,
          For your lonely soul.

      At a movie you can feel it touching your heart.
      And on every day of the summertime,
      You'll hear children chasing ice cream carts.
      They'll play it on your wedding day;
      There must be 'bout a million ways;
      To add some music to your day.

      When my day is over,
      I close my tired eyes,
      Music is in my soul.


(Brian Wilson/J. Knott/Mike Love; ©Brother Publishing Co. BMI)

    I believe music says a lot about a person. I'm not sure what the music I enjoy says about me, but for anyone who might be interested, allow me to give my own personal evaluation of music.
    An evaluation of music is bound to be somewhat subjective. I have a wide range of musical tastes. I admire many singers for their natural ability. I love talent and musical quality. I detest groups who have no musical talent and make tons of money. I'm not into most of the "music" of the eighties and nineties. I HATE "grunge" bands. I can't stand "music" that it is distorted with blaring electrical instruments and screaming vocalists. I don't even consider it is music. It is a perversion of music. Music can be loud, but never distorted! Tchaikovsky's War of 1812 is very LOUD, but it's great music, in my opinion.
    I like music that is clean, crisp, clear, and comforting. It could be fast or slow, upbeat or laid back, rousing or soothing, but it must be harmonious and balanced. It is melodious music that lifts you up and leaves you 'feeling good.'
    The greatest musical instrument was created by God--The human voice. I love to hear voices singing in pristine four-part harmony. The late Karen Carpenter had a sweet unsullied voice that was very easy to listen to. It was intimate and pure. She had a one of a kind crystalline sound. Although I do not endorse the content in some of her songs, no one can deny that her singing was smooth as silk and as gentle as a soft breeze. I am thankful for her legacy in song. Hardly a week goes by that I don't hear her beautiful singing somewhere, either in a store or restaurant.
    Above all, music must be in tune with the Scriptures. Since man is a triune being (body, soul, and spirit), music is soulful and spiritual. As such, it has a physical effect on the body (1 Sam. 16:15, 16, 23). It affects the entire person. Music can be beneficial, but it can also be detrimental when perverted.
    There was music before there was man. Lucifer, the anointed cherub, conducted the orchestras of heaven (Ezek. 28:13). There was singing when God created the heaven and the earth (Job 38:6-7). It wasn't long until men began to make musical instruments (Gen. 4:21). Music held an integral part of worship in the Old Testament (2 Chron. 5:13, 14; Ps. 33:2-3; Ezek. 40:44). God even sings (Zeph. 3:17). The Lord Jesus Christ sang with His disciples (Mt. 26:30). I often wonder what it sounded like. It must have been beautiful. Music continues to play an important role in the ministry of the local church (Heb. 2:12; Col. 3:16).
    The Bible makes allowances for a wide variety of musical enjoyment-- From patriotic songs (Ex. 15; 1 Sam. 18:6-7) to working songs (Num. 21;17); from love songs (Song of Solomon 1:1) to songs of merriment (Luke 15:25). But they are always songs that promote what God says is good for man. Music should never encourage anything that is harmful or would distract man from his relationship with God (e.g. drugs, illicit sex, covetousness, rebellion, etc.).

    Music should enhance our life, not desecrate it.
    So, let the music begin!