ACappella, A Cappella, Christian Worship MusicAcappella, A cappella not Biblical: Modern songs sung with complex harmony by groups have no more Biblical authority than the use of Instrumental music.
The term "music, musical or musician" is, first, a secular activity, or, second, as a purely pagan ritual of those who have abandoned God. There is no hint of the term "music" being used in a religious sense by the general population of either Jews or Biblical Christians. Those promoting music as a way to call down God are the "principalities and powers in high places" against whom Paul said we cannot use carnal weapons or lifeless instruments. If they do not bow to the Word of God then they are calling down the "gods" or demons to steal the honor from Christ. Congregational singing or reciting of the revealed word is not "music" because it lacks the symphony content.
Before putting our trust in Greek words for music we should note that:
These musical fragments show that Greek music was predominantly vocal, although instrumental pieces were sometimes presented.
The music was homophonic; i.e., it consisted of single melodic lines. One of the most important compositions was the dithyramb, a poetic text set to music and sung by a chorus in honour of Dionysus.
Ancient Greek was a pitched language, so melody had to be an outgrowth of the natural inflections of the spoken language.
Greek vowels had long and short values that corresponded to long and short notes in the musical settings. Thus musical rhythms were derived from metric forms, and melodic movement was governed by the natural rise and fall of the text.
Ancient Greece appears never to have had a developed instrumental art. Percussion, brass, wind, and string instruments were all played, but
The exact nature of the accompaniment style is unknown, but since no evidence of counterpoint or harmony appears in contemporary accounts,
the accompaniment probably played a version of the melodic line, occasionally adding two-note plucked chords.
There is nothing in ancient Music as hi-tek as modern congregational singing with or without instruments. And it won't do to claim that if the Holy Spirit had known about modern musical performance He would have given His permission. The goal was never music nor even singing but "speaking" the Words of Christ.
We have often used the word a cappella to mean any kind of singing without musical instruments. However, acappella implies much more which is not being exploited by commercial interests moving their money tables right into the churches.
That is, A Cappella has been highjacked to convince the uninformed audience that performance groups singing secular (all human composition is seculat) songs is "legal" because it is still without instruments--even if the musical band creates an organic instrument as opposed to a mechanical or lifeless instrument.
This is a biblical concept but it is not a religious practice endorsed anywhere in the Bible except during animal sacrifices at which time only ethnic Levites could perform the music.
Acappella is the buzz word because it has had a second incarnation to use contemporary styles and choral performance. Consistent with the commercialization of churches through "worship entertainment," the Biblical content Paul demanded is automatically removed and susbtituted with erotic "praise" songs which, if history beginning with the songs from the Towers of Babel, are the product of emotionally-abnormal people. Abnormal because they truly believe that they are inspired by a Holy spirit.
However, performance which exploits the "gullible" nature of us all was believed by all of the ancients to be a product of the "gods" or demons or unholy spirits inspiring "lazy tribal members" with a conflict of interest:
"In this fashion evey common tribal interest--the recurrence of the seasons, the increase of the food supply, successful hunting--
was likely to become embodied in some regularly repeated ceremony, which usually included group dancing, singing, and feasting.
Besides enabling men to express, and
- thereby to allay, anger and anxiety,
- such ceremonies also promoted tribal unity and
- strengthened the loyalty of the individual to tribal traditions,
for the emotional excitement they aroused had the effect of breaking down the barriers between individuals and thus fusing all tribesmen into a collective whole.
- Meanwhile, whole systems of magical devices were gradually elaborated." (Parkes, Henry Bamford, Gods and Men The Origins of Western Culture, p. 26, Knopf), p. 29)
While churches falling into "worship entertainment" identify detractors as "legalistic," it is a fact that the more elaborate religious rituals the more sense of lostness or anxiety is felt and the more self-dependance is required. This is truly the definition of legalistic. However, Revelation 18 makes it the end-time festival of a dying civilization not knowing how to "come out of her."
Jingling, banging, and rattling accompanied heathen cults, and the frenzying shawms of a dozen ecstatic cries intoxicated the masses. Amid this euphoric farewell feast of a dying civilization, the voices of nonconformists were emerging from places of Jewish and early Christian worship ..." (Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1971 ed., s.v. "Music")
When the old "wine" has ceased to "ferment" the universal end-time recourse is to those identified as "enchanters, necromancers or soothsayers." And the more disconnected the "priesthood" becomes from carrying their own load the more intense the rituals become. As Engineers working on government contracts the nearer the end of the job came the more frenzied people became. So it was "look busy" until the next contract gets here. In government accounting this was labeled "burden" or "overhead."
Jesus identified frenzy-producing rituals which the priests saw as "spiritual" the "burden laded" upon oppressed people. As a fix, the "gospel" means that Jesus came to pry them loose:
'Certain members of a tribe, marked out either by unusual skills or by some emotional abnormality, ususally became particularly adept at these operations, and gradually assumed specialized functions.
Released from the duty of hunting, and concentrating on the practice of magic, the shaman, sorcerer, or medicine man was the world's first professional." (Parkes, p. 29).
The Britannica notes that it is often hard to distinguish between a priest and a magician.
As one of the world's oldest instruments, the familiar spirit, was an old wineskin which was absolutely empty and hollow. When you mumbled some nonesense into it, an echo came back, reverberated and truly soulded spooky. Well, you have to be more sophisticated today. You might have to use eight stand-up, amplified performers mumbling sentimental and often erotic stuff into the microphone (familiar spirit) and the paying audience is convinced that the larger than life performance is actually God speaking through the inspired singers.
The religion of Babylon implicates female musicians as the second oldest profession. Therefore, rather than being "contemporary" or culturally-friendly, they are the oldest "giants" implicated by Jesus as the Jewish temple people:
"The development both of religion and of the arts can be traced back in a continuous line to the hunting era. The group ritual of the primeval tribesmen were the origin not only of all religious ceremonial, but also of the drama and of poetry and music, while magic gave birth to the visual arts." (Parkes, p. 30).
[Today's sorcerers, still often abnormal, are a product of movements such as PK and their Masculine Journey where sexually-oriented people try to restore your maleness by returning to tribalism. The drum-beat of modern praise songs works because of the inherent Voodoo drum beat. In spite of an almost universal experience, people are deluded into believing that the acting of theatrical performance is an expression of maleness. If history and Hollywood are correct, it is just the opposite. The fact that people would presume to replace the Lord's Table and be "worship leaders" or even mediators or mediatrix to "lead the worshipers into the presence of God is defacto proof of tragic and fatal abnormality."
The Komos or naked dance of the Judas kind gave rise to Comedy as a way to mock the gods.]
"Awed by the mysteries of his own spirit no less than by those of nature, primitive man was likely to attribute to divine influence
any abnormal emotional state, whether above or below the usual level. Medicine men customarily went into states of trance in which they were believed to be in communication with the gods,
and many tribes supposed lunatics and sexual deviants to be divinely possessed.
Philo cointed the word "enthusiasm" to mean enthus o mania. This was the frenzied excitement made obvious by loud singing, hand clapping (a show of contempt) and the goose-bump feeling of being "spiritual." Paul called it madness or being "outside of self." Don't feel superior if this happens to you because:
"In most early societies, moreover, men evolved techniques for deliberaly inducing the abnormal forms of consciousness in which they supposed themselves to achieve union with divine power, sometimes by the use of drugs and other physiological stimuli, sometimes by hypnotic dances (pacing, hand waving, effeminate movements, shouting) and music. The wild utterances to which they gave vent on such occasions were regarded as the words of a god and were interpreted as divine commands or predictions of future events." (Parkes, p. 32-33).
"Many peoples attributed any violent or unusual emotion to one of the gods as a matter of course; the individual was then no longer held responsiblie for his actions, though the gods were sometimes mischievous or even malevolent and the result might be catastrophic." (Parkes, p. 33).
For instance, the praise or play of Israel at Mount Sinai was musical idolatry. Their "play" was repeated by David when he, in mortal fear, played music, sang and danced around the Ark of the Covenent out of dread that God "lived in the box." David's word of praise agrees with Parkes' definition of ancient and modern praise rituals of sorcery:
Halal (h1984) haw-lal'; a prim. root; to be clear (orig. of sound, but usually of color); to shine; hence to make a show, to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave; causat. to celebrate; also to stultify: - (make) boast (self), celebrate, commend, (deal, make), fool (- ish, -ly), glory, give [light], be (make, feign self) mad (against), give in marriage, [sing, be worthy of] praise, rage, renowned, shine.
It is not strange that professional musicians selling their wares as having more spiritual power than the Words of Jesus can unwittingly or half-wittingly name their groups ZOE or HALAL. They are fulfilling prophecy as the ZOE "female instructing principle" was called the BEAST.
"The flash of insight that enabled an individual to achieve an original act of creation, whether in art or in technology, was always mysterious, and for early mankind it could be due only to the intervention of a god. Long after the advent of civilization, in fact, poets continued to believe that they wrote from divine dictation; inventors attributed their discoveries to divine aid." (Parkes, p. 34).
However, when the musicians from the Phillistine High Place caused Saul to be "turned into another man" the meaning is that they "perverted Saul." And later, when David was sent to soothe Saul's insanity it would, very shortly, induce a Satanic spirit into him and turn him into a raving, slobbering mad man:
"in Primitave religion any violent or abnormal emotional state was attributed to the gods and regarded as mystical. Both in the Bible and in Homer there are examples of misleading and catastrophic inspiritation. When Jehovah wished King Ahab to be killed in battle, he put a 'lying spirit' in the mouths of his prophets in order that they might encourage the king to go to war (I Kings, xxii, 22)." (Parkes, p. 33)
"But they did not cease to worship images by reason of the evil intelligence of the magicians, who found excuses for them, which had power to constrain them to the foolish worship. For, establishing this things by magical ceremonies, they assigned them feasts from sacrifices, libations, flutes, and shoutings, by means of which senseless men,
being deceived, and their kingdom being taken from them,
yet did not desist from the worship that they had taken up with. To such an extent did they prefer error, on account of its pleasantness, before truth. They also howl after their sacrificial surfeit, their soul from the depth,
as it were by dreams, forwarning them of the punishment that is to befall such deeds of theirs." (The Clemetine Homilies, Homily IX, Chapt VII, Ante Nicene Fathers, Vol 8, p. 276).
Melody is not harmony and is not related to it in the English sense. However, the Greek "melody" and modern "harmony" have this in common: they both work because they "grind" the listeners to bits. The "touching" in melody is from the Greek."
Psocho (g5597) pso'-kho; prol. from the same base as 5567; to triturate (grind into powder), i.e. (by anal.) to rub out (kernels from husks with the fingers or hand): - rub.
The sop Jesus ground out and hand fed Judas was:
Psomion (g5597)pso-mee'-on; dim. from a der. of the base of 5597; a crumb or morsel (as if rubbed off), i.e. a mouthful: - sop.
The more beautiful the theatrical performance sounds the more the enlightened believers grasp that they are under a Satanic attack.
The dissonance or "dog parks" or "water drips" created by a step from one tone to another is masked but still there and apparent to one not tone deaf. Contrary to ancient unison, the effect is to create "spiritual anxiety" which is sold as a spiritual or even sexual feeling for God. As a very far reach, the latter-day music industry has cashed in on "Christianity" by convincing that the total repudiation of music as worship is just the opposite. This new field is called Worship Entertainment. And the songs are erotic.
> Old Testament, music was legalistic under the Monarchy and was effectively externally only. It had no effect upon the spirit and indeed the common "congregation" was expelled from the temple when the "like the nations" animal sacrifices with instrumental "noise" began.
The Jewish "congregation" never sang acappella or a cappella with instruments as an act of worship under the Law.
> The Synagogue "had no praise service." It was not a pagan worship center but school to which later additions added led prayers which had no foundation either in the Covenant or the Law of Moses. Not even acappella or a accappela singing existed in the synagogue.
> Jesus said that God was only seeking those who worshiped "in spirit." That does not mean "spirited" or "enthusiastic" or charismatic. Rather, it means that spiritual worship takes place only in the human spirit (the Most Holy Place) where we meet God, one at a time. God doesn't dwell in the sex glands but in the mind or spirit.
Any form of performance music grabs the glory as indeed, based on all ancient traditions confirm, grab it from Jesus who never sang, danced or played music.
Such music during communion has, increasingly, chased the Lord's Table as "stage center" to the foyer (In Seattle) to make room for the musical mediators and worship performers. This, too, is the work of Satan in all of the pre and post-Christian views which have been preserved. This is the evil work alluded to by Jude quoting Enoch to say that God will come with ten thousand of His saints to execute judgment upon Satan's agents.
These agents were led by Satan to add mixed-sex choirs and instruments to steal the glory from God.
Once they fell they could never get up.
The story of the king of Babylon, the king of Tyre and the end-time Babylonian prostitute religion repeats this story.
> Josephus warned the Levites that their assuming priestly roles (from which the Catholics got performance Levitical Worship Teams) had destroyed Israel once (Ezekiel) and they had been fired in the Idealized Temple beginning in Ezekiel chapter forty. Now, for the aggrandizement of the ruler they could force themselves back into wearing linen garments (David did that) and again becoming Levitical singers. The civil authorities (Commercial or business leaders today) got control of the temple and its money. Agrippa built one of the finest Seeker Centers in the ancient world. Perhaps as grand as that of Apollo or Abbydon or Apollyon at Delphi.
> To prevent falling back into Satanic or "like the nations" worship which destroyed Israel, Paul's command was not to "sing" but to "teach" or preach. The method was "one another" or congregational and the resource was not the presumptuous invention of the human mind. Such musical compositions were always rejected in early church history for the same reason they rejected a human-composed Bible.
When the style drives Biblical content out then you know that you are being attacked by principalities and powers in high places and the pastor-teachers are not able to stop it.
Like the destruction of Israel who fired God and demanded "set a king over us," the terminal motive for greatly enhanced music to replace the Word of God was a huge debt incurred by temple building.
> A Cappella does not mean "in the Bible style" or "in the synagogue style." A cappella was invented in the late 15th century. It was written for the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican which permitted no instruments. A Cappella is Italian for 'in the church style" meaning "in the Catholic church style." Contrary to singing "with one voice" or the teaching of the Bible commanded by Paul, a cappella was already polyphonic or multipart and was "sacred choral music."
This was intimately associated with the high male soprani who were sexually mutilated to make their effeminate singing voices continue on into manhood. Therefore, A Cappella in the chorus sense was one of the primary scandals of Catholicism.
Therefore, true Biblical "teaching" is not singing but is a larger choir to include everyone. Then, as now, perhaps the secular pope could reject the organ because He knew that it was sinful for "Christ's Vicar" to participate in the music of the lower classes. However, then as now, he could legalistically get around the Word of God by introducing a "musical band" or "worship entertainment" so that even the visible "christ" would not miss the fun from talented castrates.
"One of the greatest of all Greek dramas, The Bacchae powerfully dramatizes the
conflict between the emotional and rational sides of the human psyche.
When the people of Thebes deny the existence of the god Dionysos, he punishes them
by unleashing the full force of female sexuality, thereby destroying social order and driving them to certain tragedy.
"The papacy also continued the practice of creating castratos (boys castrated before puberty to keep their singing voices high-pitched) for their own entertainment, long after it had fallen in disfavor throughout Italy."
"Into this artificial world came the castrati, who had first gained a place in Italian churches for their 'angelic' voices. Castratos are said to have been the world's first superstars, because of the great sums paid to them for their singing, and scheduled engagements that took them to cities across Europe, to please their enthusiastic followers.
"How can we hear their music today, since we have no more castratos to listen to? Well, during the current renaissance in Baroque music, some castrato roles have been carefully recreated by counter-tenors also known as male altos or sopranos. Other musical parts are sung by women who use a natural alto or soprano range,
but adopt a style which attempts to make the music sound appropriately 'masculine', at least for male roles. There is much debate as to which is better--but keeping in mind the fact that most early composers wrote 'trouser' roles for women to sing, and that castratos frequently presented women's roles, especially in their youth, it would seem that gender stretching is an original part of this music, and perhaps one reason for its continuing dramatic impact."
"Allegory and metaphor elevated the art over the humdrum of life. The Baroque belittled theatrical realism and dramatic truth as commonplace. It created the castrato, a creature without sex but with a heavenly voice instead. It saw the emergence of virtuosity which transported the listener into a world of marvels.
The Baroque invented sentimental shepherds and shepherdesses
with salon manners and salon language.
It created melodies with virtuoso ornaments and opera
became a theatre in which singing replaced ordinary speech.
It invented the wig and female knickers with flounce, lace and ribbons, all of which was to imbue reality with a more poetic character. It created the gallant style and the theory of affections, which isolated and catalogued human emotions and feelings. The opera was the most eloquent manifesto of the escape from reality into a better world.
> Modern a cappella groups rely heavily upon doo-wop music of the inner cities. It arises out of rock-and-roll which arises from voodoo. The group exists for the "lead singer" and everyone else is background. Consistently, the Catholic church was forced by "culture" to accommodate to the jungle after a total history of official opposition to instrumental music or the equivalent "vocal bands." This culture invasion began in the 1950-1960s.
Clapping was the common Voodoo practice where drums, even in churches, were outlawed.
Hand clapping in the Bible and history was a common way of showing contempt. The Hebrew word severely warns that clapping hands with strangers is a show of derision:
Caphaq (h5606) saw-fak'; (1 Kings 20:10; Job 27:23; Isa. 2:6), saw-fak'; a prim. root; to clap the hands (in token of compact, derision, grief, indignation or punishment); by impl. of satisfaction, to be enough; by impl. of excess, to vomit: - clap, smite, strike, suffice, wallow
For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God. Job 34:37
Make ye him drunken; for he magnified himself against the Lord: Moab also shall wallow in his vomit, and he also shall be in derision. Jeremiah 48:26
Seemingly prophetic of the modern Seeker system, Isaiah wrote:
Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please them selves in the children of strangers. Isaiah 2:6
Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: Isaiah 2:8
This is the Egyptian model imitated by Israel as they lost the Covenant by musical idolatry at Mount Sinai. It was forced upon Samson as they mocked him in preparation to killing him. And it was repeated by David as he stripped among the servant girls.Traditional congregational singing has little in common with "contemporary Christian music." It is more Biblical and does not include the modern "praise" concept which is believed to have some power over God. However, Jesus might ask why we spend so much time saying, "Lord, Lord" rather than doing what He commanded.
This article focus primarily on the evolutionary development of resource and method of singing from simple congregational singing to performance music performed for the congregation as "mediators" between the audience and God, or increasingly just for entertainment by professionals. The almost universal view of church history rejects instrumental music and therefore would reject new forms of singing which aims to reproduce the pipe organ.
The following quotations follow the Online Members of the Britannica to get a non-religious view. The link is to the commercial edition which costs about 3 dollars a month. The free version which is less extensive, and more congested, may be found by clicking here.
The Britannica will be quoted to show some of the historical development. Modern compositions suffer from three real dangers. First, it can and usually does teach false doctrine with no one noticing until the dogma is well established. Secondly, there is a real danger that Christ is ignored or perhaps insulted in that His Words seem less important than our words. Thirdly, in time the sound Biblical education from singing the Biblical songs is lost and we know almost nothing from decades of "Christian Worship Music."
If that is not enough, singing human compositions is singing neither psalms, hymns nor spiritual songs. While people eternally gathered for social singing, the assembly is defined by Paul, like the synagogue, for edification which is education.
The only thing connected to what we think of as "music" in the New Testament is of the singing and dancing party to welcome the prodigal son, and the musicians who will be silenced in Revelation 18.
The other words such as "melody" are not truly musical terms in the modern sense.
The only remote contact between modern singing of contemporary songs as worship and the Biblical intent is that both are called "singing" even if Paul's command was first to "teach" or preach and not to sing. He said, and please notice the first command:
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Ep.5:19
Speak is not "sing" but from the Greek:
Laleo (g2980) lal-eh'-o; a prol. form of an otherwise obsol. verb; to talk, i.e. utter words: - preach, Comp. 3004.
There is a danger that performance singing loses focus upon the teaching role by making the speaking into a singing form so complex that that no education can take place.
This is the same word Paul used earlier when he certainly included no instruments or musical worship teams:
Wherefore putting away lying, acappella, a cappella
If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: Eph 4:21
Jesus never sang a sermon or a "praise song." Praise is not singing but telling about some one's greatness. This speaking in a large assembly often took a musical form to make communication easier. Then Paul continues:
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; Eph 4:22
Human praise songs were usually wine-induced or sex-induced as most modern "praise songs" are sensual or erotic: trying to get to know God "personally." However, Christian speaking or singing has a mental purpose:
And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; Eph 4:23 acappella, a cappella
Human praise songs come from the old, degenerate mind or spirit: spiritual speaking can come only from a regenerated mind:
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Eph 4:24
speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Ep.4:25
You cannot have a "one another" liberty usurped by either a performance-based preacher or a musical worship team. Jesus died to give us the right and resource to speak His Word to one another.
However, Paul as an evangelist had the duty and asked for prayers to speak and not to sing or entertain:
Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: Col.4:3
Among men such as Nimrod in Babylon or Paul of Samosata or the Arians teaching their heresy, the common method was to bring along a female team of musicians. It would have been consistent with Paul's old man to do the same:
Laleo is used over 300 times in the New Testament, and nowhere is it translated "to sing." Some have argued that laleo means "to sing" in Eph. 5:19. That is not necessarily the case. Many Christians have spoken--not sung--Psalms and the lyrics of Christian hymns to other people. Paul may simply be exhorting brethren to quote the words and to talk about the themes of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
"Even if laleo does mean "sing" in Ephesians 5:19, then Paul would have been using laleo in a figurative manner in that verse. Elsewhere in scripture the word is used in its literal sense. In I Corinthians 14, there is nothing to indicate that Paul is using figurative language. Therefore, the literal meaning of laleo, "to speak." A Baptist Source
In the Colossian parallel Paul said: acappella, a cappella
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Col 3:16
Charis (g5485) khar'-ece; from 5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstr. or concr.; lit., fig. or spiritual; espec.
the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): - acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (- ious), joy liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).
The word teaching is external one-another and from the Greek:
Didasko (g1321) did-as'-ko; a prol. (caus.) form of a prim. verb (to learn); to teach (in the same broad application): - teach
You cannot get external singing of contemporary Christian thought out of admonishing either. It is from the Greek:
Noutheteo (g3560) noo-thet-eh'-o; from the same as 3559; to put in mind, i.e. (by impl.) to caution or reprove gently: - admonish, warn.
The resource is the Word of Christ or Spirit:
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 1Co.10:11
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ep.6:4
"Teaching" or singing must have the authority of Lord Jesus:
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Col 3:17
The purpose is not to "exhilarate" or to enthuse but to teach and warn as Paul uses the word elsewhere:
Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught,
abounding (be filled) therein with thanksgiving. Col.2:7
Thanksgiving is: Eucharistia (g2169) yoo-khar-is-tee'-ah; from 2170; gratitude; act, grateful language (to God, as an act of worship): - thankfulness, (giving of) thanks (-giving).
If you pervert this passage you will see the command as to "sing" and the teaching quite naturally becomes "praise" tunes from the secular world.
If you grasp that the command is NOT to sing but to teach or preach then it becomes possible to understand that the "resource" of the teaching is the "word of Christ" which is parallel to "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs."
Then, you remove the danger by congregational singing by putting teaching and admonishing first.
The Old Testament Parallel To Paul:
THEN sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying,
"I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. Ex.15:1
The singing in a more speaking than musical form was to teach the Biblical message so that others could learn it and teach it to others:
And Moses recited the words of this song from beginning to end in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel: Deut 31:30NIV
And Moses came and spake all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Hoshea the son of Nun. De.32:44
AND David spake unto the Lord the words of this song, in the day that the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul: 2S.22:1
By definition a "psalmos" in Greek is a piece of writing in metrical form so that it can be sung. However, a song told a story or was a prayer. By the definition of psalmos, the human voice is one of the instruments which can accompany a song but which cannot accompany prose.
Consistent with all that we know about David, the harp would have been stroked for emphasis between reciting or speaking. Adding the voice to the "voice" of the harp was always regarded as a children's activity.
The word "spake" or "recite" is the Hebrew:
Dabar (g1696) daw-bar'; a prim. root; perh. prop. to arrange; but used fig. (of words) to speak; rarely (in a destructive sense) to subdue: - answer, appoint, bid, command, commune, declare, destroy, give, name, promise, pronounce, rehearse, say, speak, be spokesman, subdue, talk, teach, tell, think, use [entreaties], utter, * well, * work.
Therefore, David did not "sing" the song where "singing" is often associated with minstrels who were often female prostitutes.
The word "saying" is the Hebrew:
Amar (h559) aw-mar'; a prim. root; to say (used with great latitude): - answer, appoint, avouch, bid, boast self, call, certify, challenge, charge, / (at the, give) command (-ment), commune, consider, declare, demand, * desire, determine, * expressly, * indeed, * intend, name, * plainly, promise, publish, report, require, say, speak (against, of), * still, * suppose, talk, tell, term, * that is, * think, use [speech], utter, * verily, * yet.
There simply is no 'musical' content to this 'singing.'
Not even Miriam sang as we understand it. Rather, her message was for everyone to go tell the story. She is actually commanding the women to go out and tell the story using a "rattle" which is not a musical instrument but gains the attention.
And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. Exodus 15:21
Anah (h6040) aw-naw'; a prim. root; prop. to eye or (gen.) to heed, i. e. pay attention; by impl. to respond; by extens. to begin to speak; spec. to sing, shout, testify, announce: - give account... speak, testify, utter, (bear) witness.
Sing is the demand to travel about and tell the story:
Shiyr (h7891) sheer; or (the orig. form) 7788 (1 Sam. 18:6), shoor; a prim. root [rather ident. with 7788 through the idea of strolling minstrelsy]; to sing
Shuwr (h7788) shoor; a prim. root; prop. to turn, i. e. travel about (as a harlot or a merchant): - go, sing
The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas. Eze.27:25
We know that the practice of the Jews was not what we call "singing" but cantillation which the Britannica notes:
"in music, intoned liturgical recitation of scriptural texts, guided by signs originally devised as textual accents, punctuations, and indications of emphasis.. Although first intended to clarify the reading of the texts
That is what Paul demanded!
"Various types of cymbals originally used in the Temple were prohibited after its restoration.
"Ritual music was at first only cantillation, i.e., recitative chanting, of the prose books of the Bible
"Later the prayers and biblical poetry were chanted, presumably in a modal system similar to the ragas of Hindu music or the maqamat of Arab music, i.e., melodies with improvisations.
You will notice that the poetry was personal as David's instruments were for David's praise at the future home of the central sanctuary.
Cantillation is also used in Islamic religious services in the recitation of the Qur'an and in the muezzin's call to prayer, or adhan.
Neither it nor the cantillation of the Qur'an are considered to be music, however, and music as such is forbidden in religious services.
The "musical" terms do not occur in the New Testament in a favorable light. The word "minstrel" is not complimentary.
Singing as we understand it in the "contemporary" sense is a cultic activity believing that the "excitement" which it creates has some magical power over the audience and God. Singing to Paul, however, was a way to teach and admonish one another and had no cultic or supernatural power. Because we are mere humans, singing is a totally human activity for education.
This same form of non-educational singing at this time was a purely secular affair. By adopting the secular form of singing it becomes much easier to try to enhance or to professionalize the singing to make it more powerful.
In Acts 1:20 psalmos is the book of Psalms and in Rom. 15: sing is psallo.
"Psallo is best translated by chant, not sing. The Greeks sharply distinguish chanting (psalmodia) from singling (tragoudi). The first is a sacred activity; the second, a secular one. In English, unfortunately, the distinction is not sharp, and the word singing is frequently employed to refer to the sacred activity of chanting. A Greek would never, never say tragoudo (I sing), instead of psallo; the two terms have connotations and associations which are worlds apart --
- > the first is related to the earthly realm, 1 13:,
- > the second to the heavenly." 1 Corinthians chapter 13:,
(Letter to James D. Bales of Harding University, September 22, 1959, from Constantine Cavarnos, of the Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, 113 Gilbert Road, Belmont 78, Massachusetts.)
More Legalistic Than the Law: No Legalistic Command to Sing as an "act of worship."
Neither the Covenant given before Israel's musical idolatry at Mount Sinai nor the Law "given because of that transgression"
has any utterance about singing or playing instruments as a way to worship God.
And that Law came with the demand not to change it either to the left or the right.
When a plague broke out under David and much later under Hezekiah a bargain was made with God to offer animals in sacrifice to cleanse or purify the buildings and grounds and the clergy and civil servants.
If one can invent a "command" out of this event it is solely for purification.
However, under Hezekiah, the common people did not get involved with the animal sacrifices during which the instruments made a huge noise to mask the horrors of the killing.
The Israelites never engaged in "congregational singing with instrumental accompaniment" as an act of worship under the Law.
Both Jews and Muslims acknowledge that the "act" is cantillation of the text.
Unison singing or as Paul says "with one voice" is a very unifying and edifying practice of congregational activity. As the arrangement became more theatrical the teaching component was largely lost.
If, therefore, singing Fanny Crosby with the nerve-tingling influence of four different groups singing four different sets of words with four different tunes at four different times is demanded as a legal act of worship then Christianity is more legally demanding than any period of the Old Testament.
It violates all historical evidence against a ritual which Jesus came to remove as the burden laded upon the backs of the laity: "spiritual anxiety created by religious ritual."
It violates the command to teach the Word of Christ or "Spirit" and therefore repudiates Christ Who gave His Word as "spirit and life" (John 6:63) and, like the Jewish clergy, "takes away the key to knowledge" and we suspect intentionally.
You Cannot Blame the Catholic Church
It is easy to blame the Catholic church for the failures of our own "clergy" and "liturgical facilitators." However, it is a fact that Catholicism resisted music and still resists it as most Bible and History students still do. The following links speak to this issue.
Paul did not command external harmony, but internal melody. By speaking with one voice (Romans 15) very modern forms of polyphony is ruled out.
Polyphony in Christian worship music-
In the broadest sense, music comprising two or more relatively autonomous voices or parts
(compare monophony, music consisting of only a single melodic line),
in contrast to homophony (; music emphasizing chordal textures). (harmony)
In polyphony the different voices are heard as separate entities and are rhythmically more or less independent of each other.
Counterpoint, the combination of simultaneous lines of melody, is sometimes equated with polyphony; but the technique of counterpoint can be applied within either polyphony or homophony.
Purely vocal polyphony had its heyday in the 16th century, prior to the reign of functional harmony.
So, you see, harmony is a later addition than instruments.
"With the latter's decline, in the first quarter of the 20th century, polyphonic textures regained much of their former prominence, especially in the dodecaphonic compositions of Arnold Schoenberg and his followers. "Polyphony" Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Consistent with Paul's use of the word melody and not harmony it is important to understand that in Christian worship music the translators did not intend to introduce "harmony" but:
Melody: A pleasing sounds or arrangements of sounds in sequence. 2 in Music: a sequence of single tones, usually in the same key or mode, to produce a rhythmic whole. Webster
Melody in the external Greek sense speaks of "grinding one to bits." Harmony is not included in melody.
This is proven by the definition of the Britannica:
Melody (Encyclopædia Britannica Online) and rhythm can exist without harmony.
By far the greatest part of the world's music is nonharmonic.
Many highly sophisticated musical styles, such as those of India and China, consist basically of unharmonized melodic lines and their rhythmic organization.
In only a few instances of folk and primitive music are simple chords specifically cultivated.
Harmony in the Western sense is a comparatively recent invention having a rather limited geographic spread. It arose less than a millennium ago in the music of western Europe and is embraced today only in those musical cultures that trace their origins to that area.
"The organized system of Western harmony as practiced from c. 1650 to c. 1900 evolved from earlier musical practices:
from the polyphony--music in several voices, or parts--of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance
and, ultimately, from the strictly melodic music of the Middle Ages that gave rise to polyphony.
The organization of medieval music, in turn,
derives from the medieval theorists' fragmented knowledge of ancient Greek music. Harmony
That is a "politeism" for "they were ignorant."
Use of dissonance for harmonic colour in Christian worship music:
"By the early 19th century, composers became aware that harmony could also serve another purpose:
it could exist outside of a purely functional context as a means of enhancing the pure harmonic colour of a composition.
The opening of the Quintet in C Major of Schubert provides a simple and quite early example of chords used for the sheer effect of their sound...
"Composers can thus use such ambiguous chords to achieve unusual or expressive harmonies
that blur the listener's expectations and therefore (blur) his ability to perceive key and tonality...
The evidence is fairly clear that in Christian worship music the use of complex harmony also blurs the Christian's ability to comprehend the intellectual content of the song.
This is why Paul compared instrumental music to "speaking in tongues" or a military bugler blowing advance when he should blow retreat.
"Since the notes of the scale that would give this information to the listener are missing from the passage,
it is clear that Wagner does not want the listener to be sure.
He wants the passage, rather, to stand for the substance of the opera itself:
unrequited passion is equal to unresolved harmonies.
"Other composers, too, sought out harmonic as well as melodic and rhythmic means
to underscore the content of passion, restlessness, mystery, or tragedy in their scores. Harmony and dissonance
Christian worship music is often effective when it creates "spiritual anxiety" or the burden of a restless spirit which does not resolve the conflicts about spiritual security.
Complex harmony creates dissonance. This is like the 'drip, drip' irritation of water on the head; like someone screeching the blackboard or a dog barking at midnight. However, this discord contains some tones which help blend with the next note. Therefore, harmony works by feeding you the discord which creates the mysterious effect (irritation) but then sells it because it makes the water drips tolerable.
"Plural ORGANA, originally, any musical instrument (later in particular an organ); the term attained its lasting sense, however, during the Middle Ages in reference to a polyphonic (many-voiced) setting, in certain specific styles, of Gregorian chant.
"In its earliest written form, found in the treatise Musica enchiriadis (c. 900; "Musical Handbook"), organum consisted of two melodic lines moving simultaneously note against note.
"Sometimes a second, or organal, voice doubled the chant, or principal voice, a fourth or a fifth below (as G or F below c, etc.). In other instances,
the two voices started in unison, then moved to wider intervals. Both melodies might in turn be doubled at the octave.
Early organum of this sort (9th-11th century) was, it seems, spontaneously produced by specially trained singers before being committed to manuscript.
"In more elaborate forms of organum, a freely composed melody was sung note against note above the plainchant (Gregorian chant). Finally, at the abbeys of Santiago de Compostela, Spain (c. 1137), and Saint-Martial of Limoges, Fr. (c. 1150), an important new principle emerged--
that of composing a highly florid melody (duplum) above the plainchant "tenor."
"This new "melismatic" organum (having several notes to a syllable) reached maturity in compositions associated with the Notre-Dame school in Paris and collected in the Magnus liber organi (c. 1170; "Great Book of Organum"), probably by Léonin, or Leoninus, the first major composer known by name, who set chant melodies for the Graduals, Alleluias, and Responsories of the masses for all major feasts.
"In Notre-Dame organum, the organal style proper alternates with "descant" sections in which both melodies move rhythmically in accordance with the triple patterns of the late medieval system of rhythmic modes (see rhythmic mode). Modern scholars have tended to apply these modes also to the ambiguously notated melismatic portions. More likely, however, melismatic organum reflected the free melodic flow of Oriental music with which crusaders in particular must have been thoroughly familiar. Characteristically, Léonin's two-part compositions were quickly superseded by the rhythmically solid three- and four-part organa of his successor Pérotin, or Perotinus.
Duplum and Cantus Firmus
(Latin: "fixed song"), plural CANTUS FIRMI, preexistent melody, such as a plainchant excerpt,
underlying a polyphonic musical composition (one consisting of several independent voices or parts). The 11th- and 12th-century organum added a simple second melody (duplum) to an existing plainchant melody (the vox principalis, or principal voice),
which by the end of the 12th century was stretched so as to accommodate a melody. The 13th-century polyphonic motet, for its part, featured the plainchant cantus firmus in the tenor. ("Tenor" derives from Latin tenere, "to hold"--i.e., the voice part that holds the plainchant.)
"During the Renaissance, masses and motets commonly featured a cantus firmus in the tenor, which was by then no longer the lowest voice. At times, though, the cantus firmus appeared ornamented or paraphrased in the top voice. The plainchant had symbolic as well as purely musical connotations. By the same token,
Renaissance composers also seized upon secular tunes, whether folk songs or top lines of chansons (French polyphonic songs). One popular song, "L'Homme armé" ("The Armed Man"), inspired over 30 masses. "cantus firmus" Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Secular does not mean without a Biblical content. Rather, secular is opposed to the inspired Biblical content.
Harmony in Christian worship music before the common practice period
"By the 9th century the practice arose in many churches of performing portions of plainchant melodies with an added, harmonizing voice--possibly as a means of greater emphasis, or of reinforcing the sound to carry through the larger churches that were being built at the time.
This harmonizing technique, called organum, is the first true example of harmony. The first instances were extremely simple, consisting of adding a voice that exactly paralleled the original melody at the interval of a fourth or fifth (parallel organum).
"Within a short time the new technique was explored in far greater diversity. Added harmonic lines took on melodic independence, often moving in opposite, or contrary, motion to the given melody. This style was called free organum. In such cases it was impossible to maintain at all times the accepted harmonies of fourth, fifth, and octave.
These intervals were considered consonances--i.e., intervals that because of their clear sonority, implied repose, or resolution of tension.
"In free organum they were used at the principal points of articulation: the beginnings and ends of phrases and at key words in the text.
In between occurred other intervals that were relatively dissonant; i.e.,
they implied less repose and more tension. In the following example of free organum, dissonances are marked by asterisks.
"Free organum is an early example of harmonic motion from repose to tension to repose, basic to Western harmony. The emphasis on consonances at the end of compositions set the final points of arrival in strong relief and reinforced the idea of the cadence, or the finality of the keynote of a mode (on which pieces normally ended). "harmony" Encyclopædia Britannica Online.The Organ in Christian worship music with instrumental music:
"The development of the organ during the early Middle Ages is obscure, but by the 8th or 9th century it was being used in Christian churches, perhaps as a signal to call congregations to worship or in other nonliturgical roles.
[Note: The two silver trumpets ordained by God in Numbers 10 were to call the assembly or to panic the enemy in battle. However, Numbers 10:7 outlaws them when the congregation gathers which was always for instruction and never for "worship" as we understand the word.]
"About 990 a famous organ in the cathedral at Winchester, Eng., was constructed, of which the monk Wulfstan left a famous but much garbled description. Literary accounts of early organs are often hyperbolic or metaphorical, but it appears from descriptions such as Wulfstan's that organs like that at Winchester were loud, somewhat clumsy to operate by modern standards, and probably unsuitable for all but the simplest music. "keyboard instrument" Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Liturgical (Christian worship music)
"also called CHURCH MUSIC, music written for performance in a religious rite of worship; the term is most commonly associated with the Christian tradition.
Developing from the musical practices of the Jewish synagogues,Which allowed the cantor an improvised charismatic song,
"early Christian services contained a simple refrain, or responsorial, sung by the congregation. This evolved into the various Western chants, the last of which, the Gregorian, reached its apogee in the Carolingian Renaissance.
From the 10th century there also emerged a vast number of hymns.
"Polyphony was at first restricted to major feasts. Solo ensembles of virtuoso singers were accompanied by the organ or, possibly, a group of instruments.
By about 1200 the early polyphonic style culminated in the spectacular organa of the Notre-Dame school composers Léonin and Pérotin.
"The 14th century saw a proliferation of locally produced verbal tropes set to music by more or less trained composers, often in relatively simple homophonic (chordal) manner.
In French circles, however, isorhythm (use of complex underlying rhythmic repetitions) was applied to the motet and also to sections of the mass. The first few polyphonic settings of the ordinary of the mass as a unified whole date from this century.
Late medieval Christian worship music became progressively more direct in method and expression.
Subtleties of rhythm gave way to a strong feeling for tonality, order, and symmetry.
The liturgical music of the Burgundian Guillaume Dufay, John Dunstable and Leonel Power in England, and their contemporaries was written
for princely chapels (as was David's) and court ceremonies,
rather than for abbey and cathedral.
During the Renaissance the use of small choirs rather than soloists for polyphonic music (Note: Polyphonic music so confused the plainsongs that only one or two voices could both sing and teach) was established.
Although the a cappella (unaccompanied) choir style is associated with this era, church choirs were sometimes accompanied by organ and other instruments.
The Renaissance also witnessed the growth of liturgical organ music, which was used originally
when there was no choir capable of singing polyphony. (Modern harmony was not possible until the organ taught them how to do it)
The organist alternated harmonized settings of plainsong hymns, canticles, and masses with plainsong verses that were sung by the choir or by the congregation.
The rise of the verse anthem in England and of the Baroque motet in Italy (genres that included elaborate vocal solos)
stimulated the organist's ability to improvise accompaniments.
God through Amos pronounced woes upon those:
That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; Amos 6:4
You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. Amos 6:5
That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. Amos 6:6
In Venice, Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli and their followers made dramatic use of spatial contrasts and opposing forces of strings, winds, and voices.
In Germany the chorale, or hymn melody, was an important ingredient of motets, organ music, and, later, cantatas. Heinrich Schütz, Franz Tunder, and Dietrich Buxtehude led music to assume the greatest importance in church services, culminating in the liturgical music of J.S. Bach.
In the Classical era, anthems, motets, and masses--often of routine quality--continued to be written. The great composers of the era
- often set liturgical texts with the concert hall,
- rather than the church, in mind.
The resounding, spirited, and church-intended masses of Joseph Haydn and the other early Viennese masters remained a local product. "liturgical music" Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Gospel Music as Christian worship music
"A form of black American music derived from church worship services and from spiritual and blues singing. Gospel music spread through song publishing, concerts, recordings, and radio and television broadcasts of religious services from the Great Depression days of the 1930s.
The immediate impetus for gospel music seems to have been
the rise of Pentecostal churches at the end of the 19th century. Pentecostal shouting is related to speaking in tongues and to circle dances of African origin.
Recordings of Pentecostal preachers' sermons were immensely popular among American blacks in the 1920s, and recordings of them along with their choral and instrumental accompaniment and congregational participation persisted,
so that ultimately gospel reached the white audience as well.
The voice of the black gospel preacher was affected by black secular performers, and vice versa.
Taking the scriptural direction "Let everything that breathes praise the Lord" (Psalms, 150), Pentecostal churches welcomed timbrels, pianos, organs, banjos, guitars, other stringed instruments, and some brass into their services.
Choirs often featured the extremes of female vocal range in antiphonal counterpoint with the preacher's sermon. Improvised recitative passages, melismatic singing, and extravagant expressivity also characterize gospel music. (See Pentecostalism.)
Other forms of gospel music have included the singing and acoustic guitar playing of itinerant street preachers; individual secular performers, sometimes accompanied by bands; and harmonizing male quartets, usually singing a cappella, whose acts included dance routines and stylized costumes.
Spirituals Britannica Members
"in North American white and black folk music, an English-language folk hymn. White spirituals include both revival and camp-meeting songs and a smaller number of other hymns. They derived variously, notably from the "lining out" of psalms, dating from at least the mid-17th century. Where congregations could not read, a leader intoned (lined out) the psalm text, one line at a time, alternating with the congregation's singing of each just-given line to a familiar melody.
The tune, sung slowly, was ornamented with passing notes, turns, and other graces, each singer producing his own improvised embellishment at whatever pitch level he found comfortable. (This style persists in isolated areas in the 20th century, both in black and white churches.)
A second source was the singing of hymns (as opposed to psalms only), reintroduced by such 18th-century religious dissenters as John and Charles Wesley, the founders of Methodism.
Hymn verses were composed and set to borrowed melodies, often secular folk tunes. Many of these evangelical hymns passed into oral tradition.
In the late 18th century and up to the mid-19th, there were several waves of religious revivalism. The resulting camp meetings and revivals were marked by spontaneous mass singing. It is not completely known how the camp-meeting songs and revival spirituals were sung; but it is thought that they were sung unharmonized, the tune typically begun by the high male voices, the women and basses joining in an octave (or other comfortable interval) above or below. A call-and-response pattern (as in lining out) may have at times been used. Melodies were apparently ornamented.
The texts had verses and refrains that wandered from song to song; these and a common stock of folk-melody fragments allowed new songs to be improvised upon inspiration. The themes included going home to the promised land, the defeat of Satan, and gaining ground against sin; typical refrains were "Roll, Jordan" and "Glory Hallelujah." Hymns from the earlier folk tradition were also sung. The songs were passed on orally, though many were eventually written down in folk hymnbooks using special shape-note notation.
The revival spirituals and other folk hymns passed from favour in 19th-century city churches as standardized European hymn styles came in. They survive in oral tradition in isolated areas and also among users of the shape-note hymnals.
A 19th-century offshoot of the spiritual was the gospel song. Influenced by "correct" European music, it had composed melodies and texts, was sung with instrumental accompaniment, and (unlike the folk hymns) was written to be harmonized.
The black spirituals developed mostly from white rural folk hymnody. (Blacks and whites attended the same camp meetings, for instance, and black performance style possibly counterinfluenced the revival songs.) Many black spirituals thus exist in the white folk music tradition also,
and many others have melody analogues in secular white American and British folk music.
The borrowing of melodies with pentatonic (five-note) and major scales is especially prominent. In voice quality, vocal effects, and type of rhythmic accompaniment, black spirituals differ markedly from white ones. Black spirituals were sung not only in worship but also as work songs, and the text imagery often reflects concrete tasks.
Musically, it is believed that a complex intermingling of African and white folk-music elements occurred and that complementary traits of African music and white U.S. folksong reinforced each other. For example, the call-and-response pattern occurs in both, as do certain scales and the variable intonation of certain notes.
Most authorities see clear African influence in vocal style and in the complex polyrhythmic clapped accompaniments.
African tradition also included polyphonic and choral singing. The ring shout (a religious dance usually accompanied by the singing of spirituals and clapped rhythms) is of African ancestry.
After the Civil War the black spirituals were "discovered" by Northerners and either developed toward harmonized versions, often sung by trained choirs, or, conversely, preserved the older traditional style, especially in rural areas and certain sects.
Like the white gospel song, the modern black gospel song is a descendant of the spiritual and is instrumentally accompanied. Black gospel music is closely related to secular black music (as is the spiritual to the work song and blues) and often includes jazz rhythms and instruments alongside traditional clapped accompaniment and often dance . Though gospel songs are usually composed, the melodies are taken for improvisational bases in church services, as popular tunes are improvised upon in jazz. "spiritual" Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Hymns In Christian worship music
(Greek hymnos: "song of praise," in honour of gods, heroes, or famous men), strictly, a song used in Christian worship, usually sung by the congregation and characteristically having a metrical, strophic (stanzaic), non-biblical text. Similar songs, also generally termed hymns, exist in all civilizations--examples survive, for instance, from ancient Sumer and Greece.
Christian hymnody derives from the singing of psalms in the Hebrew Temple. The earliest fully preserved text (c. AD 200 or earlier) is the Greek "Phos hilarion" ("Go, Gladsome Light," translated by the 19th-century U.S. poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).
- O Gladsome light, O Grace
- Of God the Father's face,
- The eternal splendour wearing
- Celestial, holy, blest,
- Our Saviour Jesus Christ.
- Joyful in thine appearing.
- Book of Common Praise #34 (trans. from the Greek)
Hymnody developed systematically, however, only after the emperor Constantine legalized Christianity (ad 313);
and it flourished earliest in Syria, where the practice was possibly taken over from the singing by Gnostics and Manichaeans of hymns imitating the psalms.
The Byzantine Church adopted the practice; in its liturgy, hymns maintain a much more prominent place than in the Latin liturgy; and Byzantine hymnody developed complex types such as the kanon and kontakion (qq.v.; see also Byzantine chant). Saint Ephraem--a 4th-century Mesopotamian deacon, poet, and hymnist--has been called the "father of Christian hymnody."
In the West, St. Hilary of Poitiers composed a book of hymn texts in about 360. Not much later St. Ambrose of Milan instituted the congregational singing of psalms and hymns,
partly as a counter to the hymns of the Arians, who were in doctrinal conflict with orthodox Christianity.
In poetic form (iambic octosyllables in four-line stanzas), these early hymns--apparently sung to simple, possibly folk melodies--derive from Christian Latin poetry of the period.
By the late Middle Ages trained choirs had supplanted the congregation in the singing of hymns.
Although new, often more ornate melodies were composed and many earlier melodies were elaborated, one syllable of text per note was usual. Some polyphonic hymn settings were used, usually in alternation with plainchants, and were particularly important in organ music.
Congregational singing in the liturgy was re-established only during the Reformation, by the Lutheran Church in Germany. The early chorale, or German hymn melody,
was unharmonized and sung unaccompanied, although harmonized versions, used by varying combinations of choir, organ, and congregation, appeared later.
Some were newly composed, but many drew upon plainsong, vernacular devotional song, and secular song. The pattern of secular lyrics also influenced the hymn texts of Martin Luther and his contemporaries. Important early collections were those of Luther and Johann Walther (1524) and of Georg Rhau (1544). Pietism brought a new lyrical and subjective note into German hymnody in the 17th and 18th centuries, among both Lutherans and other groups, such as the Moravian Church. (See Protestantism.)
Swiss, and later, French, English, and Scottish Calvinism promoted the singing of metrical translations of the psalter (see psalmody), austerely set for unaccompanied unison singing. English and Scottish Protestantism admitted only the singing of psalms.
English metrical psalms were set to tunes adapted from the French and Genevan psalters. These were fairly complex melodies written on French metres. The English psalter used only a few metres, and the custom of singing each psalm to its "proper" tune was soon replaced by the use of a few common tunes. The common metre 8, 6, 8, 6 (the numbers give the number of syllables in each line), a form of English ballad metre, remains the archetypal English hymn metre.
The principal impetus to English hymnody came in the late 17th century from
the Independent (Congregationalist) hymn writer Isaac Watts (Hymns and Spiritual Songs; 1705-19).
The evangelical revival of the mid-18th century under John and Charles Wesley, founders of Methodism, finally established hymnody in England and America.
Charles Wesley's many poems use a variety of experimental metres, and John Wesley's translations introduced many of the finest German hymns. The Wesleys also adopted many German tunes, and their later editions contain much music in the style of Handel.
The Church of England accepted hymn (non-biblical) singing officially only in 1820,
following a controversy arising from the singing of hymns at a Sheffield church.
The Oxford (High Church) Movement, begun in 1833, stimulated new compositions, translations of medieval hymns, and use of plainsong melodies.
The present era of English hymnody dates from the publication of Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861; last rev. ed., 1950), characterized by austerity of style, conformity to the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, and the setting of each hymn to its proper tune.
Alfred T. Degroot defining the restoration of instrumental music from the Disciples Methodist (Anglican, Episcopal, Church of England) roots attributes it to the "High Church" view as opposed to the view of the Bible as ongoing authority for faith and practice.
This bizarre view is that the Catholic-like power to evolve with the times is the "church" while those who continue the 2,000 year old view against mechanical devices used for worship as sectarian.
Continental hymnody has been largely influenced by Lutheran models,
although in Italy the Waldensian church cultivates congregational hymnody influenced by local folk-song and operatic styles.
The Counter-Reformation in the mid-16th century stimulated the composition of many fine Roman Catholic hymns, and a renewal of interest in the late 19th century eventually led, in England, to the Westminster Hymnal (1940).
The reintroduction of congregational singing during mass in the late 1960s also proved a stimulus to the composition of new hymns and led to the adoption of many hymns from non-Catholic sources. From Britannica Online Members.
See the Biblical meaning of melody and its later confusion with complex harmony and the singing of non-Biblical songs.
"The true, highest melody, however, is that which is sung without any voice. It resounds in the interior of man, is vibrating in his heart and in all his limbs. Isaac Loeb Peretz (1912).
A certain number of musicians were gathered at a feast given by a great sovereign who took care to place them according to their degree of mastery of their respective arts, when a man of wretched appearance, clad in rags, entered. The master of ceremonies raised him up above all the participants, whose faces expressed their evident disapproval. Wishing to display the man's merit and calm his guest's anger, the master asked him to let them hear a sample of his art.
"He took out some pieces of wood which he had with him, set them out before him and stretched strings over them. Then he set these strings vibrating and performed an air that made all those present burst into laughter because of the pleasure, the joy and the well-being that took possession of their souls.
Then he changed his tuning and played another air which made everyone weep for the tenderness of the melody and the sadness which settled in their hearts.
Then he changed the tuning, and played another air which plunged everyone into slumber; so doing he rose, went out and was never heard spoken of again. The Brethren of Purity of Basra
"Jingling, banging, and rattling accompanied heathen cults, and the frenzying shawms of a dozen ecstatic cries intoxicated the masses. Amid this euphoric farewell feast of a dying civilization, the voices of nonconformists were emerging from places of Jewish and early Christian worship; Philo of Alexandria had already emphasized the ethical qualities of music, spurning the 'effeminate' art of his Gentile surroundings.
Similarly, early synagogue song intentionally foregoes artistic perfection, renounces the playing of instruments, and attaches itself entirely to 'the word'--the TEXT of the Bible" (Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1971 ed., s.v. "Music")
The Apostolic Constitutions recognized the effeminate nature of theatrical performance:
(1) come, whether it be man or woman, or charioteer, or dueller, or racer, or player of prizes, or Olympic gamester, or one that plays on the pipe, on the lute, or on the harp at those games, or a dancing-master or an huckster,
(2) either let them leave off their employments, or let them be rejected. If a soldier come, let him be taught to "do no injustice, to accuse no man falsely, and to be content with his allotted wages:"
(3) if he submit to those rules, let him be received; but if he refuse them, let him be rejected. He that is guilty of sins not to be named, a sodomite, an effeminate person, a magician, an enchanter, an astrologer, a diviner, an user of magic verses, a juggler, a mountebank, one that makes amulets, a charmer, a soothsayer, a fortune-teller, an observer of palmistry; he that, when he meets you, observes defects in the eyes or feet of the birds or cats, or noises, or symbolical sounds:
Johannes Quasten in Music and Worship in Pagan and Christian Antiquity, p. 83 notes:
In Antiquity women musicians and singers had a very bad reputation. The flutists, harpists and singers at banquets were courtesans. In Lucian of Samosata's Dialogues of a Courtesan we hear almost exclusively of women musicians and singers. Sullust writes of Sempronia:
She played the cithara and danced more elegantly than was becoming an upright woman, and she could do many other things which minister to voluptuousness.
Arnobius (fl. 4th century, Africa) identifies the harpists and the courtesans with one another. He asks:
Has God created souls for this, that women should become harlots, sambucists and harpists in order to surrender their bodies to lust?
Commodian tells the Christian virgin: "You transgress the law when you go about among musicians." (That is what Paul meant in 1 Corinthians 14)
We can understand why if women speaking or singing in tongues in Corinth could be silenced there would be no music and tongues.
The exception among the pagans were effeminate or emasculated men.
"Philodemos considered it paradoxical that music should be regarded as veneration of the gods while musicians were paid for performing this so-called veneration. Again, Philodemus held as self-deceptive the view that music mediated religious ecstasy. He saw the entire condition induced by the noise of cymbals and tambourines as a disturbance of the spirit. (Paul called it mad or insane)
He found it significant that, on the whole, only women and effeminate men fell into this folly."
"According to Philo, the gods of the pagans exploit this weakness of men. For the sake of a better effect, and with the intention of more easily cheating their devotes, that they have set their lies to melodies, rhythms and meters.." (Quasten, p. 52)
This same Lucian -- who also camped out in courts selling his rhetorical talent -- identifies the piping and strumming with courtesans.
The pagans frequently used boys choirs in their worship, especially on festive occasions. This custom may be explained in the first place by the musical qualities of boys' voices; their individuality and beauty, which could not be matched by either men's or women's voices, was greatly valued in antiquity. Thus Lucian of Samosata calls the boy's voice 'perfectly delicate, not so deep as to be called masculine nor so fine as to be effeminate and lacking in power, but falling soft, mild and lovely upon the ear." (Lucian's Imagines 13)
"The chief reason, though, for the participation of boy's choirs in cultic celebrations is to be found in the fact that of the innocence upon the divinity. So it was, as can be seen repeatedly, that 'an innocent boy, whose parents are both still living,' was employed at pagan sacrifices and oracles as a medium between god and man.
In Delos, at the solemn sacrifices, choirs of boys who danced and sang to the cithara and the flute were always in attendance Quasten, p. 88)
The terminal evil condemned throughout the Old Testament and in the Babylonian Whore in Revelation 18 was the marriage of "religion" and commercial enterprises. That is, in the words of Paul, "seeing godliness as a means of financial gain." Lucian of Samosata defines Lucian the Oracle Monger noting that it was important to attack one's money-making music and fortune telling to a religious institution:
"Alexander, on the other hand, preferred his native place, urging very truly that an enterprise like theirs required congenial soil to give it a start,
in the shape of 'fat-heads' and simpletons; that was a fair description, he said, of the Paphlagonians beyond Abonutichus;
they were mostly superstitious and well-to-do; one had only to go there with someone to play the flute, the tambourine, or the cymbals, set the proverbial mantic sieve a-spinning, and there they would all be gaping as if he were a god from heaven.
This "oracle" system or Seeker system is recreated all around the world. It fulfills the prophecy of the rising of Apollyon or Abbadon who is Saturn.
He then set off at a run for the future temple. Arrived at the excavation and the already completed sacred fount, he got down into the water,
- chanted in a loud voice hymns to Asclepius and Apollo,
- and invited the god to come, a welcome guest, to the city.
And Euripides does likewise, in his Bacchae, citing the Lydian usages at the same time with those of Phrygia, because of their similarity:
But ye who left Mt. Tmolus (Sardis was on this mt.), fortress of Lydia, revel-band of mine, women whom I brought from the land of barbarians as my assistants and travelling companions,
There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. 1 Corinthians 14:10
Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. 1 Corinthians 14:11
uplift the tambourines native to Phrygian cities, inventions of mine and mother Rhea.
And again, happy he who, blest man, initiated in the mystic rites, is pure in his life, . . . who, preserving the righteous orgies of the great mother Cybele, and brandishing the thyrsus on high, and wreathed with ivy, doth worship Dionysus.
Come, ye Bacchae, come, ye Bacchae, bringing down (double entendre) Bromius, (boisterous one) god the child of god, out of the Phrygian mountains into the broad highways of Greece.
"APOLLYON. The Greek name, meaning "Destroyer," given in Revelation 9:11 for "the angel of the bottomless pit" (in Hebrew called Abaddon), also identified as the king of the demonic "locusts" described in Revelation 9:3-10.
AND the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. Revelation 9:1
And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. Revelation 9:2
And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. Revelation 9:3
And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. Revelation 9:11
"In one manuscript, instead of Apollyon the text reads "Apollo," the Greek god of death and pestilence as well as of the sun, music, poetry, crops and herds, and medicine." Click to see how Apollo ran his Seeker-Center for financial seduction.
It is important to get back to basics even if we practice a fairly modern form of singing. The danger has always been that the artistic or talented members of the church come to believe that their form of entertainment music is derived from a direct command of God. This has often been called "the idolatry of talent." And anyone who opposes them is therefore an enemy of God. By stripping away two centuries of musical evolution we can strip off the embelishments.
Marketing schemes to sell false religious values depends upon actual musical instruments or vocal band sounds in order to creat the "anxiety" which forces people to return again and again for entertainment sold as worship.
However mild or extreme, any "spirit" created by instruments or their vocal equivalent is the madness Paul condemned in Corinth especially among the women who had been musical prophetesses at the pagan oracles or seeker centers. When you begin to "take wings" Plato would warn you that you are in trouble.
Added to theatrical and commercial "praise teams" goes the restoration of ancient goddess worship. The ZOE concept is that males are inferior and had to be taught by ZOE who is the "female instructing principle" quite identical to Satan in the Garden and Lucifer the enlightener. Fittingly, she is called The Beast.
"In ancient SUMER, the cradle of civilisation, there were 4 leading gods representing heaven, air, water and earth - Ki/Ninti was the goddess of the earth (double serpent - also known as Ninhursag), the other three were male, An god of heaven, Enlil god of air and Enki god of water. Next were the 3 sky deities for the moon (Nanna the father), the sun (Utu the son) and the daughter, Inanna in the EPIC OF GILGAMESH, (Ishtar in Mesopotamia/Akkad, Isis in Egypt) Queen of Heaven and goddess of love, rain an thunderstorms, procreation and war. Temple rites were conducted by sacred prostitutes, eunuchs, priestesses, priests, singers and musicians. Ninti means Lady of the Rib or Lady who Makes Live (ti meaning rib or to make life) - she is associated with EVE (Hawwah), Mother of All. (That is, Zoe}
"According to Gnostic tradition Mary Magdalen was associated with wisdom (Sophia) represented by the sun, moon and halo of stars, becoming Athena to the Greeks. The female gnosis of Sophia (mother of Zoe (thought to be EVE), one of the AEONS, gnostic creators of all things, daughters of Barbello) was deemed to be the Holy Spirit, represented on Earth by Mary Magdalen.
If 5500 years of prophecy and practice mean anything, the end-time, Babylonian Whore religion will be totally consumed with a blend of commerce and Satanic religion hiding behind the sheep skins of Christian Worship. The fact that "everyone is doing it" propels in-debt shepherds to sell the sheep for another payment on the "temple" just as Solomon sold his own people's cities to build his temple. However, within five years of his death, the Egyptians came for their silver, gold and musical instruments which had fueled pagan idolatry under Solomon.
Satanic idolatry is self-worship. Therefore:
First Musical Heresy Musical Worship Teams
Musical Heresy 2: Hippolytus on Music and Soothsaying
Hippolytus Book V
Orphic Connection to Romans 14
- A Cappella, Christian Worship Music
- Romans 14 Background: Orpheus and Dionysus Worship
- Worship Drama - Change Agents - Dionysus Theater
- Vineyard - New Wineskins Effeminate Worship
- Golden Bough - Sir James George Frazer XLII Dionysus
Musical Worship Index
a cappella acappella, a cappella acappella, a cappella acappella, a cappella acappella, a cappella acappella, a cappella acappella, a cappella acappella, a cappella acappella, a cappella acappella,