Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm back!
Apologies to those who have been awaiting some more deep insights from my world (they are clearly few and far between!!) I had anticipated posting at least once a week...but realise it's been a good month or so now! However, I am back!

So...what to muse upon today!?! My reading has really been taking me everywhere, from Greek philosophy where I learned that Pythagoreans believed that Pythagoras could hear the "music" emitted from other planets to Scottish composer James MacMillan regarding music as sacrament. I've also been looking at a biblical foundation for my work.

Apart from the realisation that I need to be able to read some Hebrew (I'm discovering that this isn't the easiest thing in the world!) I've been interested in looking up the words for song and singing in the Old Testament and understanding the broad concepts of these Hebraic words that are so often just translated as 'song' or 'sing'. This has become in some ways a bit of a disappointing task unfortunately, due to a few realisations.

Firstly, that even something we might call a song may not incorporate any music! It seems that 'song' can equate to 'poem' too, which may not be a surprise to some, but has meant that there must be some care in assuming that song equates music.

Secondly, as it turns out, a word often translated as 'sing' in particular in KJV actually just means to raise a great noise, or to shout. I'm yet to decide whether or not this has a great impact on the importance of singing in the Old Testament though! There are still plenty of occurences specifically of singing. I'm hoping that there will also be some good merit in looking into the employment of the Levites by King David to be tabernacle musicians in Chronicles.

I find it wonderful that there were a group of people who seemed to be set apart for the musical worship of Yahweh. Not only were this group musicians, but they were the best musicians. Chronicles records not that Keneniah is appointed because of his connections, but rather...Kenaniah the head Levite was in charge of the singing; that was his responsibility because he was skillful at it. Surely there is a lesson in that for us! But I think I may have previously broached this argument! But, this does point me to the centrality not only of music, but of singing in our worship.

One of my main concerns is that congregationally sung worship seems to be disappearing from new expressions of church. Fresh expressions/emerging church whatever you wish to call it, seems to be scared of congregational singing as they see it as alien to culture. As much as I recognise the point and issue with this, I can't escape from the fact that sung worship is clearly Biblical, and not just in the Old Testament! Colossians 3:16 admonishes us, as with several times in the New Testament, to sing hymns of praise to God. The disciples sang, the creatures of heaven sing...and so should we!

God doesn't care whether we can or cannot sing...those are the restrictions that the world has put on music, not God! Honestly...I don't believe God has a tuning system!

Anyway...I hope that makes up for the recent silence! I realise I've dropped a possible bombshell with the last always...i'll suggest that this may be a topic for another entry (that i'll probably forget about!!)

R x

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Glad to know that God doesn't have a tuning system. It's good news for those of us who only make a joyful noise...

David F