The Gift of Music.

The Gift of Music.

Liam Gallegher: An Icon of Popular Music.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, ‘Music is as old as the hills’. That’s because music and song have been part of the human experience ever since our species first appeared. Even when you listen to nature you will realise there is rhythm in the flowing of a stream, the rustling of leaves in a breeze, birdsong, wolves howling, and so much more.

Do animals understand music? Certainly, there does seem to be evidence to support the notion that animals can. Animals tend to cower away from aggressive music, whereas soothing tones make dogs relax and be at ease. I know from my own experience that dogs react to soft music in an affirmative way. Praise music seems to make them relax and be at peace too!

There are many people who are highly skilled in music and the arts, and there are many genres of music available that you will have no problem finding the music or artist you like.

Popular music has also influenced fashion and has produced youth movements down the years. Most people think that bands in the popular market would be secular and certainly, this is true. However, Christian bands that reflect different genres of music – ie Punk or Heavy Metal, do exist, and you can find many examples of this on YouTube. Secular music covers all aspects and styles, and Christian music is no different. There are Christian equivalents of secular music styles from classical to hip hop.

In a poll conducted in 2018, Heavy Metal was the most popular music in the UK, followed by dance music, hip hop, and country music. Science has proved that aggressive music and even harmful lyrics can alter people’s moods. Aggressive music (whatever form it takes) can make people angry and violent, whereas gentle, soothing, music (again whatever form it takes) has the opposite effect. People that work in therapy use calming music as a way to treat those with mental illness. If you have been in a stressful situation, calming music whether secular or Christian, does calm you down.

As Christians, we need to realise God has given humans the gift of music and the ability to enjoy it, to alleviate stress, be creative and praise his name in worship music. Of course, many of us listen to secular music, and there is nothing wrong with that. We must also realise Satan uses music as a tool to suck us in and do his bidding. Satan will take anything and corrupt it and music is no different. So it would be wise to filter what we listen to. If a certain type of music feels negative and makes us feel negative, it is best left well alone.

Jesus would have heard music back in his day. Coming from the synagogues Jesus would have heard Rabbinic chanting, praising, singing, etc. Greek music would also have been commonplace so scholars say. Possibly Roman music would have been familiar to Christ as he journeyed around. Jesus would have been familiar with Jewish secular and religious music. Flutes, lyres, percussion instruments, and early types of loot would have been the instruments played.

Does the New Testament reference Jesus singing, chanting, or playing an instrument? In Matt 26:30 we have the event of Christ and his disciples singing a hymn or praise of some sort. Later on, we see Paul telling Christians to sing “hymns, psalms, and the spiritual songs” found in Colossians 3:16. Paul encourages us in Ephesians 5:19 also to praise God musically.

Whether we are Christian, of some other faith, or atheist, music will be part of our lives. So God clearly endorses music and encourages humans to use it for positivity and to praise him.

Finally, Scripture is full of references to music as we journey on the spiritual path:

James 5:13: “Is anyone among you suffering? Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise”.

Matt 26:30: “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives”.

Psalm 96:1: “Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all of the earth”!

God bless you.

Nick x.

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