My Musings

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Language Of Music

Music is a language. English is a language. Spanish is a language. Chinese is a language. I could say to you in English, "Clap your hands," and you would know to put your hands together. If I spoke the languages, I could say the same in Spanish or Chinese. I can say the same in music. For Example, when you hear the song "Give Me That Old Time Religion" in a lively fashion, it is as if you are subconsciously being instructed to clap your hands. Music speaks to the emotions in such a way as to influence our behavior. Music can instruct us and tell us what to do just as in any other language.

Evidently music is important to God, because he tells us to speak to ourselves, or influence ourselves, with songs and hymns and spiritual songs.

"Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;"
~ Ephesians 5:19

First, music is a universal language. There are some rock stars and musicians that can sing in English but are able to travel to foreign lands and, by singing in English, sing in a language that the people do not understand.

Second, music speaks to our heart and our spirit which affects our behavior. Rather than just struggling through each day, trying my best to serve God, I want to have a zeal and an excitement about life. By allowing good music to influence me, my level of joy can be directly influenced to increase. For example, consider the example of Saul in the Old Testament.

"And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him."
~ I Samuel 16:23

You may say, "Music doesn't affect me." The Bible says that it does!

Third, music affects us whether we want it to or not. Because music is a language, it speaks to us and gives us instruction. When we hear instruction, we can choose whether to follow that instruction or not to follow it. Music either tells us to calm down, get going, get excited, be immoral, and many other things. The marketing industries have understood this principle for years. For example, if you go to a ball game there is music designed to get you excited. If you go to a restaurant, there will be music there. If you go to a shopping mall, there is music there. Why? Because they understand that music influences us whether we want it to or not.

Music influences or controls our emotions which eventually affect our behavior. In this regard, music can be used for good or for bad. This is why it is so important to determine the difference between music that will help us spiritually or music that will hurt us spiritually.

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